name changes
December 13, 2005 6:43 PM   Subscribe

My wife wants the oddest gift for xmas this year, to legally change her name.

We live in the state of Georgia and she said if I can gather up all the documentation on how to do it, she'd do the rest. Has anyone had experience with this? Is it difficult? Where do I start?
posted by Hands of Manos to Law & Government (11 answers total)
You missed one chance already. When you get married the bride (and the groom btw) have the chance to change their names. There don't seem to be any legal rules about it either. My wife and I thought about doing something crazy but at heart we are both pretty conservative about family stuff.

cue lawyer to demonstrate my ignorance.
posted by Mr T at 6:50 PM on December 13, 2005

Best answer: How about this?
posted by puke & cry at 6:50 PM on December 13, 2005

There are websites that assist you in doing this. Georgia doesn't seem so bad- you petition the court and wait a while. When I changed my name in California in 2001 it was very easy (write that I wanted to change my name on a paper, get that notarized, go to DMV and pay for a duplicate license), so keep that in mind if you have snags in Georgia.

And on preview, the window for your wife to change her name due to marriage may not have closed just yet- that is worth a shot as well.
posted by Monday at 6:51 PM on December 13, 2005

I suppose this is more helpful
posted by puke & cry at 6:51 PM on December 13, 2005

Response by poster: thank you p&c!
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:52 PM on December 13, 2005

Here is the law in Georgia. The best way to look this sort of thing up is to look at werb sites for transgendered folks, since they often change their name to one more appropriate to their new gender. Here is some information on name changing more from Nolo and FindLaw
posted by jessamyn at 7:00 PM on December 13, 2005

The reason there are no rules about changing your name when you get married is because you can call yourself anything you want, as long you aren't intending to defraud anyone.
A friend of mine got divorced and didn't want to keep her married name or go back to her maiden name. So... she just made up a new last name. I believe she went to the DMV first, got a new license with her made-up name, and then the rest was easy.
I don't see the reason for all this court-petitioning. Just start calling your wife Shirley.
posted by clh at 8:50 PM on December 13, 2005

Oh, please tell us she is changing it to 'Wife of Manos'.
posted by jmgorman at 9:52 PM on December 13, 2005

Or Torgo. I too, I'm terribly interested in what she's going to change it to.
posted by filmgeek at 5:16 AM on December 14, 2005

In general, she can just change her name any time she feels like it. You'll have to get new documentation (DL, SS, etc), but other than that she can assume a new name immediately, or wait for the symbolism of Jan 1 or Christmas.

"Not intending to defraud..." and all that.
posted by unixrat at 7:13 AM on December 14, 2005

I too changed my name without all the notarizations and multiple court petitions.

I added a second middle name by first getting a credit card with that full name, and then using that as ID to "correct" my drivers license. Once the DL was set, it was easy to change all my other records.

This might not apply to your wife if she wants to change both her first and last names, but, depending on just how far she wants to go, there are less severe methods to try to go about this.... Good Luck!
posted by stst399 at 8:50 AM on December 14, 2005

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