Options to change my name in Wisconsin

At some point in your life, or for different reasons, you may want to change your name. It is a simple process, but it involves some specific guidelines.

If you live in Wisconsin, this can be done by the State code 786.37, which says that any citizen can change it under one of these situations: after marriage, after divorce, or for personal/private reasons.

In this article, we will explain more about this process and how much does it cost.

Option 1: After marriage

If you want to get married in the state of Wisconsin, you must know that you can change your name and get the one from your spouse; it is something optional, and we recommend you to think very well about it.

If you decide to do it, the main requirement is to have a marriage certificate. To get more information about this subject, we recommend you to read this article: How to get a copy of a marriage certificate.

Once you have it, you can proceed and change the name in these documents:

Social Security Card

Submit to your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office the following documents:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate, birth certificate, and work authorization letter (if any).
  • Your Wisconsin driver’s license, state ID, or passport.
  • The SS-5 Form.

SS-5 Form, to change your name in Wisconsin

After a couple of days, you will receive your new card in your mail.

Driver’s license or state ID

Submit to your local Department of Motor and Vehicles (DMV) office the following documents:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Your current license or ID.
  • A non-expired US passport.
  • Your Social Security card (with your new name on it).
  • The MV3001 Form (for licenses) or MV3004 Form (for IDs).

Besides, you will have to pay a fee of $14 for a new driver’s license, and $16 for a new state ID.

Car title and registration

This part is optional but highly recommended. Just visit your local DMV office with your current car title and pay a fee of $5.

Option 2: After divorce

If you changed your name when you were married, you might want to change it back if you get a divorce. In Wisconsin, the process is similar to Option 1.

First, you must get your divorce/annulment certificate. You can request it by mail, fax, or in-person once you finish the divorce process. Just fill the application form and submit it to the Wisconsin Vital Records Office.

Wisconsin Divorce Certificate Application

Once you have the certificate, you can proceed and change the name in these documents:

Social Security Card

Submit to your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office the following documents:

  • A copy of your divorce certificate, birth certificate, and work authorization letter (if any).
  • Your Wisconsin driver’s license, state ID, or passport.
  • The SS-5 Form.

SS-5 Form, to change your name in Wisconsin

After a couple of days, you will receive your new card in your mail.

Driver’s license or state ID

Submit to your local Department of Motor and Vehicles (DMV) office the following documents:

  • A copy of your divorce certificate.
  • Your current license or ID.
  • A non-expired US passport.
  • Your Social Security card (with your new name on it).
  • The MV3001 Form (for licenses) or MV3004 Form (for IDs).

Also, you will have to pay a fee of $14 for a new driver’s license, and $16 for a new state ID.

Car title and registration

This part is optional but highly recommended. Just visit your local DMV office with your current car title and pay a fee of $5.

Option 3: For personal reasons

If you are not married nor divorced, you can still legally change your name in Wisconsin; it does not matter if you are under age or adult.

The process is the following:

Get the required documents

  • Name Change form: CV-450 for adults or minors over 14 years, and CV-455 for minors under 14 years old.
  • Name Change Hearing form: CV-460 (it has step-by-step instructions on it).
  • Order for Name Change form: CV-470 (this one must be completed by the Clerk of Court in your county).

In addition, all of these documents must be notarized, and it is recommended to make at least two copies of each.

File the documents

Collect all the original forms and any required copies and file them in the Clerk of Court of your county.

On the other hand, you must have to pay a fee; however, this part of the process may vary depending on the county, so make sure to contact yours to get full information.

Publish your new name

The Clerk of Court will request you to publish the Name Change Hearing form in a local newspaper of Wisconsin; it must be printed once a week for three weeks, and the fees will be your responsibility.

Go to the Name Change Hearing appointment

Be on time and bring the original or certified copy of your birth certificate, and the affidavit of Publication (of the newspaper).

After you take the oath, the judge will decide if your petition is granted or not.

File your order (if approved)

If the judge signs your Order of Name Change, file it in your local Clerk of Court, and complete any post-decision requirements.

After this, you will be able to change your name in any other place or document: your job, driver’s license, state ID, school, or university.

How much does it cost?

When filing the documents to change your name, you will be required to pay a fee. In Wisconsin, its anywhere from $125 to $225; however, the amount might vary depending on the county.

Process for children under 14 years old

Requirements are almost the same as Option 3, but the parents or guardians must complete the forms on behalf of the child. However, for this case, we recommend you to ask for the specific guidelines to your Clerk of Court.

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