The name change process is much easier than most people might think. Here is a quick guide on how to change your name in state of New Hampshire through marriage, petitioning the court, or during a divorce.
Changing your name through marriage
The first thing you need to do is apply for a marriage license with any city or town clerk in the state. Both you and your partner must be present when applying.
If either party (or both of you) is a member of the Armed Forces, the missing parties can forward an affidavit of marriage intentions prepared by an Armed Forces legal representative to the clerk instead.
Marriage application process
There is no specific way you and your partner must fill out the marriage application form. The "intention of marriage worksheet" (which is the application) will ask you to choose a designation of groom, bride, or spouse.
The second page of the application must be signed in front of the municipal clerk when applying. Remember to bring proof of age (such as a current driver's license or current passport) and any divorce decree or death record of a previous spouse, if applicable, alongside the application when filing.
The marriage license fee is $50, and expires within 90 days from the filing date, so plan your ceremony date accordingly. You must give your license to the minister or magistrate officiating your ceremony. The person solemnizing your marriage will return the license back to the municipal clerk for filing after the ceremony.
You need to wait 7 to 10 days after your ceremony to request for a certified copy of your marriage certificate. The first copy will cost you $15 while subsequent copies will cost an additional $10 each.
Who may change their name?
If you and your spouse wish to change your names in marriage, you may indicate this name change on the marriage license application form. It will later be reflected on your marriage certificate, which you must use to change your name with all important agencies: Social Security Administration, New Hampshire DMV, etc.
Couples may change both their middle and last name after marriage in New Hampshire. Neither you nor your partner have to change your names when you get married. It is acceptable to keep your current name if you wish.
Traditionally, one party will assume their spouse's last name or vice versa. You may also choose to hyphenate your last names together in whatever order you choose.
If you are changing your last name, you may decide to change your middle name as well. You may decide to assume your old last name or maiden name as your middle name.
You may also decide to hyphenate your old middle name with your maiden name or old last name. You might also hyphenate both your middle name with your partner's middle name.
Changing your name through the courts
You must file a Petition for Change of Name online. Electronic filing for all name changes is mandatory unless you request and receive an exception to this rule. You may either work with an attorney to help guide you through the process or represent yourself in your name change case.
Setting up a TurboCourt account
If you are representing yourself, visit the court's Electronic Services section. Under the Circuit Court option, select the Self-Represented Parties and other Non-Attorney Filers then click "E-File Here." This will lead you to the TurboCourt website.
Create an account with this site to present your case then select "Circuit Name Change" Click Here to Start" and then select "Start a New Case". Keep in mind that you are the Petitioner in this case.
You will then need to enter the county name and location that you currently reside in. Fill out the required personal information, including your full legal name, your new name, and the reason for changing your name.
Along with the petition form, you will also need to include a Confidential Information Sheet that lists your date of birth as well as a copy of a photo ID that shows your current name, address, and date of birth. Once you complete the necessary paperwork, you will then have to pay a filing fee of $130.
Typically, the court will simply grant you a name change without having to attend a hearing. You will then receive the Certificate of Change of Name via e-mail at least 45 days after you file your petition and other name change paperwork.
You may request additional copies of this certificate for an additional fee as well. Be sure to use these certificates to change your name on all important documents (e.g., driver's license, passport, etc).
Changing your name during a divorce
If either you wish to change your name during a divorce hearing, you can indicate this in two ways: in the initial petition for divorce or simply requesting the judge to grant you this privilege during the hearing itself.
You may only change your name back to a birth name or any other previously-held name before marriage at this time. If you want to change your name completely, you will have to petition the courts on a separate occasion after this divorce hearing is over.
Typically, a judge will add this to the final divorce decree. You must then use this to change your name on all important documents (e.g., social security card, passport, professional credentials, etc).