Changing your name is a simple legal procedure that any one can do themselves. It’s even easier than filling out all the forms you have to go through every time you visit the doctor. If you can fill those forms in yourself, then you can prepare your own name change forms.
The first step is to file a ‘Petition for Name Change’. You fill in the legal form, and take it down to your county’s clerk office, usually located inside your local county’s courthouse to file the form. There may be a small filing fee, but by preparing the form yourself you’ve already saved hundreds of dollars in legal fees. To find out how much the filing fee is you must contact your county’s clerk office you will be filing your Illinois name change forms at.
Here are a few county clerk office’s I’ve taken the liberty of locating for you, but there are many more. At least one in each county. So look for the clerk office in your county.
Du Page County Clerk – (630) 407-6000
421 North County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL
Cook County Clerks Office – (708) 974-6150
10220 South 76th Avenue, Bridgeview, IL
Will County Clerk – (815) 740-4615
302 North Chicago Street, Joliet, IL 60432-4078
Lake County Clerk – (847) 377-2400
18 North County Street, Waukegan, IL
Once you’ve filed the petition for a name change you will be given a date to appear before a judge. You will need to appear before the judge just one time, for a brief moment. The judge may ask you a few questions just to make sure your eligible to change your name, but mainly you just appear to hear whether your name change has been granted or not.
As long as you haven’t been convicted of a felony in Illinois in the past 10 years, you’ve lived in Illinois for at least 6 months, and your not changing your name for fraudulent reasons such as to avoid warrant, imitate a celebrity, etc. then you should be eligible for a name change.
After you’ve appeared in court, and the judge has granted your name change you will receive a certification of your name change called a ‘Order for Change of Name’. You will then use that to change your name on your social security card, driver’s license, birth certificate, bank account, etc.
Once you have your ‘Order for Change of Name’ you then take that with you to your nearest Social Security office, along with your old identification to get a new copy of your Social Security card with your new name.
To update your Birth Certificate, you will need to get a certified copy of your ‘Order for Change of Name’, at your local county’s clerk office because you will need to mail that to the Illinois Department of Public Health. You mail that along with an official copy of your old birth certificate to their office, along with a $15 money order to cover the fee. Their address, and phone number (as of 7/27/2010) is:
Illinois Department of Public Health – (217) 782-6554
605 West Jefferson, Springfield, IL 62702-5097
Once you have your new Social Security card, and Birth Certificate, it’s time to update your driver’s license. You should now have all the documentation you need, but you can call them to verify what you need just to avoid bringing unnecessary documents. At this point though you will have no trouble changing your name on your bank account, utility bills, and any other accounts you have.