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How To Change Your Name Legally


One of the most asked questions on the internet is, “How do I change my name?” Many people are stuck with different names that they no longer want, and they do not know what to do with these names. The good news is that you can actually change your first name and surname if you wish to do so. This article is going to give us an insight on the possible ways in which we can all use to change both our name and surname legally.

The common law allows you to change you first name(s) or surname to whatever you wish as long as its not meant to deceive or defraud, and you are over the age of 18. In Zimbabwe, if you’re not yet an adult, you will need the assistance of an adult to undertake the process on your behalf.

What is the Reason For People Changing their Names?

Before demonising people for changing their names you will need to first understand their reason and also understand that this is their individual right in terms of the law. It is also yours, however is you do not exercise this right please do not go demonising other individuals that are exercising their right. In fact, Globally people changed their names, We have examples of people like Miley Cyrus whose name was originally Destiny Hope Cyrus, We also have Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson known as Katy Perry, Onika Tanya Maraj known as Nikki Minaj etc. However, the reason for changing your name will determine the legal process that you will take.

Some of the Reasons As to Why People Change Their Names.

  1. You dislike your name and it just does not suit you so you want a new one
  2. You want to use the name everyone calls you with and this could be you email or any other name.
  3. You get remarried and you want your child to use the same surname as the step parents’s.
  4. You ended up giving your child a different name that is different as the one that is on the birth certificate

There are many other reasons as to why people change their names and we all have the free-don of exercising the right to change our names.

Steps To Changing your name Legally

  1.  When you actually make the choice to change your name there are no limitations on the new name you can choose for yourself. However, the names need to be morally right, for example they should not be rude names etc.
  2. You also need a Notary Public- this is because you can not just go to anyone who claims they can assist you with the process. This is a legal and ethical requirement that will be needed in order to change your name.
  3. Gather your documents such as the completed application, birth certificate, id, proof of residence etc
  4. File for the name change
  5. Use your new name if it is approved.

Generally these few steps will vary from state to state, however this is a great place to start and one that can guide you if you’re really willing to change you names.