Changing your name is not as simple as deciding to call yourself something else. You need a court order to change your name on official documents such as your birth certificate, passport, driver's license, and social security card.
Some common reasons to change your name are:
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- You don't like your current name
- Making a political statement
- For a religious reason.
You can change your name for almost any reason. A judge will only care if you are trying to change it in order to do something illegal.
An Illinois court will only review your name change request if you are an Illinois resident and have lived in Illinois for at least six months.
There are fees to change your name. The most common fees are a filing fee and a certified copy fee if your name change is granted. These fees will vary depending on the county. Contact your circuit clerk to find out how much you must pay. You may also have to pay a publication fee to a newspaper to publish your name change. There may also be a fee to change your birth certificate and State ID.
If you cannot afford these fees, you can ask the court to let you file for free. Learn about filing your court papers for free.
It will take at least 8 weeks to change your name.
Updated: November 2017