Ke Huang-Isherwood Article


Name Change in Arizona

If, for any good reason, you wish to change your name or the name of a minor who you are responsible for, the steps can be quite simple. Name change should not be used for reasons like: avoiding responsibilities and obligations, avoiding creditors or the other parent/guardian of a child. This article does not focus on name change as part of a marriage or a divorce, as those cases can be different. The article first summarizes the steps for a name change with the Arizona courts and then some general information about following up to change your birth certificate, social security card, and driver license.

Steps with the Arizona Courts
  1. Get the name change forms.
    You can go online at https://www.azcourts.gov/selfservicecenter/Forms/Name-Change or in person at a court location closest to where you live. If you don't know where your court is you can use the court locator to find your local court https://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Courts/AZ-Courts-Locator.

    It is best to double check with your court’s staff if the forms are still relevant and up to date. For Maricopa County, this is the current website https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/llrc/civil-court-forms/. For Pima County, their law library can provide you with this information https://www.sc.pima.gov/default.aspx?tabid=60.

  2. Fill out the forms, which may ask for personal information like your contact information, birth, children, marital history, criminal history, etc.

  3. File the completed forms with your court and pay a filing fee.

  4. Inform any interested parties mentioned in the forms. For example, another parent of a minor child.

  5. Attend a hearing for the judicial officer to sign the court order with the name change and pay a fee for one or more certified copies of the order.

Following Up with Other Places
  1. To change your birth certificate, follow up with your relevant birth records office.
    For those born in Maricopa County, this is the current website https://azdhs.gov/licensing/vital-records/index.php#corrections-amendments-registrants-name. For those born in Pima County and 1996 or before that, also follow up with the Phoenix office; for those born in Pima County and 1997 to now, follow up with the Tucson office http://www.agave.cosc.pima.gov/home.asp?include=pages/name_changes.htm.

  2. To change your social security card, this is the current website with details https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01981.

  3. To change your driver license, this is the current website with details https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/driver-services/driver-license-information/change-your-address-or-name. Since the Arizona Department of Transportation uses the Social Security computer system to check for your name change, you need to change your name with Social Security first and wait at least 2 days for the Social Security system to be updated. Only then can you change your driver license.

Contributing Attorney: Ke Huang-Isherwood is an attorney who is an independent legal and communication researcher.

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