If you want to change your name, you can do so at your local DMV. However, if you don’t mind paying a small convenience fee, our state-approved partner can save you hours of filing hassles. This is accomplished by automating the process of filling out the numerous forms. Your time is valuable. Learn more below.
SUMMARY: How to Change Your Name in South Carolina
To change your name on your South Carolina drivers license/identification card, vehicle title, and registration, you must visit a DMV office in person. You will need to change your name on the DMV’s records, and then apply for updated documents showing your new name. You will need to provide proof of your new name, submit the appropriate application forms, and pay the required fees (if you want updated documents). It’s a good idea to first change your name with the Social Security Administration to avoid potential delays or issues.
This page explains how to update your name with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and apply for updated documents.
Change Your Name with the SSA
Before you change your name with the SC DMV, you should update your information with the Social Security Administration (SSA) first. In some states, the DMV will verify your new name with the SSA first, so if your new name isn’t on file with the SSA, your name change application may be delayed or denied.
To update your Social Security card, you’ll need:
- A completed Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).
- Proof of your identity, such as your:
- SC driver’s license.
- ID card.
- Court order.
- Marriage certificate.
- Divorce decree.
- U.S. birth certificate.
- U.S. passport.
- Work permit and I-94.
NOTE: A list of required documents for a corrected Social Security card can be found on the SSA website.
Submit the above documents either by mail or in person to your local SSA office. They will process your request and send you an updated Social Security card within about 14 business days.
NOTE: You do not have to wait to receive your updated Social Security card to update your DMV records.
SC Driver’s License/ID Card Name Change
Once you’ve changed your name, you must inform the South Carolina DMV within 10 days. You will need to visit your local SC DMV office in person and submit:
- A completed Application for Name and/or Address Change, Date of Birth and/or Social Security Correction, or Special Mailing (Form 4057).
- Proof of your name change, such as your:
- Marriage certificate.
- Divorce decree.
- Court order.
If you’d like an updated driver’s license or ID card showing your new name, you’ll also need to submit:
- The appropriate application form:
- Driver’s license/permit/ID card: Application for a Beginner’s Permit, Driver’s License, or Identification Card (Form 447-NC).
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL): Application for a Commercial Drivers License or Commercial Beginners Permit (Form 447-CDL).
If you want to apply for an updated card at a later date, you can do so by mailing the application form and payment to:
DMV Alternative Media
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016
Car Registration & Title Name Change
To change your name on your car registration and certificate of title, follow the instructions above to change your name on your SC DMV records.
Your registration information will automatically be updated.
To obtain an updated certificate of title showing your new name, you’ll need to also submit:
- A completed Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400).
- Your current certificate of title.
- Payment for the $15 fee.
You can submit your application and payment either in person to the SC DMV or by mail to:
DMV Alternative Media
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016
Fees to Change Your Name in SC
The South Carolina DMV will charge you the following fees for updated documents showing your new name:
- Driver’s license/CDL: $10.
- Driver’s permit: $2.50.
- ID card: $15 (only charged if you are 5 to 16 years old).
- Certificate of title: $15.
- Vehicle registration (online): Free.
Accepted Payment Methods
South Carolina DMV offices accept payment by:
- Credit/debit card.
For mailed-in applications, payment must be made by check.
Change Your South Carolina Address
Changing your address in South Carolina is much the same as changing your name on your DMV documents; however, you have additional options to update your information by mail or online.
There are many reasons why people want to change their name. Many people change their last name when they get married. Others want to change their last name after a divorce. And, some people want to change their name to fit their gender identity.
If you get married and want to change your name, then it’s a pretty simple procedure. You simply take a certified copy of your marriage license to your local Social Security office. Once you receive your new Social Security card, you can then:
- Change your name on your driver’s license and other ID documents
- Update your voter’s registration
- Change your name on your bank and investment accounts
- Change your name on university transcripts, degrees, and professional licenses
There’s no need to involve a lawyer or the court when you change your last name after a marriage.
This article discusses when you need to go to court to change your name.
Name Change During a Divorce
Often, women want to return to using their maiden name after a divorce. You can do this as part of the divorce case. A spouse that wants to use a prior last name can ask the court to restore their last name in the divorce complaint. The judge grants the request if certain criteria are met. Judges wants to make sure a person is not changing their name for fraudulent purposes. Because of this, the judge needs to know certain information:
- Whether you’re currently in bankruptcy
- If you’re on any sex offender registries
- Whether you have a criminal record
- If you’re currently paying child support or alimony, and if you are in arrears
- Whether you’re on any abuse or neglect registries
Name Change Not Through Divorce
People choose to change their name for a variety of purposes. If someone has gone by their middle name their entire life, they may choose to change their middle name to their first.
