Can I legally change my name?
Maybe. The California Courts website gives step-by-step instructions for changing your name online: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-namechange.htm. The website has specific information for people who are divorcing, getting married, changing their legal gender, and other requests.
A judge must approve legal name changes. In all cases, you will need to prove that your name change doesn’t pose any security risk to the community. A judge may find that you cannot legally change your name if:
- The judge finds that you are changing your name to commit fraud; OR
- The judge finds that you are changing your name to hide from the police or law enforcement or for some other illegal reason; OR
- You are currently on probation or parole — UNLESS your probation or parole officer is aware of your legal name change AND gives you written approval; OR
- If you are incarcerated in prison.
- If you are incarcerated in a California state prison, you need permission from the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to change your name.
- If you are incarcerated in federal prison, you need permission from the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to change your name.
See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1279.5. ↑
See “Name Changes,” The Law Office of Natalia Malyshkina, http://www.immigration-business-law.com/name-changes.html. ↑