Name Change Article


Name Change in Arizona

If, for any good reason, you wish to change your name or the name of a minor who you are responsible for, the steps can be quite simple. Name change should not be used for reasons like: avoiding responsibilities and obligations, avoiding creditors or the other parent/guardian of a child. This article does not focus on name change as part of a marriage or a divorce, as those cases can be different. The article first summarizes the steps for a name change with the Arizona courts and then some general information about following up to change your birth certificate, social security card, and driver license.

Steps with the Arizona Courts
  1. Get the name change forms.
    You can go online at https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Forms/Name-Change or in person at a court location closest to where you live. If you don't know where your court is you can use the court locator to find your local court https://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Courts/AZ-Courts-Locator.

    It is best to double check with your court’s staff if the forms are still relevant and up to date. For Maricopa County, this is the current website https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/llrc/civil-court-forms/. For Pima County, their law library can provide you with this information https://www.sc.pima.gov/default.aspx?tabid=60.

  2. Fill out the forms, which may ask for personal information like your contact information, birth, children, marital history, criminal history, etc.

  3. File the completed forms with your court and pay a filing fee.

  4. Inform any interested parties mentioned in the forms. For example, another parent of a minor child.

  5. Attend a hearing for the judicial officer to sign the court order with the name change and pay a fee for one or more certified copies of the order.

Following Up with Other Places
  1. To change your birth certificate, follow up with your relevant birth records office.
    For those born in Maricopa County, this is the current website https://azdhs.gov/licensing/vital-records/index.php#corrections-amendments-registrants-name. For those born in Pima County and 1996 or before that, also follow up with the Phoenix office; for those born in Pima County and 1997 to now, follow up with the Tucson office http://www.agave.cosc.pima.gov/home.asp?include=pages/name_changes.htm.

  2. To change your social security card, this is the current website with details https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01981.

  3. To change your driver license, this is the current website with details https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/driver-services/driver-license-information/change-your-address-or-name. Since the Arizona Department of Transportation uses the Social Security computer system to check for your name change, you need to change your name with Social Security first and wait at least 2 days for the Social Security system to be updated. Only then can you change your driver license.

Contributing Attorney: Ke Huang-Isherwood is an attorney who is an independent legal and communication researcher.

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I want to know if I change my name back to my birth name, if I can still use both names. i.e. Birth Name changed from Ernest (info removed), I want to continue using both names. i.e. My current legal name is Merrick (info removed)
  • I am getting married and wanted to change my entire name due to issues with identity theft. My question is is it possible to change my entire name during the name change process of getting married, what steps will I legally need to take. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance .
  • I want to change my name due to domestic violence. He was convicted in Texas, a felony. And here but only a misdemeanor. Im getting ready to move and want it done fast. I dont know where he is but I know hes keeping a eye on me. I dont have the funds to pay so how do I go about it
  • What if I [the mother] am the only one on the birth certificate? Then does the father have to sign it?
  • I want to give my stepdaughter my last name, her biological father lives in Mexico and he hasn't been in her life at all. She's 10 yrs old and I have been taking care of her since she was 2. How can I do this If me and my wife don't know his whereabouts?
  • Where or who do I call to change my 5 year old daughters last name? I want to put her dad's last name before she starts school.
  • Me and my wife got married and my step daughter has my wife's maiden name do we need permission from the father to change her last name to ours? she is starting to get upset that she doesn't have our last name and we would like to correct that. My wife has sole physical custody so we were unsure about the procedure.
  • I filed to change my name and have a hearing date. Is it possible to amend the filing prior to the hearing to make changes?
  • I am trying to do a formal name change for my son. His biological father's rights were terminated july 2012. Do I still have to notify him of the name change?
  • My soon to be wife and I would like to create a new last name when we get married, how do I fill out the marriage license form to reflect that?

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

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