Change Identity Documentary Part 1 out of 4

How to Change Your Identity

Three Parts:

If you're the victim of spousal abuse or are testifying in a criminal trial, law enforcement agencies have the ability to help you assume a new identity. To learn how to change your name and register for a new social security number, read on get help yourself get a fresh start.


Changing Your Name

  1. Choose a new name.Pick something that will be easy for you to use and that you like being called. Practice signing your new name to get used to the feel of it. Try introducing yourself with your new name to some strangers to see whether or not it feels natural.
    • You won't be able to change your name if you're avoiding bankruptcy by pretending to be someone else, your new name violates a trademark, the name uses numbers or symbols, or the name includes obscene words.
    • Consider adopting a generic name. If you want to make it difficult to find you, changing your name to something common, like "Jim Smith" or "Ashley Johnson" would be good.
  2. Fill out a petition for your state.Most states require you to fill out a petition listing your reasons for wanting to change your name. Go to the courthouse or your state's courts website to obtain the proper forms, then have the form notarized and filed by a clerk at the courthouse. The petition will be submitted to a judge, so make sure it explains your reasoning completely and correctly.
    • If you're an immigrant, ex-convict or attorney, you'll need an affidavit of service of notification to authorities in addition to your petition.
  3. Attend your name-change hearing.Most hearings are fairly straightforward, but the judge might have a few questions for you. Try to answer clearly and honestly. Lay out your reasons for wanting to change your identity.
    • If the judge denies your request, get a copy of the denial and try again.
    • If the judge approves your request, you'll be granted a name change court order, probably given to you by your local civil court clerk. Make a copy for your records.
  4. Change your name on all legal documents.Using the documentation from your hearing, obtain a new driver's license or passport so that you'll have identification. Change the name on any car titles or loan documents on record. Doing this ahead of time will make getting a new Social Security Card much easier.

Changing Your Social Security Number

  1. Fill out a social security card application.Using your new name, fill out an application for a new social security card, found here:
    • You'll need to provide evidence of age with your form. This can include a copy of your birth certificate, adoption papers, or other religious documentation.
    • You'll need to provide evidence of your identity. Use your new driver's license, passport, or non-driver identity card. If you haven't gotten these documents changed yet, you can provide evidence of your recent name change as proof of your identity, including the court-order from your hearing.
  2. Visit your local social security office.Bring the completed form and the necessary proof of your identity and age and prepare to make your case to an officer.The social security office will offer you a new number if you satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
    • You've been the victim of domestic abuse, harassment, or your life has been endangered in some other way.
    • Sequential digits in the SSN of different members of the same family is causing confusion.
    • More than one person has been assigned the same number.
    • You have a religious or cultural objection to the sequence or digits.
    • You've been the victim of identity theft and the use of the number continues to endanger you.
  3. Consider getting in touch with law enforcement.If you're the victim of abuse and want to change your name to evade your abuser, tell your local law enforcement agency that your life will be in danger unless you are given a new identity. Law enforcement agencies can provide you with the documented evidence you need to take to the Social Security Administration to change your SSN.

