How to Change Your Name in Alaska

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How to Change Your Name in Alaska

Three Methods:

To change your name in Alaska as an adult 18 years of age or older, you can file a petition with the Superior Court. If the court approves your petition, you will be issued a Certificate of Name Change, which will serve as evidence that you have legally changed your name. However, if you wish to change your name after marriage, divorce, or dissolution of marriage, you normally do not need a Certificate of Name Change, as your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or dissolution decree can serve as evidence of your name change.


Changing Your Name Through a Court Order

  1. Consider why you wish to change your name.This is important because under Alaska Statute 09.55.010, the Superior Court will not grant a name change request unless 'the court finds sufficient reasons for the change and also finds it consistent with the public interest.'Note that terms of the statute state that these requirements are met if you are changing your name because of marriage, dissolution of marriage, or divorce. When filling out the relevant form, you will need to state your reasons for requesting a change of name.
  2. Fill out a Petition for Change of Name.The form (CIV-700) is available . This form may be filled online before printing or may be printed first and then filled in black ink.
    • Write the name of the city in which the court in which you are filing your petition is located in the very first blank at the top of the form after the word “AT”.
    • Write your current legal name in the blank marked 'Petitioner.'
    • Leave the line marked 'CASE NO.' blank.
    • Recall from Step 1 above your reason(s) for requesting a change of name and write down your reason(s) in the appropriate blanks.
    • Fill in the rest of the blanks (which should be self-explanatory),leaving the signature line blank for now.
  3. Fill out a Request to Waive Posting in Adult Change of Name Case if applicable.The form (CIV-708) is available and should only be filled outif applicableto your case. A change of name request requires posting notice of your request on the Alaska Court System’s legal notice website.If, however, you feel that publishing your name change request will compromise your security, fill out this form in order to request the judge to be excused from this requirement. The relevant rules also state that 'you can ask that your case be kept confidential and that fake names (pseudonyms) be used to identify you in the court’s public index on the Internet.'If you fill out this form,leave the signature line blank for now.
  4. Sign the forms in the presence of a notary public.You must sign CIV-700, and (if applicable) CIV-708 in the presence of a notary public, affirming the veracity of the information you provide in these forms. If you wish to use the court-provided free-of-charge notary service, take the unsigned form(s) to the court and sign in the presence of a court clerk, who will serve as the notary public. Be sure to bring a photo ID for the notarization.
  5. Fill out an Application for Legal Name Change.The form (VS-405) is available . Fill out lines 1 through 7d. Sign and date in the blank marked “Applicant’s Signature” and leave the remainder of the form blank to be filled out by the court clerk.
  6. Make a copy of the forms.You should make a copy of all the forms filled out in the steps above for your own records. Keep your own copies in a safe place and remember where you kept them in case you need to refer to them during the application process or thereafter.
  7. File the original forms in court.Take the original forms filled out in the steps above to your nearest superior court filing location. A list of superior court filing locations is available on page 5 of CIV-699.
    • File the original forms at the superior court location.
    • Pay the filing fee. The fee is 0. Note that you can request to be excused from paying this fee in the case of financial hardship. If this applies to you, request the court clerk for a Request for Exemption from Payment of Fees (form TF-920).If you intend to request such a waiver, it would be advisable to download and fill out this form (available ) beforehand, as the form asks you to provide information about your income, assets, and other related information.
  8. Receive from the court clerk an Order for Hearing, Posting and Additional Service.This form (CIV-701) will instruct you on when you must appear in court for your hearing, whether or not the court system will post notice of your name change request, and whether there are any additional steps that you need to take in order to meet the notice requirements.The additional steps that may be required of you to meet these notice requirements include 'publication in a print or online newspaper, e-mail, posting on a social networking account, posting in public places, or as otherwise ordered by the court.'Follow the steps that are relevant to you.
  9. Attend your court hearing.This hearing will normally take place at least 40 days after the day you filed your original documents in the Superior Court.The date of your hearing is provided in CIV-701, given to you by the court clerk at the time of filing your petition.
    • At this hearing, you will be asked by the judge the reason(s) for changing your name. The judge will also seek assurance that you are not changing your name 'in order to avoid debts or defraud anyone.'
    • Your request will be granted if the requirements of Alaska Statute 09.55.010 (namely that there are sufficient reasons for the name change and that the change is consistent with the public interest) are met; note that changing your name upon marriage, dissolution of marriage, or divorce meets this statutory requirement.
    • If the judge grants you permission to change your name, do not begin to use your name just yet as there are additional steps that need to be followed before your name change will become effective.
  10. Read the court judgment carefully.The judgment may require you to take additional steps to make public your change of name before your Certificate of Name Change (CIV-705) is issued. These steps are the same as those covered in Step 8. Find out what steps are required of you. It may take several days for you to complete these steps. If the judgment does not require you to take any additional steps, then the clerk will issue a Certificate of Name Change (CIV-705) on the same day.
  11. Begin using your new name.You must begin to use your new name on the date provided in your Certificate of Name change. This date will normally be at least 30 days after distribution of the judgment.
  12. Change your name with government agencies and private institutions.You must change your name with government agencies and private institutions to avoid confusion and potential problems in the future. In particular, you should change your name with the following agencies and institutions:
    • Social Security: notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) of your name change to avoid tax, employment related, and other issues that may result from your social security number continuing to attach to your old name.
    • Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV): if you own a vehicle registered in Alaska or have an Alaska driver’s license, you are required to send written notice of your name change to the DMV within 30 days. You will be required to present your Certificate of Name Change in person to the DMV in order to get a new driver’s license or Alaska ID card.
    • Vital Statistics: contact the Vital Statistics office of the state in which you were born if you wish for your name change to appear on your birth certificate.
    • Other Accounts: you should also change your information with your bank, insurance provider, Alaska PFD Division, and other important account providers in order to reflect your name change.