Some choose to resume their maiden name after the judge already granted a divorce.
In the transgender community, changing a name to match a gender identity is an important milestone.
In these cases, South Carolina insists that residents go through the court. You have to file a petition through the court. Then, the judge has a hearing on the matter. The hearing is usually very brief and not something to stress over. It’s a formality for the judge to ensure that the paperwork is in order. The judge also checks to make sure there is no fraudulent purpose behind changing the name. If everything checks out, the judge signs the order that changes your name.
You Need Certain Documents to Change Your Name
There are certain documents you’ll need to file your petition. In addition to the petition itself, you’ll also need to include the following:
- a SLED name change packet, which you can obtain from the Clerk of Court. SLED will conduct a background check and process fingerprints. SLED will also return a report stating whether or not you are a registered sex offender
- Report from the Department of Social Services stating that you are not on the Central Registry of Child Abuse or Neglect. You can request this report by filing a DSS Form 3072 with DSS
- a certified copy of your birth certificate
- an affidavit stating whether you are paying court-ordered child support, and whether you are current on your obligations, or stating your arears
How Do I Change My Child’s Name in South Carolina?
Changing a child’s name in South Carolina is more complicated than changing an adult’s name. For example, if a mother wants to change her child’s last name to be the same as hers, the child’s father has a say, too. The other parent must be served with the petition and given the opportunity to object. Then, the judge must appoint a Guardian ad Litem to determine whether the changing the child’s name is in the best interests of the child.
How Long Does It Take To Change My Name in South Carolina?
For an adult who isn’t resuming a maiden name as part of a divorce, the process doesn’t take very long. It takes a couple weeks to get the required documents back from DSS and SLED. Then, you can file the petition. Once the petition is filed, the clerk will assign a final hearing date. Each court manages their calendar differently. The wait may be longer in some courts than others. Changing an adult’s name usually take 2 or 3 months
For a minor child, it can take a bit longer because of the need to have a GAL appointed and do an investigation. The process for minors can be quite complex and require additional witnesses. This is especially true for transgender children.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The procedure for changing a child’s name is complex. When changing a child’s name through the court, it’s very difficult for someone to correctly meet all the legal requirements without hiring a lawyer. The Maron Law Group can help you change your child’s last name at a lower cost by offering a flat fee.
For adults, it’s possible to do the process yourself with the correct forms. But, if there are any oddities in the situation, it’s usually best to consult a lawyer . Also, a lawyer can ensure that everything is filed correctly the first time, which can save a lot of time and headaches later on.
How much does it cost to change a name?
For an adult, changing a name involves a $150 filing fee with the court for the petition. For most situations, the Maron Law Group charges a reasonable flat rate. We also can assist you with the petition and putting the documents in order for an even lower rate. There are also fees associated with the SLED and DSS reports.
For a minor child, the same $150 filing fee applies. GAL fees also come into play. If the case is straightforward, many GALs will charge a reasonable flat rate. Just like with adults, we typically charge a flat rate for minors as well.
The Maron Law Group accepts name change cases across the entire state of South Carolina. Contact us today at (843) 998-0644 for a free consultation.
As Charleston divorce lawyers who handle name changes, we’re often asked about how to change a name (or my child’s name) in South Carolina. Legal name changes generally fall in one of three categories: (1) resuming a maiden name after a divorce; (2) changing an adult’s name; or (3) changing a child’s name. In this article, we explain all three.
How Do You Resume Using Your Maiden Name After a Divorce in South Carolina
This process is the easiest of the three categories. At the final divorce hearing (or sometimes in the hearing approving the separation agreement if it occurs before the divorce), a wife may request to resume her maiden name. During the hearing, the wife must testify and show the court that the name change isn’t for an improper purpose such as avoiding existing bench warrants or creditors and that the wife doesn’t appear on any sex offender registries. This is a routine process in almost every case. The family court judge then issues an order allowing the wife to resume her maiden name, and then she takes the order to the Social Security Office to make it official. The spouse then needs to contact the DMV and all other relevant entities to notify them of the name change. There really is no difference in cost to the client to add this request to their divorce case.
How Can You Change an Adult’s Name in South Carolina?
