In the State of California, if you would like to change your name, you must petition the Superior Court to have your name changed by filling out form NC-100. There are 58 Superior Courts in California with some counties having multiple locations.
The court process of getting a court order after filing a Petition for Change of Name can take up to 3 months. First, you file your petition. Then, you will get a court date between 6 and 12 weeks away. If you follow all the required steps and the court approves your request, you will get a court order called a “decree” changing your name. Some courts are busier than others and it may take longer.
During the course of one’s life, the last name may change. This could occur for many reason. For example: getting married, divorcing, shortening the last name, changing the last name, government mistake, second marriage, protection, etc.. The problem arises is when that same person who came to live in the USA wants to go back home to their native country to establish identity again.
If the person’s name was changed, the requesting country will require documentation to show proof that the person is the same person as before. If you where married and now divorced, the requesting country will ask for an Apostille on your Divorce Decree. Some countries will automatically revert to your maiden name even if you are divorced and have not changed your name legally in the USA. The burden of proof will fall to you to provide the other government with the information which is being requested.
In order to help authenticate your document, you must mail to our office a certified copy of the document signed and stamped by the Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court. You can read more about a Divorce Decree Apostille and see examples of the blue/purple Superior Court seals placed on the documents.
Here is an example of a document stamped by the San Mateo Superior Court of California:
We’re here to help. Please Contact Us with any questions you have. We’ve provided Apostille service for thousands of documents originating from the 58 Superior Courts in California.
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