How to File an Adult Name Change in Georgia

How to File an Adult Name Change in Georgia

Are you considering changing your name to an adult in Georgia? Whether you're looking to update your family name, change your name after marriage, or modify your child's name, the process can seem daunting at first. However, with the right guidance, you can navigate through the legal requirements smoothly. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to file an Adult Name Change in Georgia, ensuring that your SEO-friendly content contains valuable information for anyone looking to undertake this process.

Changing one's name is a significant decision that can have a profound impact on an individual's identity. Whether you're seeking a fresh start, aligning your name with your gender identity, or adopting a spouse's surname after marriage, the process of an adult name change requires careful attention to detail and adherence to legal procedures.

Understanding the Importance of a Name

A person's name serves as a fundamental aspect of their identity, representing their heritage, culture, and personal connection to their family. It is essential to recognize the significance of a name and the potential reasons why individuals choose to change it.

Reasons for an Adult Name Change

People pursue adult name changes for various reasons. Some common motivations include:

  • Aligning their name with their gender identity
  • Distancing themselves from an abusive past
  • Reverting to a previous name after a divorce
  • Embracing a new cultural identity
  • Adopting a spouse's surname after marriage
  • Correcting errors or misspellings in legal documents

Requirements for an Adult Name Change in Georgia

Before initiating the process, it's crucial to understand the legal requirements for an adult name change in Georgia. Familiarize yourself with the following factors:

Residency Requirements

To change your name in Georgia, you must establish residency in the state. Generally, you should have been living in Georgia for at least six months before filing the name change petition.

Age Restrictions

In Georgia, you must be 18 years old or older to petition for an adult name change. If you are under 18, the process becomes more complex and requires parental consent.

Criminal History Check

As part of the name change process, the court may conduct a criminal history check. This measure ensures that the individual seeking the name change doesn't have a history of fraudulent or illegal activities.

Name Change Petition

To begin the name change process, you need to file a petition with the appropriate court. The petition must include relevant personal information, reasons for the name change, and the desired new name.

Notice of Name Change

After filing the petition, you are required to publish a notice of the name change in a local newspaper. This serves to inform the public and allows for any potential objections to the name change.

Filing the Petition for an Adult Name Change

Now that you understand the legal requirements, let's explore the steps involved in filing the petition for an adult name change in Georgia.

Gathering the Necessary Documents

Before filing the petition, ensure you have the following documents:

  • Proof of Georgia residency (e.g., driver's license, utility bills)
  • Birth certificate or any other legal document with your current name
  • Completed name change petition form
  • Criminal history record (if required)

Completing the Petition Form

Fill out the name change petition form accurately, providing the necessary details such as your current name, desired new name, and the reasons for the name change. Take your time and double-check for any errors or omissions.

Filing the Petition with the Court

Submit the completed petition form and supporting documents to the appropriate court in your county of residence. Pay the filing fee, which varies depending on the county. Keep copies of all the documents for your records.

Publication and Hearing Process

Once the petition is filed, you will proceed with the publication and hearing process, which involves the following steps:
Publishing the Notice
Following the court's instructions, publish the notice of the name change in a local newspaper. The publication must occur for four consecutive weeks, allowing time for any potential objections to be raised.
Attending the Hearing
After the publication period, attend the scheduled court hearing. The judge will review your petition and may ask questions to ensure the name change is not for fraudulent or malicious purposes. Be prepared to provide honest and sincere answers.
Obtaining the Court Order
If the judge approves your name change request, they will issue a court order granting the name change. This document is crucial for updating your identification and records.

Updating Your Identification and Records

After receiving the court order, you must update your identification documents and records to reflect your new name. Here are some essential areas to consider:

Social Security Administration

Visit your local Social Security Administration office to update your name on your Social Security card. Bring your court order and any other required documents to facilitate the process.

Driver's License and Identification Card

Contact the Georgia Department of Driver Services to update your driver's license and identification card. They will guide you through the necessary steps and provide information on any additional documents required.


If you have a passport, you must apply for a new one with your updated name. Visit the U.S. Department of State's website for the required forms and instructions.

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Notify your bank and credit card companies about your name change to update your account details and cards. They may request a copy of your court order as proof.

Other Records and Documents

Remember to update your name on other important records, such as insurance policies, medical records, professional licenses, and any subscriptions or memberships you hold.

Changing a Child's Name in Georgia

If you wish to change a child's name in Georgia, additional considerations come into play. These include:
Consent Requirements
Obtain consent from both parents or legal guardians of the child. If one parent's consent cannot be obtained, you may need to provide a valid reason to the court.
Court Approval
Similar to an adult name change, file a petition with the court, publish a notice, and attend a hearing. The court will evaluate the best interests of the child when considering the name change request.

Name Change After Marriage

If you are seeking a Name Change After Marriage, follow these steps:
Marriage Certificate
Obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the county where you were married. This document serves as proof of the name change eligibility.
Social Security Administration
Update your name with the Social Security Administration by visiting your local office and following their guidelines for name change after marriage.
Driver's License and Identification Card
Contact the Georgia Department of Driver Services to update your driver's license and identification card. They will provide instructions on the necessary documentation and procedures.
Other Considerations
Ensure to update your name on all relevant documents and records, including your passport, bank accounts, credit cards, and other official records.

Cost and Processing Time

The cost and processing time for an adult name change in Georgia can vary. The filing fee usually ranges from $200 to $250, depending on the county. The overall processing time can take several weeks to a few months, considering the publication period and court scheduling.

Changing your name as an adult in Georgia may initially seem like a complex process. However, by understanding the legal requirements, following the necessary steps, and updating your identification and records accordingly, you can successfully navigate the name change process. Remember to gather all the required documents, file a petition with the court, publish the notice, attend the hearing, and update your identification and records to reflect your new name. If you have further questions or need assistance, consult with a legal professional or visit Georgia Name Changes for expert guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I change my name in Georgia if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, the name change process in Georgia is available to both U.S. citizens and non-citizens residing in the state.
Do I need an attorney to file for an adult name change?
No, hiring an attorney is not mandatory for an adult name change. However, consulting with a legal professional can provide guidance and ensure the process is handled correctly.
Can I change my child's name without the other parent's consent?
In most cases, consent from both parents is required for a child's name change. However, if you cannot obtain consent, you can present your case to the court and provide valid reasons for the name change.
Can I change my child's last name after a divorce?
In Georgia, a child's last name can be changed after a divorce. However, the court will consider the best interests of the child and evaluate the circumstances before approving the name change.
Is a court hearing necessary for an adult name change in Georgia?
Yes, a court hearing is typically required for an adult name change in Georgia. It allows the judge to review your petition and ensure there are no fraudulent or malicious intentions behind the name change request.