If an adult wants to change his or her name (besides resuming a maiden name), there is a statutory procedure that must be followed. First, the person must file a petition with the family court giving the reason for the name change, the person’s age, the person’s place of residence and birth, and the name by which he or she wants to be known. Also, the following things must be attached to the petition:
- The results of a fingerprint and criminal background check by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED);
- A screening from the Department of Social Services (DSS) that shows whether the person is on DSS’s registry of child abuse and neglect;
- An affidavit of the person requesting the name change that states whether the person is under a court order to pay child support or alimony; and
- A screening statement from SLED that indicates whether the person is on SLED’s sex offender registry.
Our lawyers will handle most of these things for you, but you will have to go to the Sheriff’s Department to complete your fingerprint card before we can get the background check from SLED.
In many cases, we can have the name change granted without a hearing, but sometimes the judge may require a hearing before granting the name change. The judge will consider the true interest of the person and the protection of the public before deciding whether to grant the name change. By statute, the changing of a name doesn’t affect, limit, or reduce the person’s (or his or her estate’s) obligations to others.
How Can You Change a Child’s Name in South Carolina?
A parent may petition (file a lawsuit) to change his or her child’s name. The parent must make the other parent a party to the lawsuit unless the other parent’s parental rights have been terminated or the parent is deceased. The petition doesn’t require all of the attachments as described for adult name changes above, but it does require the appointment of a guardian ad litem (“GAL”). The GAL must be appointed even if both parents agree to the name change. Also, a hearing is always required in a child name change case, and the GAL will report the findings of his or her investigation at this hearing. While many people are more familiar with a GAL’s role in custody cases, this is one of the unique areas where a GAL is used outside of a contested custody and visitation setting.
Before granting a child’s name change, the family court judge must determine whether the name change is in the “best interest of the child.” When determining what is in the child’s best interest, the judge will consider the following factors:
- The length of time that the child has used the present surname;
- The effect of the change on the preservation and development of the child’s relationship with each parent;
- The identification of the child as part of a family unit;
- The wishes of the parents;
- The stated reason for the proposed change
- The motive of the parents and the possibility that the use of a different name will cause insecurity or a lack of identity;
- The difficulty, harassment, or embarrassment that the child may experience when the child bears a surname different from the custodial parent;
- The preference of the child if the child is of an age and maturity to express a meaningful preference; and
- The degree of community respect associated with the present and proposed surname.
Most guardians charge an hourly rate in the range of $150 to $175 per hour. If the name change isn’t contested by another person (such as a father contesting a child’s name change), then the total time spent by the guardian will likely be 2 to 3 hours for interviews and time in court.
Charleston Family Lawyers for Name Changes
The family law attorneys at Futeral & Nelson are equipped to get all of your paperwork put together and filed correctly and guide you through the process of a name change in South Carolina. Likewise, if you are served with a lawsuit in South Carolina, and you wish to contest the name change or at least wish to have a consultation to know your rights, schedule an appointment to meet with one of our lawyers.
Trying to figure out how to change your name in South Carolina? The MissNowMrs name change experts have fashioned this checklist to help you through the process!
The South Carolina Name Change Process
1. Social Security
Step one of your South Carolina name change is filing with the Social Security Administration. Complete the SS-5 form and file it with your certified marriage certificate, U.S. Passport or South Carolina driver’s license. Good news: there is no fee associated with filing for your married name at this agency!
Two weeks after your SS-5 form is processed, your new SS card will arrive in the mail. The card will show your married name, but your SSN will remain the same. One less thing to have to memorize!
Filing for your new passport, is the second legal step of changing to your married name. There are three application forms to choose from, based on the current status of your passport. Complete the appropriate form for your situation, and then file it by mail (unless it’s your first passport) along with two 2×2 passport photos, your certified marriage certificate, and the specific fee.
The State Department understands that many individuals file for a passport right before their honeymoons. So, if you have had your current passport for under 12 months, it is free to file for your new one in your new name!
Now it’s time to file for a name change with the Internal Revenue Service. Filing the IRS 8822 is not mandatory, but it ensures that the IRS knows your married name. Why is this important? So they don’t hold your tax returns as they try to make the connection between your maiden and married names. We think it’s well worth filing this free form to have peace of mind!
4. South Carolina DMV
Your first state level name change is at the South Carolina DMV. Complete the SC 4057 form and head to you local DMV office. Be sure to bring your current South Carolina driver’s license, certified marriage certificate, and proof of residence if your address has recently changed.
Head to the office mid-month and mid-week to avoid office lines. Your new license in your new married name will be issued the same day you apply. The cost is only $10!
5. South Carolina Voter Registration Bureau
Updating your name on your South Carolina voter registration is a straight forward process. Complete the South Carolina Voter Registration Mail in Application. Then mail it to your county voter registration board with a photo copy of your driver’s license showing your new name.
