Windham, NH asked in Probate for New Hampshire

Q: What is best way to fix name on legal documents when first/middle were switch on birth certificate?

Moved states and need a new ID but my birth certificate has my first/middle names switched (I never caught this). All legal documents use my middle name (for 85 yrs now). DMV suggests I change entire name to match SS card exactly and then apply for new birth certificate. But will state put my married last name on a birth certificate? Doesn’t it make more sense to just legally switch first/middle name and then use marriage license to show why SS last name is different fr last name on birth certificate?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: You have a few options here. The first option is to do nothing. It is quite common for an individual to "go by" his or her middle name or a nickname his or her entire life. Just accept the new id with your name as shown on your birth certificate. Your friends can still address you by your middle name, and in legal documents you can "explain" the difference by referring to yourself as "[Birth Certificate Name] aka [Name You Use the Most]". There might be occasions when you will need to sign an Affidavit of Same Name explaining that you are one and the same as the person named in the birth certificate or other id.

If that is not satisfactory, the easiest solution is a legal name change. Your birth certificate stays the same, but your legal name changes. This is a relatively simple process. If you are mobile and good with paperwork, you might even be able to do it yourself. Go to the nearest court and ask for help or look on their website. If that proves too difficult, there should be plenty of attorneys around you that can help for a relatively small fee. Sometimes the filing and publication fees are more than the attorney's fee for this.

When the name change is complete, take your birth certificate and name change court order to DMV. They will use the name on the name change court order.

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