Getting a legal name change is a fairly straight-forward process—if you know how to do it.
At least the requirements to legally change your name have recently changed, which has helped shorten the timeline.
Legal Name Change for an Adult
The first thing to do is completing all the paperwork that needs to be filed at court. This is what is filed at court:
- Court cover sheet
- Petition for name change
- Name change affidavit
- Notice of petition
- Name change order
If you wish to seal your name change because you are changing your name due to harassment, domestic violence, or identity theft, the following legal documents will also have to be filed at court:
- Ex-parte application to seal name change
- Affidavit in support to seal name change
- Order to seal name change
Do you need a new birth certificate too? The language needed in the paperwork for the state where you were born to issue a new birth certificate needs to be obtained from them. Your attorney can do that for you.
How to Legally Change the Name of your Child
If you wish to change your child’s name legally, these additional documents will also have to be filed at court:
- Petition to appoint a guardian ad litem: this document asks the court for permission to be granted to the parent(s) to act as guardian for their child for the purposes of a legal name change. If the judge grants this permission, an order to appoint the guardian ad litem will be signed by the judge and filed.
- Affidavit of consent of name change signed by the minor (if your child is 14 and older)
- Affidavit of consent of name change signed by Mother
- Affidavit of consent of name change signed by Father
The exception to both parents signing this document is if one parent has sole physical and legal custody. Then, the parent without custody signs nothing.
What Happens After the Legal Name Change Paperwork is Ready?
- The attorney reviews all the paperwork and signs it
- The case is filed at court
- Publication in a local newspaper takes place
- If no objection to the legal name change is filed at court after publication, the process continues
- The name change order is given to the judge
- Once the judge signs it and the attorney files it, the name change is now complete and legal.
- The individual who changed their name now begins the process of providing all government entities with a certified name change order to update their records and IDs.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Name Change in Nevada?
At the time of this writing, it takes less than two months for an attorney and the court to complete the process.
For a minor, the process takes a little longer, and sometimes the judge might want a hearing. Should that occur, it will prolong the timeline.
What Has to be Done After your Legal Name Change is Granted?
Contact all the following government agencies and provide them with a copy of your name change order. It is best to provide them with a certified copy:
- Social Security (SS-5 application)
- Passport Bureau
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- IRS (though you can simply file your next return with your new name and provide the name change order at that time)
- Birth Certificate. This is optional. If you want to change your name on your birth certificate, your attorney will obtain language required to be on the name change order for your birth place to agree to issue you a birth certificate with your new name. For instance, say you live in Nevada now, but you were born in Illinois. What Illinois wants on a name change order before they’ll issue a new birth certificate is different from what Nevada wants. This must be done before the name change petition is filed to avoid having to file an amended case with the court later.
Is there a Limit on How Many Times You Can Change your Name?
No, there is no limit on how often you can change your name. After multiple names changes, however, the judge might want to hold a hearing to ask why you are doing multiple name changes.