Divorce is not something anyone plans, but unfortunately, it does happen. According to insidegov.com, California has a population of 37,691,912 people and a divorce rate of 8 per 1,000 each year. If you have been divorced in the state of California and you want to legally change your name, there are some steps you need to take in order to do so.
California County Clerk
The first thing you need to do is to go to the court clerk's office in the county where your divorce case was handled. You will need to bring a copy of your original divorce petition. Ask the court clerk for the form FL-395. You will then receive your request by mail in about 2-4 weeks.
Social Security Administration
Your next stop is your local Social Security Administration office. This needs to be done before changing your name with the local Department of Motor Vehicles. At the Social Security Administration Office, you will need to complete form SS-5 titled Application for a Social Security Card.
You must provide proof of name change, proof of identity, and proof of United States citizenship. Name change documents include divorce decree or court-ordered name change, proof of identity documents include driver's license or passport, and proof of citizenship documents include a birth certificate or certificate of citizenship.
California Department of Motor Vehicles: Driver License
Next stop is the California Department of Motor Vehicles, where you will need to change your name on your driver's license. To change your name on your driver's license, you will need to complete form DL-44 titled Driver License or Identification Card Application, which is only available at the office. You will also need to provide a copy of your name change legal document, such as your divorce decree or court order for the name change. You will be given a temporary license at the office and will receive your permanent one by mail within 60 days.
California Department of Motor Vehicles: Vehicle Title and Registration
While at the DMV office, you will also need to change your name on your vehicle title and registration. To change your name on your vehicle title and registration, you will need to complete form REG-256 titled Statement of Facts, Section F. You will also need to provide a copy of your original title or your driver's license.
It is important to note that changing your name is easier during the actual process of divorce. However, if this wasn't done in your case, it can still be done. The process of changing your name in California is relatively simple with just a few easy steps. For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://WWW.TML-LAW.com.