6. ALL of Your Creditors and Accounts
Once you have updated your name with the federal and state agencies, it’s time to make the switch with every other entity. It’s smart to begin with your employer and banks. They typically require you to file a form with your certified marriage certificate in-person. Next up are your credit card companies, mortgage providers, loan providers, utility companies, professional license boards, and insurance providers. Usually they will update your name over the phone or via an online form. Finally, update your name will all of your memberships, associations, frequent flyer programs, and of course on your social media accounts and email addresses.
7. The Simple South Carolina Name Change Solution
Now that we’ve outlined how to change your name in South Carolina are you feeling completely stressed out? Many newlyweds worry about filing the wrong form, missing a supporting document, and just not having time to take care of everything. Don’t worry! Use the MissNowMrs name change app or online service to save 13+ hours. Our experts take care of all the details so you can focus on the fun of being a newlywed!
Ready for Rachael’s real name change story? Don’t miss how a first date between Cancers turned into a military wedding on Veteran’s day! Rachel also shares her name change journey and best newlywed advice! Rachael’s Love Story Jean Paul and I met after my sister in law, Jamie Claire, who went to college with him […]
Many people ask me about how to go abut changing their name after they are married. It is actually a simple process in theory, but can be complicated if one is unprepared.
After your marriage ceremony you will receive an original of your license that is in fact your new Certificate of Marriage. If you wish to change your name to that of your new spouse or partner, the first step is to change your name with the Social Security administration.
You can apply for a name change at the SS office in person or via mail.
COVID-19 Note: Many SS offices are closed right now. So you will have to apply for a new card by mail.
For more information on a SS name change go here.
Note: I strongly suggest you do not mail in your original certificate of marriage if applying by mail for a new SS card. Get a certified copy from the court where you obtained your marriage license. It usually cost between $5.00 to $10.00 depending on the court.
Here are some links to the various courts to download the form you need to fill out to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
In SC you must wait at least 48 hours after visiting the SS office before going to the DMV to get your license or ID card with your new name. The waiting time is due to the fact that the SS administration needs to update their computer database.
Afterwards changing your name with SS and waiting 48 hours (wait until you get your new card if you applied by mail) you can then apply at the DMV. Bring your original marriage certificate or a certified copy with you. For more information visit the SCDMV site here.
Names. We all have them… Each of our parents spent precious time discussing, and perhaps arguing, what to name each of us. Sometimes, however, we wish to go by another name for any number of reasons. Maybe you would like to change your own name to go by a “nickname” or change the spelling of your name. Maybe you would like to change the name of your child before they enter school. Maybe you’ve recently gotten a divorce. We often receive questions regarding the process required when legally changing one’s name in South Carolina.
How to Change your Name in SC
South Carolina allows a person to legally change their name or the name of their child by formally petitioning the Family Court. The process involves petitioning the Court with information such as the former and requested name and the reasons for the change, which must be valid and reasonable. An adult wishing to change their name must also go through several screening processes, including background checks, and screenings by the Department of Social Services and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). These screenings are to inform the Court of any reasons not to allow the change.
For a parent wishing to change the name of their child, the Court does not require these screenings. However, the Court does take the matter very seriously and will allow the change only if the Court finds that it is in the child’s best interests. The Court requires the consent of both parents of the child, as well as the consent of a Guardian ad Litem, who is appointed by the Court to represent the child’s best interests.
Most Common Legal Name Change in SC
The most common name changes are those resulting from a marriage or divorce and South Carolina laws have a more simplified means for changing one’s name in that situation. A marriage certificate typically allows a recently married person to assume the surname of their spouse. But what happens when you get divorced? Unlike the popular belief, a spouse is not automatically allowed to change their name following a divorce. Fortunately, during divorce or separation proceedings, a spouse may request to resume use of a former name and a Family Court Judge may authorize the name change of a spouse as a result of the divorce action.
Get Started with your South Carolina Name Change Now
Although it may seem simple, navigating the Family Court can be a difficult and stressful procedure. If you are looking to change your name or the name of your child, call us today to discuss the process!
Our name helps define who we are. Other than getting married, most of us will never change our name. For some people, however, there are lots of reasons why they would need to do this. Whether you’re an adult or you’re looking to change your child’s name, the process can seem daunting. You may have heard horror stories about how difficult it can be. This is why you should rely on an experienced family lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina to handle it for you.
Greenville family attorneys have a lot of experience handling cases like this. Changing your child’s name is very important. You want to make sure it’s done right the first time. If you make a simple mistake, it can set you back months or even a year.
