Name Game (was: Re: [thechat] Driving in America

T.Abbey Abbey at
Mon Mar 5 10:15:58 CST 2001

At 01:13 PM 3/5/01 +0530, you wrote:
>I thought anybody could change their name any time by giving a public
>statement to that effect and getting it sanctioned/attested or
>something like that from some govt. office.

 From what I know, which isn't much, yes. You can change your name three 
ways in the US.

1) petition a court to have the name changed -- generally along the lines 
of an adoption
2) get married and, in Illinois, they automatically hand the female the 
Social Security form to change her name.
3) call up the local Social Security administration office and read the 
riot act until they realize I wanted /my/ name back and since the SS was 
originally under *Abbey* they grudgingly allowed me to change it back -- 
for free, no court, no judge, no attorney, although they did ask for a copy 
of the divorce paper right before they admitted they didn't need it.

I was given an option to change my name as part of the divorce proceedings 
-- I don't know why I didn't take it, maybe there was an attorney fee or 
something, I don't remember. Perhaps this is the situation in Virginia? If 
you try to revert to the name you were born with through a state court, the 
state laws take precedence and the state can write any law it wants and 
then enforce it as it sees fit as well as forget the law even exists.

That was my experience anyway.
<TAbbey />

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