Some married women have drivers’ licenses canceled

Dreamstime_813122 Name on license, Social Security card must match, state says

Attention Georgia married women: If you took your husband’s last name, your driver’s license might be canceled.

In an effort to comply with state and federal laws, the state Driver Services Department has been checking its database against the records at the Social Security Administration. If the name on your license does not match the name on your Social Security card, the state will move to cancel your license.

changes her Social Security information but not the name on her license, her information could be flagged by the state. Likewise for divorces.

The only warning drivers get is a letter sent to their last known address informing them that they have 120 days to clear up the discrepancy. The state concedes that this has caused problems with many people, especially married women. But officials with the Driver Services Department can’t say how many of the state’s 6 million drivers have been notified during the four-year effort — or how many have had privileges revoked.

Shermekka Taylor of Suwanee can tell you about one.

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Name Changes

Dreamstime_152053 I Am Going To Be Getting A Divorce And Want to Return To the Name I Used to Have – Can I Do This?

Yes, in a divorce you may have your maiden or prior name  restored to you.  You must put this request in your complaint or petition for divorce in the section where you tell the court what you would like it to do for you.  Since it is in your divorce proceeding there is no extra charge for this and you do not have to have the name change published separately.

I Just Want To Change My Name – How Can I Do This?

(1) File a Petition for Name Change. If you are an adult and want to change your name, you must file a petition the superior court in the county where you live. The petition must list the reasons you are asking to change your name.

(2) File a Verification of Petition. You must also sign and file a document called "Verification of Petition." In the Verification of Petition, you are swearing that the information in the petition is correct. 

(3) Publish Notice of Name Change. Then within seven (7) days after you file the petition and verification of petition, you must arrange to have a notice published for four (4) consecutive weeks in the newspaper designated by that court.  The notice must contain your name (the name of the petitioner), the new name you want, the court where you filed the petition, the date you filed the petition, and the right of any interested or affected party to appear and file objections.  Thirty (30) days after you have filed the petition and provided the court with proof that you have published notice of the name change in the newspaper as the court required, the court will have a hearing on your petition for name change and render final judgement.  If someone files an objection against your petition of name change this may take longer.

Note on Fees: You will have to pay a filing fee to file the petition for name change and a publication fee to publish the notice of name change in the newspaper.

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Georgia Name Change Law

Georgia Code 19-12-1. Petition for name change; notice of filing; consent of minor’s parents or guardian; service on parents or guardian; time of hearing; judgment; clerk’s fees.

(a) Any person desirous of changing his name or the name or names of his minor child or children may present a petition to the superior court of the county of his residence, setting forth fully and particularly the reasons why the change is asked, which petition shall be verified by the petitioner.

(b) Within seven days of the filing of the petition, the petitioner shall cause a notice of the filing, signed by him, to be published in the official legal organ of the county once a week for four weeks. The notice shall contain therein the name of the petitioner, the name of the person whose name is to be changed if different from that of the petitioner, the new name desired, the court in which the petition is pending, the date on which the petition was filed, and the right of any interested or affected party to appear and file objections.

(c) If the petition seeks to change the name of a minor child, the written consent of his parent or parents if they are living and have not abandoned the child, or the written consent of the child’s guardian if both parents are dead or have abandoned the child, shall be filed with the petition, except that the written consent of a parent shall not be required if the parent has not contributed to the support of the child for a continuous period of five years or more immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

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Name Changes

Am Going To Be Getting A Divorce And Want to Return To the Name I Used to Have – Can I Do This?

Yes, in a divorce you may have your maiden or prior name  restored to you.  You must put this request in your complaint or petition for divorce in the section where you tell the court what you would like it to do for you.  Since it is in your divorce proceeding there is no extra charge for this and you do not have to have the name change published separately.

I Just Want To Change My Name – How Can I Do This?

(1) File a Petition for Name Change. If you are an adult and want to change your name, you must file a petition the superior court in the county where you live. The petition must list the reasons you are asking to change your name.