Although the process may seem simply if you look online, there are a lot of pitfalls you need to avoid. Although you have every right to handle the process yourself, we wouldn’t recommend it. There are filing deadlines and formal requirements you have to meet. If you don’t, the court will dismiss your petition and you’ll have to start all over again. It can become very time consuming and expensive.
If you need to change your minor child’s name, you need to call a Greenville family lawyer today. He can help make the process a lot smoother for you and your family.
Why Would You Need to Change Your Child’s Name?
There are several reasons why you may need to change your child’s name. The purpose for the name change is something that court will take into consideration. You shouldn’t change your child’s name unless there’s a good reason to do it.
Some of the legitimate reasons why you may want to change your child’s name include:
- You’ve gotten remarried and your new spouse will be raising the children
- The child’s father has passed away or is incarcerated
- You want all of your children to have the same name
- Your child now identifies with the opposite gender and you want to change his or her name to match their new identity
- You have immigrated to the United States and want an Americanized name
- Your child’s name was incorrect on their birth certificate
For an adult, the court will consider whimsical name changes. They don’t look as favorably on petitioners who wish to do this for their children. Keep this in mind when choosing a new name. You don’t want to spend time and money only to have the court deny your request.
What is the Process for Changing Your Child’s Name?
In order to legally change your child’s name, there is a relatively simple but important process. The following things need to be done in order to complete a legal name change for a child:
- The parent files a petition with the county court requesting the name change. There are certain forms you need to complete to do this.
- Pay the filing fee
- Include the other parent as a party to the case. The only exceptions to this rule are:
- The other parent is deceased
- Their parental rights have already been terminated
- The family court has waived this requirement
The court will review your petition and make a decision. They’ll take the following factors into account when determine if the name change will be granted:
- How long the child had their previous name
- The effect of a name change on the child’s day to day life
- The reason for the change
- Any harm or difficulty the child will experience as a result of the name change
- The child’s part of a family unit
The good news is that a Greenville family lawyer can handle this process for you. They’ll streamline the process so you know it’s handled properly.
Contact a Greenville Family Lawyer Today
If you need to change your minor child’s name, you want to call a Greenville family lawyer today. Your lawyer can handle the process for you. This ensures that the process is handled correctly. It also increases your chances of having the petition approved.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation. This decision is too important to leave it up to chance.
Your name identifies you. But when your name no longer represents who you are, the state allows you to change your name for all legal purposes including financial accounts, government records, and school histories.
South Carolina has a process in place to minimize the risk of fraud in name changes. This screening process can slow down your name change petition, but if you clear all the background checks, a judge likely will approve your request.
Below is some information about changing your name in South Carolina and how a lawyer can help.
Overview of the Name Change Process
After denying legal issues in the LGBTQ community for centuries, states now must apply laws uniformly and equally regardless of a person’s gender, gender identity, trans status, or sexual orientation.
The ability to legally change their name has helped many in the LGBTQ community improve their lives. A name change can represent a major milestone in a person’s life.
Of course, people change their names for a variety of reasons, including as an incident of separation or divorce. Regardless of the reason, name changes always follow the same process in South Carolina.
Name Change Petition
Once you decide to change your name, you begin the legal process by preparing a name change petition. The petition gives the reason for the change. It must also list your age, place of residence, place of birth, and the proposed new name. For purposes of a name change petition, South Carolina treats changes to the first, middle, or last name the same.
A name change petition must include several supporting documents including:
You must get fingerprinted by the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). SLED will conduct a criminal background check using your fingerprints. You must attach a copy of the criminal background check to your petition.
DSS Screening Statement
You must undergo screening by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to determine whether you appear on the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. You must include DSS’s statement with the petition.
SLED Screening Statement
You must request a SLED screening to determine whether you appear on the sex offender registry. You must include SLED’s screening statement with your petition. Appearing on the registry will not necessarily block a name change. If the court grants the name change, it will notify SLED so it can update the registry.
Child Support and Alimony Affidavit
You must sign an affidavit that states whether you are subject to a court order to pay child support or alimony. If you are subject to paying court-ordered child support or alimony, the judge in the name change case might request information about whether you are current in your payments.
The judge assigned to your name change case will conduct a hearing before granting the petition. You should consider hiring a family law attorney to attend the hearing with you.
The judge will decide to grant the petition by balancing your interests in changing your name against the public protection interests in avoiding fraudulent name changes. But if you have no fraudulent intent and you provide clean screening documents, a judge should approve your petition.
To discuss your name change case, contact Bleecker Family Law for a consultation.