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

Judah McAuley judah at
Mon Mar 5 11:58:19 CST 2001

At 08:19 AM 3/5/2001, you wrote:

> 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 took my wife's last name when I got married three years ago.  Most of it 
went pretty easily ( I love filling out "Maiden Name"), but the process did 
confuse several people along the way.  In Oregon, they basically treated 
the situation just as if I was a woman getting married.  Getting married 
here entitles you to legally change your name without a court order.  I 
just had to fill out a request for a new social security card, then I 
showed my marriage certificate to the DMV to get a new drivers 
license.  After those two things were changed, I haven't had any 
problems.  Except with student loans, where they don't seem to understand 
that I can change my name.  But I don't expect much intelligence out of them.

Judah McAuley (formerly Judah Eckenberg, formerly Judah Hammond)

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