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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    My question involves name change laws in the State of: California

    I've always thought about adding an American name after getting my citizenship through my parents years ago, but it never happened. I did some researching and it seems like after changing names, an individual have to contact the dmv, ssn ,etc to make changes. This sounds like so much work - especially the part about having to contact the country of birth (this is correct right?).

    But what if I want to keep my current name, but add an American first name? Is that possible? Also, if I do this, would I be able to use them interchangeably - like use one or the other when I feel like it. If this is allowed, that means I won't have to contact all those agencies to update my profile right? As my old name would still be my legal name.

    Can someone provide a full list of places I would need to contact after changing/adding a new first name? Dmv, ssn, school records(?), etc

    And what is the usual cost for something like this?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    Adding an additional first name is simply another form of name change. Read this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    Quote Quoting bon3zjj
    View Post
    My question involves name change laws in the State of: California

    I've always thought about adding an American name after getting my citizenship through my parents years ago, but it never happened. I did some researching and it seems like after changing names, an individual have to contact the dmv, ssn ,etc to make changes. This sounds like so much work - especially the part about having to contact the country of birth (this is correct right?).

    But what if I want to keep my current name, but add an American first name? Is that possible? Also, if I do this, would I be able to use them interchangeably - like use one or the other when I feel like it. If this is allowed, that means I won't have to contact all those agencies to update my profile right? As my old name would still be my legal name.

    Can someone provide a full list of places I would need to contact after changing/adding a new first name? Dmv, ssn, school records(?), etc

    And what is the usual cost for something like this?

    Thank you
    California is a common law state regarding names. You may call yourself what you like as long as you do it regularly and is not intended to defraud or deceive others. You need to go to court and get an official name change if you want your government documents or records to reflect what you call yourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,059

    Default Re: Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    I'd recommend you go ahead and legally change it. It's not an involved process in California. The problem with just calling yourself by whatever name you want to use is it can bite you at inopportune times. Specifically my friend who has been "Chip" all his life but legally Alexander ran into problems with the heightened post-911 security when sometimes his tickets ended up matching his credit cards and not what was on his passport/driver's license.

    When you do get your name changed, get a bunch of extra "certified true" copies of the order. You'll need to show them (and sometimes hand over) these to people to get your official stuff changed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    Can someone tell me what places I need to inform after I change it?

    Aside from driver's license, ssn, and passport - where else do I need to contact? College, high school, etc?

    edit: also, how long of a process this takes? (e.g months, weeks, etc). Also is it allowed for someone to have two first names? I was discussing this with my parents, and they seem to think that's not how it works. They said my foreign first name would become my new middle name - is this true?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    You would inform anybody you choose to inform. You cannot expect that your past educational institutions will be particularly interested in a notice of a name change, and it's not clear what you hope to accomplish by sending them notice. Obviously, you would want to update your ID.

    As for how long it takes.... the biggest part of that is you. You need to file your petition, you need to do that properly, you need to publish required notices, you need to make sure your case moves forward. If you want to know how quickly your local court can schedule a name change once you have all of the required documentation on file, you can ask the local court about how quickly they can get you on the docket.

    Whether you would view yourself as having two first names or two middle names is a manner of perspective. If you want it to be more clear, you can consider having a hyphenated first name.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,059

    Default Re: Adding Another First Name to Your Existing Name

    You can google "social security" or "passport" and "name change" and it will find you the procedures/contact point for each. It's not all that involved.

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