(2) File a Verification of Petition. You must also sign and file a document called "Verification of Petition." In the Verification of Petition, you are swearing that the information in the petition is correct. 

(3) Publish Notice of Name Change. Then within seven (7) days after you file the petition and verification of petition, you must arrange to have a notice published for four (4) consecutive weeks in the newspaper designated by that court.  The notice must contain your name (the name of the petitioner), the new name you want, the court where you filed the petition, the date you filed the petition, and the right of any interested or affected party to appear and file objections.  Thirty (30) days after you have filed the petition and provided the court with proof that you have published notice of the name change in the newspaper as the court required, the court will have a hearing on your petition for name change and render final judgement.  If someone files an objection against your petition of name change this may take longer.

Note on Fees: You will have to pay a filing fee to file the petition for name change and a publication fee to publish the notice of name change in the newspaper.

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Changing Your Name After Divorce

How to change your name or your child’s name after getting divorced.

I took my husband’s name when I married, but now we’re getting divorced and I’d like to return to my former name. How do I do that?

In most states, you can request that the judge handling your divorce make a formal order restoring your former or birth name. If your divorce decree contains such an order, that’s all the paperwork you’ll need. You’ll want to get certified copies of the order as proof of the name change — check with the court clerk for details. Once you have this official documentation, you can use it to have your name changed on your identification and personal records.

If your divorce papers don’t show your name change, you may still be able to resume your former name without much fuss, especially if you still have some proof of that name, such as a birth certificate or old passport. In most states, you can simply begin using your former name consistently, and request that it be changed on all your personal records .  If you’re returning to a name you had before marriage, you’re far less likely to be hassled about the change than if you adopt a completely new name, but you may still face some bureaucratic barriers in returning to a previous name. This is especially likely if you are a recent immigrant or do not have reliable documentation of your former name. But before you decide that it’s easier to apply for a court-ordered name change, check to see if your divorce decree can be modified to include language restoring your former name. In some states, this is possible even after the divorce is final. For example, in California you would use a form entitled Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment of Order (FL-395).

After my divorce is final and I return to my former name, can I change the last name of my children as well?

Traditionally, courts ruled that a father had an automatic right to have his child keep his last name if he continued to actively perform his parental role. Although there is still some bias in this direction, it is no longer strictly true. Now a child’s name may be changed by court petition when it is clearly in the best interest of the child to do so. When deciding whether to grant a name change, courts consider many factors, such as the length of time the father’s name has been used, the strength of the mother-child relationship and the need of the child to identify with a new family unit (if the change involves remarriage). The courts must balance these factors against the strength and importance of the father-child relationship. What this all boils down to is that it’s up to a judge to decide which name is in the child’s best interest.

Keep in mind that, even if you do change your children’s last name, you won’t be changing the legally recognized identity of their father. Nor will a name change affect the rights or duties of either parent regarding visitation, child support or rights of inheritance. Changes such as these occur only if the parental roles are altered by court order — for example, a new custody decree or a legal stepparent adoption. If your new spouse adopts your child through a stepparent adoption, the child’s name can be changed as part of that procedure.

SOURCE: FindLaw

Resumption of Unmarried Name

A woman who divorces may resume her unmarried name or keep her married name as she wishes. She can even change her name to something completely new, as long as she is not doing so for fraudulent purposes. Court proceedings generally are not necessary in order to change a name.

If a woman is changing her name, she should notify government agencies and private companies that have records of her name. Examples of places to notify: Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Passport Agency (within U.S. State Department), Post Office, state tax agencies, driver’s license bureau, voter registration bureau, professional licensing agencies, professional societies, unions, mortgage companies, landlord, banks, charge card companies, telephone companies, other utilities, magazines and newspapers to which she subscribes, doctors and dentists, and schools and colleges that she attended or that her children attend.

It can be useful to have the divorce decree state that the wife will resume her unmarried name, but generally it is not necessary to do so in order for a woman to make a valid name change.

SOURCE: FindLaw