Many people take their spouse’s last name when they get married, but when they get divorced, some people want their previous names back. In Utah, this process is called Name Change. If you do not wish to change your name during or after your divorce, there is nothing you need to do. However, if you want to restore your previous name, this article will walk you through the steps you need to take to do so.
If Your Divorce Has Not Started
If you just started the divorce process, the best way to indicate that you want your former name restored is by making sure you fill out the Name Change section on your petition for divorce and provide your married name and the previous name that you had before marriage. If you are responding to a petition for divorce you will not have that option on your form, however, you can ask the judge to make a formal order in your divorce decree to restore your former name with this form. The decree should state the married name and the name being restored to you after the divorce. If your divorce decree includes this order, the court order is the only document you will need to change your identification records.
Quick Tip: Along with all of the required divorce forms, you can easily complete your name change through our Divorce Navigator.
If Your Divorce Is Finalized
If your divorce is already finalized and you did not indicate your desire to change your name in your petition or to the judge, don’t worry because there is still a way for you to have your former name restored.
You must file for a Petition for Name Change with the court. You need to fill out and complete the Department of Corrections Certification Regarding Sex and Kidnap Offender Registry and Child Abuse Offender Registry form first. If you are on the Sex Offender Registry OR the judge orders you to provide notice of your name change, you will need to fill out and file the Notice for Hearing on Petition for Name Change form. Additionally, you must also fill out and file the Cover Sheet for Probate Actions, Petition for Name Change, and Order for Name Change. If you are not on the Sex Offender Registry or the judge did not order you to notify others of your name change, you only need to fill out and file the Cover Sheet for Probate Actions, Petition for Name Change, and Order for Name Change. You only need to fill out the caption boxes, the date of your appearance in court, your birthdate, and the name on your birth certificate on the Order for Name Change, the rest of the form will be filled out by the judge.
There is a filing fee of $375. If this filing fee is too much for your current financial situation, you can try to have the fee waived with a Motion to Waive Fees and Statement Supporting Motion and an Order on Motion to Waive Fees. Please see the Utah Court Website for more information about fee waivers.
What to Do After Your Name Has Been Restored
After your name change is finalized, you need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA), the DMV, and other organizations of your name restoration. Additionally, if you have a passport, you will need to change your name on that too.
How to Notify the SSA
Changing your name on your Social Security Card is FREE. To start, you will need to fill out the Application for a Social Security Card. Additionally, you will need to submit additional documents to prove your age, identity, citizenship, or immigration status.
In general, these are the following documents you need to submit with your application:
- To prove your age, you must provide your birth certificate
- To prove your identity, you can provide one of these three: your U.S. Driver’s License, U.S. State-issued non-driver identity card, or your U.S. Passport.
- To prove your citizenship, you must provide your U.S. birth certificate or passport.
- To prove your immigration status, you must provide a current unexpired document issued to you by the Department of Homeland Security showing your immigration statuses, such as Form I-551, Form I-94, or Form I-766.
For a complete list of other types of documents that are acceptable, we highly recommend you to check out Colorado Name Change’s blog on this process since the process is the same across all states.
How to Notify the DMV
Before changing your name with the DMV, your name change must be on file with the court. The change will require an in-person appointment. Generally, you will need to bring your current driver’s license, Social Security card (or active U.S. passport), and proof of your name change, such as a divorce decree or name change order.
How to Change Your Passport
For most people seeking to change their passports, you will need to use the DS-82 form. Along with this form, you will need to submit certified documentation that reflects your name change. However, you may need to use the DS-5504 form if you meet one of the three situations: (1) you changed your name less than one year since your passport was issued; (2) if your identifying information in your most recent passport was printed incorrectly; or (3) if your passport was limited to two years or less for a reason other than losing your passport multiple times or having a seriously damaged passport. The cost of either form will vary depending on whether you are renewing the passport book or the card. To complete this process, you can mail in your application with a check.
How to Notify Other Organizations
These are some organizations that you may need to notify of your name change: banks and credit unions, colleges or universities, employers, and the United States Postal Service. This is not a complete list; if you have any accounts with other organizations, you need to notify them of your name change as well.
Banks and credit unions generally have the same process. Generally, you will need to show a copy of your driver’s license or state identification card and your divorce decree or name change order.
If you attended a college or university, you will need to update the Office of Registrar. These requirements differ, but generally, most colleges and universities will ask for proof of your name change and a copy of your identification.
Most employers have a policy for updating their employees’ names. Usually, you will need to update your name with the SAA first before updating your name with your employer.
The United States Postal Service does not have a name change form, but with their address change process, you can change your name. There is a small fee if you process it online, however, if you print out the form and deliver it to your local post office, you can avoid paying the fee. If you opt for an online change, the best way to do it is with a credit card that has your changed name. If in-person, it is recommended you bring your divorce decree or name change order.
If you believe you need to notify more people of your name change, consider also notifying your family, friends, employers, library, health care providers, landlord or tenants, mortgage companies, utility companies, insurance companies, creditors and debtors, state and local taxing authorities, registrar of voters, public benefits agencies, Veterans Administration, and any other institution or agency that you have regular contact with. Go here for a list of potential “other” parties you should notify.