Notify your creditors of your new name. They will update their records and report the change to various reporting agencies like Equifax and TRW. But, a word to the wise, wait a month or two after reporting your name change to existing creditors, and then get a copy of your credit report. It should list your new name and your previous name.
Using your credit report and account statements, you will be able to verify all of your creditors have changed the accounts to reflect your new identity. When you are confident that has been done, contact the credit agencies you requested information from following the instructions on each report.
A representative should be able to remove the previous name from your credit history. You may first be asked to provide the court order for proof. Some may accept a copy and some may want a notarized copy. At the courthouse or where ever you state does name changes, you should be able to request extra notarized copies; most give you at least 2 when everything has been signed, sealed, and delivered.
It's very important that major credit reporting agencies not remove your previous name until all of your creditors have updated their records. If your old name were immediately deleted, it very likely would reappear when your creditors reported accounts during the next payment cycle. Also, links to some of your accounts could be lost. While you may not mind losing bad history, you don't want to lose positive information.
It is understood that your desire to completely eliminate your past identity be done as quickly as possible, but instantly deleting your old name won't work to your advantage with credit. It will be worth waiting a few more months to make sure your positive credit history transfers to your new identity.
When it comes to agencies like the IRS and Social Security Administration, they will often accept nothing less that a notarized court order. Always change your name legally especially with agencies like these. (Click to see Changing Name on Social Security Card page )
Following ill advise from uninformed or stubborn guys in FTM groups who say that you can go to the DMV, ask that they put the name you wish to go by on your drivers license or that you can change the information with SS without a court ordered name change, can hurt you more than help you. They say that it is an ok thing to do, but it isn't; it's considered an alias and can be problematic later. Do it legally, don't cheat. Granted, some states like Arizona do not require a court order to change ones name but the majority of states do.
LEGALLY CHANGING YOUR NAME IS OFTEN NOT ENOUGH
There is a difference between legally changing your name and having your records changed. Most people get confused and think that, for example, changing your name with Social Security or on your Passport, is legally changing your name. That is not true.
Changing your name with Social Security is not legally changing your name. That is just a change of record so you will be sure to get the proper Social Security benefits later on.
As for utilities like the electric, gas, water, and telephone company; they will often accept a copy of the court order and often times you can inform them of the name change over the phone. If they want a copy, they will ask you to send in one to them.
If you have any questions about what is expected of you, call the people you need to change your name with and ask what they require. You don't have to tell them why you changed your name; they won't ask or they shouldn't.
Last, and most importantly, it's ok to change your name on your health insurance in most cases pre-hysterectomy though my advise would be to wait until your hysterectomy is done. However, do not be too quick to change your sex on your health care insurance if you have not had your hysterectomy yet. I know, to most that's a no brainer but a few guys have jumped the gun and are now faced with the dilemma of how they will afford a hysterectomy surgery that can run into the 10's of thousands of dollars out of pocket! Once you change the F to M on your health insurance, you cannot go back and change it to F so your hysterectomy will be covered. They simply will not approve a hysterectomy on a man since men don't have them. Don't blow it because you are too quick to change the sex on this particular document. Common sense before foolish pride!
Believe it ore not, this very thing has actually happened! I know of an FTM who is in his 40's who jumped the gun, changed the F to M before his hysterectomy, was rejected for surgery, then actually asked Medicare if they would change the M back to F so his surgery would be covered. They quickly answered NO. We don't need to be perceived as people who try to pull insurance scams because of a few over zealous fools.
DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S REACTIONS TO YOUR NEW NAME:
Many people and organizations will have difficulty with the idea of you changing your name. Remember that you have the legal right to change your name. Try to:
- Show documentation of your new name
- Discuss the state laws that supports your name change in a non confrontational manner
- Speak with a supervisor or main office
- If all else fails a local official or state representative can be a successful last resort.
Be smart, use your head and your common sense. If you don't know, don't assume; always ask. You will come out better in the end.