Q: How do I file a court order in the US to change my name on my birth certificate if I am now a perm resident of Mexico?

Through marriage and divorce, my name has legally changed from what is on my birth certificate issued by the state of Oklahoma. My legal name on all current identifying documents (US passport, DL, Social Security card) has changed significantly from my birth name. This is a crime in Mexico - to change your name. Mexican authorities are telling me I need to amend my birth certificate to my current legal name in order to obtain a birth certificate for my baby born here in Mexico. The state of Oklahoma requires a court order to do that, but since I am a permanent resident of Mexico and don't plan on returning to the US to live, how can I get a county judge in the US to issue me a court order of adult name change? My living parents will not assist me in my efforts due to their age. I can provide written justification and documentation of how my name has legally changed and that I need my legal name reflected on my birth certificate to avoid further problems with Mexican laws.

1 Lawyer Answer
Gary Johnston Dean
Gary Johnston Dean
  • Pryor, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: Since you're a resident out of the country, it gets complicated. Ordinarily a change of name needs to be filed in the County in which the person resides. See 12 OS Sec 1631 http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/deliverdocument.asp?id=94759&hits= , which provides as follows:

Any natural person, who has been domiciled in this state or who has been residing upon any military reservation located in said state, for more than thirty (30) days, and has been an actual resident of the county or such military reservation situated in said county, or county in which the military reservation is situated, for more than thirty (30) days, next preceding the filing of the action, may petition for a change of name in a civil action in the district court; provided, no person who is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act may petition for a change of name. If the person be a minor, the action may be brought by guardian or next friend as in other actions.

The Statues, 12 OS Sec 1632 provides as follows: "The petition shall be verified and shall state: (a) The name and address of the petitioner; (b) The facts as to domicile and residence; (c) The date and place of birth; (d) The birth certificate number, and place where the birth is registered, if registered; (e) The name desired by petitioner; (f) A clear and concise statement of the reasons for the desired change; (g) A positive statement that the change is not sought for any illegal or fraudulent purpose, or to delay or hinder creditors.

One possible method would be to contact the attorney who represented you in your last divorce, and see if the decree can be amended for this. If you formerly lived in one of the smaller counties, perhaps an attorney could talk to the judge, and see if he would be willing to issue a change of name order for your because of your special circumstances, however I can't recommend this since your petition must be verified under oath as to residency, as provided above. However if you intend to return to Oklahoma as a resident, and are just temporarily in Mexico, the change of name might work.

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