There are many possible reasons for wanting a name change. From marriage to divorce and everything in between, read on to learn the basics of the name change process in Georgia.
How to Change Your Name in Georgia
There are different name changing processes depending on the purpose behind your name change request. The list below will segregate each of the reasons with their applicable and associated tasks. The most common name change requests in Georgia revolve around marriages and divorces.
Marriage Name Options in Georgia
Most women take their husband’s surname as their own when they get married. It’s important to know that if you’re changing your last name to your husband’s surname, Georgia has a process for that at the time of your marriage. However, the change can only be for your surname.
For marriages, the below provides your options for surname changes when you get married.
- You can change your surname to your husband’s last name when you apply for a state’s marriage license
- You’re allowed to keep your surname when you get married and never change it to your husband’s last name
- You can take your husband’s surname
- You can combine your surname with your husband’s surname
You can even take a surname from a previous marriage.
To-Do-List for Georgia Marriage Name Changes
In Georgia, when you want to change your name, it starts with listing your new surname on your marriage certificate application. To successfully fill out your marriage certificate application, you need to go to a county probate court. You must go to the probate court with your husband or husband-to-be and bring your driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate.
You’ll have to pay a fee, which varies depending on what county you reside in. When you fill out the marriage certificate application, you can put your new married surname on the certificate application form. Once you receive your marriage license, it serves as legal proof of your name change.
You can take your certified marriage certificate to the Social Security office to fill out the SS-5 form. Once your SS-5 is submitted with all the applicable attachments requested, the Social Security Administration will send you a new social security card. The social security card will have the same number but in your new married name.
DMV will also change your driver’s license into your married name if you bring in your current driver’s license and a certified marriage certificate listing your new name. You also have to bring in a utility bill or something similar that verifies your residence. The IRS should be notified of your new name in marriage and divorce by submitting to them an IRS 8822 form.
To-Do-List for Georgia Divorce Name Changes
Georgia allows you to change your name after a divorce to your maiden or a prior surname when you’re getting divorced. It’s the court that grants your divorce that also changes your surname back to your maiden or previous surname. The final divorce decree will list your maiden name or previous surname within.
It’s at that time you can start changing your social security, passport, and other government ID documents. You can take your official divorce decree, which lists your new surname to the Social Security office and fill out the SS-5 form. Once your SS-5 is submitted with all the applicable attachments requested, the Social Security Administration will send you a new social security card.
The social security card will have the same number but in your old maiden or previous surname. DMV will also change your driver’s license back to your maiden name or previous surname if you bring in your current driver’s license and a certified divorce decree listing your new name. You also have to bring in a utility bill or something similar that verifies your residence.
Petitioning a Georgia Court for a Name Change
If you’re not getting married or divorced and want to change your first, middle, or last name, you do have to petition the court. Georgia will legally change your name, but there are some specific instructions you need to follow. The tasks include, but aren’t limited to:
- Petition the county you live in superior court
- You’ll have to verify the petition in the manner the county superior court dictates
- You have to let the court know why you want to change your name
- You must publish a notice of your name change petition one time per week for four weeks
- You submit to the court proof of your published name change request after your fourth week
- A court date and time is given to you for a court hearing where a judge will rule on your petition
Children can petition the court for a name change but only through a parent by going through the above-listed tasks. Georgia prohibits name change petitions if you’re trying to commit fraud, avoid child support, creditors, or any other suspect reason.
Ready to Change Your Name?
Now you know how to change your name in Georgia. The peach state wants to help you change your last name when you’re getting married, divorced, or even if you want to legally change your first, middle or last name for personal reasons. However, if the whole process seems a bit tedious there are name change services such as UpdateMyName.com that provide up to date auto-filled name change forms to help streamline the process.
We’ve addressed all of Georgia’s name change processes above but in summary, remember you need to notify and submit:
- An SS-5 form at the Social Security Office
- DMV will change your name if you bring in your current driver’s license, a certified copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree and proof of residence
- IRS should be notified of your new name, so no tax confusion ensues, and this can be done by submitting to them an IRS 8822 form
Also, it is important to keep in mind that while completing your passport name change, you will be required to send in your old passport so you can’t travel out of the U.S. until you receive your new passport documentation. However, when all the paperwork is done, and your new name is reflected on government documents, you can take your first step into a future filled with new possibilities!