Certified copy of name change: This a document that's often requested by organizations that require proof of your new name. This happens if you get married, get divorced, are adopted, or have your name legally changed in court. Having you send the certified copy means the organization doesn't have to be responsible for managing the original document. It can also be called a notarized copy.

How to Get a New Copy of Your Name Change Order

When you need a replacement copy of your official name change document, there are some steps to follow. They are:

  1. Think back to the time the name change was granted. The location would be the county court where you lived when changing your name.
  2. Contact that county's court clerk and ask what you need to provide to get a copy of the court record and how much it costs.
  3. One way to find the county's court clerk is by visiting the state court website to locate county court contact information. If you have any documents, check the top of each page for the court's information.
  4. Find the documentation the court clerk says you need to have. This will typically be your certified birth certificate and state or federal ID. If you need to replace your birth certificate, your state's division of vital records can direct you on the process.
  5. Fill out the request form to get the certified copy of your name change order. This form usually asks for data such as your original and current name, where you were born, and your Social Security number. These forms must be signed and dated.
  6. Put the filing fee with the form and submit it to the court. The form will have directions that say if you must file in person or are permitted to mail the document.

The Certification Process

To get a certify a copy of your name change, you generally have a photocopy of the original document made, then have a custodian of record certify it. The process of certification involves:

  • Making a copy or copies of the original.
  • Arranging a meeting with the organization's representative.
  • Taking both the original document and copies to the meeting.
  • Having the person compare the documents to be sure they are authentic.
  • Having the person stamp the document, then add his signature, the date, details about how to contact him, his job title, and a notation that he certifies the copy as authentic.

The Process of Notarizing a Certified Copy

Before taking the photocopied document to be certified, however, it typically must be notarized. This means a notary public must sign the document. The notary doesn't have a way to confirm the validity of the original document. What the notary does is confirm that the copy is a verifiable facsimile. To get a document notarized:

  • Search the internet for a local notary public.
  • Take your original name change document from the court and the copies you need to have notarized to the notary public you choose.
  • The notary confirms and annotates the copy with information about it matching the original.
  • The notary also adds the date and contact information.
  • Pay the notary the amount requested for each document he or she notarized for you.

Reasons You Need a Certified Copy of Your Name Change

A certified copy of the court's order to change your name can be requested from the court that issued the order. The Social Security office is one place that asks for official proof of a name change. The Department of Motor Vehicles is another. This is so you can get a new Social Security card and state ID. Having a new ID that shows your proper name makes it easier for you to use your new name. If you want to have your name officially changed on your birth certificate, or for other entities like banks, you also need to present a certified copy of your name change.

Expect to pay extra fees if you request the copy of your name change order to be mailed. The county clerk can provide specific amounts on these fees. If processing your request via a mail order, expect a wait of up to six weeks. Rush orders usually need to be handled in person.

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