Changing Your Name
How to change your name legally:
1. Go to the Probate Court Office of the Courthouse where you are a resident. If you are going to the Athens County Courthouse, the office you need is on the second floor across the hall from the elevator. You will need your driver’s license, your birth certificate, and payment for the name change fee ($105, as of 09/2005). Be prepared to schedule a court date at least 3 weeks away.
2. Fill out the paperwork. You will get a form to take to the local newspaper. For a name change, you must advertise in the newspaper at least 3 weeks in advance of your court hearing. Be warned that this advertisement will include your previous name, the name you are changing to, your address, and your court hearing date.
3. Take the paperwork to the local newspaper. For Athens residents, this newspaper is The Athens Messenger (located at 9300 Johnson Road –about 3 miles on US-33 E from campus, on the left side of the road next to Athens High School). They will also charge a fee for the advertisement ($25, as of 09/2005). Once again, this advertisement must run at least 3 weeks before the court hearing.
4. Attend the court hearing. It is a really short process (less that 5 minutes, usually). Once your name change has been processed, they will give you several certified copies of the name change order to allow you to change your name for your driver’s license, bank account(s), the University, and elsewhere (See list below).
If you are struggling with finding the money for a name change, speak with Mickey Hart, Director of the LGBT Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 740.593.2515, or in 354 Baker University Center.
How to change your driver’s license:
- Take the court order to the Bureau Motor Vehicles of the county in which you live to get an updated driver’s license. (Athens’ BMV is at 182 W. Union Street – part of the HDL Center).
- There will be a fee ($24 as of 10/2005), and they will take your old license.
- They will not change your gender on the license unless you have documentation from a surgeon stating that you have had “gender reassignment surgery.” You may wish to call the BMV to confirm what all you need.
How to change your name with the University:
- Go to the Registrar’s Office (2nd floor Chubb Hall) Ask to meet with the Registrar Debra Benton (she is a strong ally!).
- Fill out the forms. You will need to bring all name change court documents. Once completed, your name will be changed on most University records. However, this will not change your medical records at Hudson Health Center, your library account, or your personal information on the e-Directory of the ohio.edu site.
- If you want to change your name with the University before your court hearing, you can take the paperwork showing that you have filed for a name change and have an approaching court date to the Registrar. The Registrar can make a conditional name change, as long as you bring in the name change order after the court hearing.
How to change your name listing on the e-Directory:
- Email email@example.com
- Kindly ask them to change your name listing on the e-Directory. They can also change your name listing on the e-Directory of any student organizations of which you are an officer. Student Activities, however, controls the listings on the student organization page, so talk to them as well. Student Activities is in 204 Baker University Center.
How to change your name with the library:
Take your new student ID to a librarian and ask that your name be changed in their system.
Other documents to think about:
• Social Security card
• Birth certificate
• Bank accounts
• Health insurance company
• Credit reporting agencies
• Passport/other IDs
• Public library card
• Old schools (high school and previous universities for transcripts)
• Current Employers
• Previous employers (for reference checks)
• Medical Records
• Wills (of family members and your own)
• Come prepared with all necessary documentation.
• Act very professionally. If you act like you know exactly what you are doing, people will be less likely to hassle or question you.
• If you get hassled anyway, stress that you just want to change your name, and you have all of the proper documentation. If nothing else, you could come back and talk to a different person some other time. OU students can also meet with Mickey Hart. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740.593.2515.