You can see my prior posts on legalizing my name change here.

Unlike two years ago, where I lost the ability to change my name legally due to an ability to afford it or meet the deadlines, this time my name change is legit.

Three weeks from today, on July 27, my preferred name Charles will be legal to use.

My first document with my name is several years old, from my first attempt to legalize my name as Charles. Formally I’ll be Charles, but entitles me to the chill nickname as “Charlie”.

I received two certified copies declaring my name change finalized, and sent one to the state treasury, along with the state department in charge of birth certificates. Starting the day my name change legally takes effect, I’m hoping my local DMV is open to wait in the long line to update my driving license…and if there’s enough time left, head to the local social security office to get my card updated, as well. (At least those vital records, and wait for a new card in the mail.) After that’s all done…yes, for a US citizen, I keep and maintain a current passport.

I’m glad I ordered two copies of the name change decree, because one state department didn’t return their copy. If we all have a social security number that remains with us, why all this hubbub to legalize a name change?

Then the fun begins with all the other organizations in my life where I need to update my name change. Banking, car registration and insurance, re-register to vote, health insurance, updating the IRS, living will, letting my LGBT clinic my name change is now legal, my landlord, any legal documents involving me.

The fun part, anticipating it, has ended. The real world work of updating everything begins.

Here’s an important tip while you’re waiting for your name change to take effect. Update that which doesn’t need legal documentation to reflect your name—your phone and other devices, social media, etc.

Use Google Pay or Apple Pay to pay for things, cash everywhere else, so you’re not pulling out a credit card that doesn’t bear your name; better yet, if you’re due for an upgrade, get a Samsung Galaxy S phone, as you can use it to pay anywhere that has a credit card swiped to pay. It uses extra technology than what Apple Pay or Google Pay solely uses, so you can pay at almost any store. (Yes, as an Apple user, I’m recommending a Samsung device. Desperate times call for desperate measures.)

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