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Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
So, first off, I am putting a call out to all you lawyers. If you're not a lawyer, you're welcome, of course. However, so I know which advice is coming from who, please state if you're a lawyer or not. For all you lawyers who respond, I understand that you make no guarantees to the veracity of the legal advice you give me and such. Did I cover everything?
Okay, on with the question. So, I changed my name. To be specific, I changed it at will. I told my friends, my family, my co-workers to start addressing me by my new name and all that jazz. As I understand it, legal precedence says that at will name changes are a Constitutional right and that they have all the same legal weight as a court-decreed name change. Furthermore, under the 14th Amendment, a state cannot abridge that right. I did a little bit of research and I found that one of the key cases in this field is In re McUlta, 189 F. 250 (1911).
So, I want to get my driver's license changed. I write up an affidavit saying that I am changing my name, I understand that I am still responsible for any responsibilities tied to my former name, I am not changing my name out of frivolity, fraudulent intent, or any other illegal purpose, and it is not obscene. I get it signed and notarized and head over to the DMV. I ask to change the name on my license and they say they /need/ a official court document stating that I have changed my name.
So, here is my question... or questions. First off, is my understanding of the law correct? Second, if it is correct, what can I do from here? Or, if it isn't correct, why isn't it correct? Thanks.