You can change your name legally in the country so long as the intent for change is not unlawful or fraudulent. All you have to do is to request a name change from the court in the county in which you reside. Therefore, if you want to determine whether a person made a change to their name, you can perform a search on the relevant documents that they would need to make the change. Finding the paper trail is easy because the relevant institutions will file the records of the change and this will make it easier to find a person.
Searching County Records Online
As stated above a person will change their name by making an application in a court in the county which they reside. Therefore, you should know the counties which the person has ever resided in where they could have made the change. Some counties will provide databases of the cases they have handled, and you can perform the search online. Here, you will search using the person’s former name. It is important that you do not ignore checking the divorce records. A person can restore their maiden name after going through a divorce.
Visiting The Court’s Office Clerk
Some counties will not avail a database of the cases they have handled online. In such cases, you will need to pay a clerk of the court in the county a visit. Counties that do not have an online court database will provide you with a public terminal which you can use to perform the search. If they do not provide you with a public computer terminal, you will have to ask the court clerk to perform the search for you. In this case, you will have to pay a fee for the service.
If you can notice a name change case or divorce case, you can ask the clerk to get you the court file on the case. After getting the court file, you read through and determine whether the court granted the individual the go-ahead to change their names.
Contacting The Department of Records or Vital Statistics
Because most of the information about name changes are available publicly, contacting the Department of Records and Vital Statistics could yield positive results. They can provide you with the information that is available to the public. In some circumstances, this department will be able to provide you with a copy of the person’s birth certificate or divorce decree.
Using this two documents you can determine whether the person made a change in the birth certificate or after going through the divorce. After making the determination, it will be easy to get more information about the change. However, contacting the department of records or vital statistics is not a reliable way to go. It is because most of the states do not avail private information about an individual to the public because of privacy reasons.
Using an Agent or Online Service
Hiring an agent to perform the search is another alternative. You can hire a private investigator or an online service. However, it comes with a fee of course. There is an increased chance when you are using an agent that you will find the information you are searching. It is because they are experts in performing the activity. They will search exhaustively in all the information available to the public. Also, they can visit different courthouses in the different areas where the person of interest has ever lived. It is something that you can find tiring to do.
There are different ways you can use to determine whether a person legally made a change to their name. The key ways of making the determination involving performing a search in all the publicly available information and visiting the courthouses in the area where the person lived and performing a search in their files.