Changing Your Name Through Marriage

  1. Obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate.It is not possible to specify your married name on an Alaska marriage license. However, a certified copy of your marriage certificate may be used as evidence to change your last name to your married name with government agencies and private institutions.
  2. Fill out a request form for a certified copy of your marriage certificate.If you were married in Alaska, you can request a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The request form is available for download .
    • The form may be filled online or printed out and filled in ink.
    • Be sure to gather the required photo identification as provided in the instructions accompanying the form.
  3. Attend a location that provides walk-in service.Walk-in services are only available in Anchorage and Juneau. For office hours and locations, check this .
  4. Fax or mail your request.If walk-in service is not available or you do not wish to use the walk-in service, mail or fax your application according to the instructions provided on the request form. Pay the appropriate fees.
  5. Keep in mind processing times and plan accordingly.Requests sent by regular mail are normally processed within 2-3 weeks.Expedited requests, if submitted with a payment by credit card, are normally processed within 3 working days of receipt.
  6. Present your certified marriage certificate as evidence of your name change.Visit the government agencies (e.g. SSA, DMV) and private institutions (e.g. banks) to change your name in their records and take your certified marriage certificate with you. According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, your certified marriage certificate ‘can be used as proof of your name change and is accepted by the DMV, Social Security Administration, banking institutions, insurance, retirement plans, and other organizations.’

Changing Your Name Through Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage

  1. Choose your last name.You must choose carefully the last name you wish to use following a divorce or dissolution of marriage. This is important because the rules applicable to you will change depending on whether you wish to retain your married name, restore your name to your prior name, or adopt a new name.
  2. Request a name change when filing your divorce or dissolution petition.Request your change of name by writing your new name in the appropriate spaces in the petition accompanying your divorce or dissolution proceedings. The rules applicable to name changes in divorce and dissolution proceedings differ depending on whether you are restoring your name to a prior name or adopting a new name.
    • If you are changing your name back to a prior name, then there is no further action required on your part. The courts are empowered to change your name back to a prior name as part of divorce or dissolution proceedings.If you select this option, then the court’s judgment will serve as evidence of your name change.
    • If you wish to change your name to a new name after a divorce or dissolution, then request from the court an Application or Report of Name Change.. Note that doing so will delay your divorce or dissolution hearing, as this requires attending a hearing and involves potential notice requirements similar to the requirements of changing your name through a court order as described above.
  3. Present your divorce or dissolution judgment as evidence of your name change.As in the case of a certified marriage certificate, a divorce or dissolution judgment is accepted as evidence of your name change by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and other government agencies and private institutions with whom you may wish to change your name. Visit these agencies and institutions and take your divorce or dissolution judgment with you in order to change your name in their records. Failure to do so may result in confusion and problems in the future.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    If I am getting divorced and would like to take back my maiden name, is the same process to change your name required?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Probably so, since you have to legally change it back. Go to your local courthouse and ask for the document(s) you need, if any.
  • Question
    How much will it cost to get my name changed?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It can cost 0 - 0 altogether, including various court and filing fees.
  • Question
    Is changing my last name for purely aesthetic reasons considered valid?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but it will generally cost you money to change your name without a legal reason, like marriage.
  • Question
    Can I use my maiden name when I remarry?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    There is no reason you can't use your maiden name, and many women choose not to take their husband's name. This does save you from going through the process of changing your name on important documents (such as your driver's license, insurance papers, etc.). If you change your mind, contact your local Social Security office to see what you need to do.
Unanswered Questions
  • I would like to make my middle name my first name, how do I go about doing this?
  • Can I change my name if I have a Green Card or Permanent Resident Card?
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  • It is always advisable to consult the relevant statutes and court rules applicable to you. In the case of changing your name in Alaska, these are Civil Rule 84,Alaska Statute 09.55.010,and Alaska Statute 25.24.165.The last statute covers the rules and procedure for changing one’s name in the event of divorce or dissolution of marriage.
  • This article does not represent legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is best to consult a qualified attorney in your state regarding your particular situation.

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