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Supreme Court Law Library

Biblioteca de Derecho del Tribunal Supremo

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How do I change my name?

You may request a District Court to issue an order legally changing your name. See NMSA 1978, §§ 40-8-1 to -3.

  1. Name Change by Statute

    • Who can file?
      Any resident of New Mexico who is at least 14 years old can file for a Name Change. If you are less than 14 years old, then your parent may file for you. See § 40-8-1.
       

    • What do you need?
      To file a Name Change you need several documents, but the exact documents used by the district courts vary. Check with your district court to see if they offer forms.?

      • Petition for Change of Name
      • Notice of Filing (You need to publish notice in the newspaper when you change your name.)
      • Request for Hearing (Sometimes this one is included in the Notice of Filing.)
      • Order for Change of Name
         
    • Is there a forms packet in your district court?
      • First District - Yes. From the Forms page, scroll down to click the appropriate Name Change form under the "Civil Law" heading.
      • Second District - Yes. From the Center for Self Help and Dispute Resolution page, click "Civil Court Forms and Procedures" on the left.
      • Third District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Fourth District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Fifth District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Sixth District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Seventh District - No. You could try to adapt another district's forms packet.
      • Eighth District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Ninth District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Tenth District - Yes. You can buy a packet from the Court Clerk's Office.
      • Eleventh District - Yes. From the Pro Se (Self-Represented) page, click the link to forms for your county at the bottom of the Main Menu to the left.
      • Twelfth District - Yes. From the Forms page, scroll down to the "Civil Forms" heading.
      • Thirteenth District - Yes. From the Forms page, scroll down to "Name Change Packet."
         
    • Procedure
      Many form packets from district courts explain what you need to do.
      • File - After you complete the forms, you will have to file them with the Court Clerk's office. You will need to take several copies, and the Court Clerk will stamp each one
      • Publish - You will have to publish your plans to change you name in the newspaper for at least 2 weeks before the court can issue the order to change your name. Ask the Court Clerk's Office how you should handle doing that – like which newspaper and what the notice needs to say. Make sure that you get a statement from the newspaper saying that all this is done before going to the hearing. See § 40-8-2.
      • Hearing - After publishing, you will be able to attend the hearing where the court may issue the order to change your name. Make sure that you bring the statement from the newspaper with you to the hearing.?.
         
    • What do you do with the order?
      Once you have the order changing you name, take a copy stamped by the Court Clerk to the County Clerk's Office to have it recorded. You should also remember to take stamped copies of the order to all the places that have your old name to update it: get a new social security card, driver's license, bank cards, voter registration card, etc.

  2. Name Change by Common Law
    Traditionally you could use any name you liked without a court order. Today this can cause problems with confusion between your driver's license, social security card, and so on. It's best to get a court order.

 

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