Using Your New Identity

  1. Be prepared to start over from scratch.You will have no credit history or employment history. You will not have a job or personal references, and no record of any education or special training. Anyone who checks your employment or credit history is likely to be suspicious when they find nothing.
  2. Practice introducing yourself with your new name.Practicing writing it and speaking it. You don't want to accidentally slip and use your old name, even once. Similarly, practice the lies you must tell about your family, personal history and places you've lived or visited.
  3. Adopt new mannerisms, dress, and behaviors.You might develop a taste for different foods, or even take up new hobbies. You may want to change your hair color, wear colored contact lenses or give up wearing contacts for glasses to keep from being recognized. You may need to choose a new line of work.
  4. Move far away from friends, family and employers.Don't tell anyone what your new name is or where you are. Cut off all contact to lessen the chance that someone who knows your previous identity will accidentally expose your new identity.
  5. Keep a low profile.A number of government and private agencies have a record of your identity change, and your old identity could be made public if you're arrested, sued or attract the attention of the media.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What if I just want to start a new life without family or friends knowing?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Legally change your name and put it on a new identity card. Change your cell number, email, workplace and hangouts. You'll also need to move well away from them. Get enough money so that you don't have to ask your family for any.
  • Question
    I just want to start a new life somewhere else away from my family. I want to appear dead to them so I can live my own life without feeling trapped all the time. How do I do this?
    Community Answer
    You cannot fake your death or make them think you are dead; it is illegal. However, you can "go missing": unless you have a legal obligation to someone (financial contract, legal custody, etc.), you are under no legal obligation to say goodbye or tell where you are going. If they file a missing persons report, if you are contacted by the police or find out the police are looking for you, you must report in and tell the police you are fine -- then the cops will close your file. They cannot tell the complainant where they found you. You do not have to go to your old police station, where the complaint was filed: you can go to any police station or report in through a lawyer.
  • Question
    How can I start a new life on another planet?
    Community Answer
    Currently, your best bet is to study aerospace engineering and become an astronaut, so that you will be selected to be part of a new colony. While other professions will also be selected, engineers who can work the equipment will still be the most in demand.
  • Question
    I have my deceased sister's SS card and old driver's license. Can I just use that to start my new identity after shutting down everything related to my old one?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, you cannot. The social security number/card is attached to a certificate of death. Once a death certificate is officially filed with your state, the SS number is essentially invalid.
  • Question
    Does this process eliminate pending traffic tickets or warrants?
    Community Answer
    NO. It is illegal to change your identity to escape legal troubles, from criminal to civil to financial. You must take an oath that you do not have these things, or that they are fully disclosed, and they will check. In jurisdictions where you must attended a name change hearing, they can serve you an outstanding warrant when you show up for your day in court. Unless you have proven that revealing your name change puts you in danger, name changes are published in the local legal Gazette to provide the opportunity for people to find you if necessary.
  • Question
    Will the courts allow a name change to obtain employment due to a criminal record? There's no open or pending cases, I just need a job and nobody will give me a chance.
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If the court grants your petition, the judge signs the order approving your new name and the clerk enters it into the public record. A name change will not erase your criminal record; the clerk will submit the name change information to local and national law enforcement agencies. If the court denies your petition, you have the right to file an appeal, to which you must bring additional evidence, or corrections of evidence and testimony, for a different judge to consider.
  • Question
    Can I do this without a legal name change?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Each identity change is unique, and you have to do what works for you. Just be aware that others can track you down by your name, so use caution.
  • Question
    How do I change my name if I'm underage and I don't want my parents to know?
    Community Answer
    You can't. Ages vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but generally those who are under 18 years of age must obtain a signature of consent from a legal guardian on their application. There are two exceptions: (1) If you are underage but married, you get certain rights of adulthood, including being able to apply with proof of marriage and signature of your spouse's notification (your spouse needs notification, not consent); (2) if you are taken away from your parents, as a ward of the State, your representative can consent and you can ask for no notification with no visitation. Otherwise, you'll have to run away when you grow up, like the rest of us.
  • Question
    What if a prospective employer asks to see my credentials?
    Community Answer
    You have two options, in advance of applying for jobs, if you are creating an identity on your own: (1) have your credentials transferred to your new name, or (2) abandon your credentials. If your credentials are as simple as an education, you can simply go to your alma mater with your name change certificate and ask for your name to be changed on your records. If it is a professional organization, they have a legal obligation to publish your former names, unless you can have an authority (law enforcement, District/Crown Attorney) verify that doing so will endanger you. US WitSec has the means to create new credentials for federal witnesses.
  • Question
    If I already receive SSI benefits, is there a way to keep them but still have a new identity and social security number?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, not legally. What you are wanting to do is illegal as it would require you to have more than one active social security number.
Unanswered Questions
  • For a complete identity change, to whom should I contact? Is there a counselor to ask for in Delhi?
  • Can I get a new formal Education under a new identity?
  • What happens to medical records and employment history?
  • Do I have to pay to change my identity?
  • I need a job and cannot get one due to several misdemeanors on my record. Can I get a new identity and social security card?
Ask a Question
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Quick Summary

To change your identity and get a new social security number, pick a new name and petition your state to let you change your name to the new one. Then, use your new name to fill out an application for a new social security card, using your birth certificate to prove your age and an ID with your new name to prove your identity. You can also use evidence of your recent name change to prove your identity. Bring the completed form and identification to your local social security office and explain to them why you need a new SSN.

Did this summary help you?
  • Be sure to change your name before applying for a new Social Security number.
  • If you change your Social Security number, you will lose all the information that was associated with the old number; in which case, you may not receive the benefits you qualified for under your old identity.


  • Don't be taken in by offers by mail or on the Internet that claim you can change your identity. Most are scams and offer advice that is illegal.

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Date: 29.11.2018, 23:27 / Views: 45192