I am a French citizen and a permanent resident of America, and my American fiance and I are getting married. I would like to change my name legally in France as well as America. What is the process so that my name matches in both counties?

  • America doesn't really have a concept of "a legal name" - you can call yourself what you like. As such there isn't really a process to "change your name legally in America". I don't know what the process is to change your name legally in France is at all. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jan 15 at 13:41
  • @MartinBonnersupportsMonica 'America doesn't really have a concept of "a legal name"': unfortunately, many Americans, including many of those in a position to make rules about what names are acceptable in a given context, do not know this. Furthermore, many states have various definite legal mechanisms for changing names, of which the marriage certificate is of course one example. Yet, alongside this, at least some states allow people to change their name simply by using the new name, as long as there is no intention to defraud anyone. – phoog Jan 16 at 7:42
  • @phoog Could you please provide more details about America no having a concept of a "legal name"? I'm curious to learn more about it. Specially, since all government entities that I ever came across enforce this concept of "legal name". – IanDan Jan 16 at 15:03
  • @IanDan many US states still follow common law, at least to some extent. See under "England and Wales" and "United States" at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_name. Every state does things slightly differently, however. In NY, for example, you can change your name by customary use (I know someone who has done this), by petitioning a court, or through marriage (the license or certificate has a place for writing the new name, in contrast to the situation described in Wisconsin in 1975 in In re Kruzel). – phoog Jan 16 at 16:55
  • @IanDan it may be more precise to describe this as having a legal name but not being bound by it. That is, when someone begins using a new name, that new name is actually the person's legal name. The trick, of course, is getting that name onto your government documents. That's difficult to do without a court order, if not impossible. The person I know who changed her name through customary use eventually had to get that name change (retroactively) confirmed by a judge. – phoog Jan 16 at 17:00

Your marriage certificate will allow you to change your legal name both in the US and in France.

After getting married, file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. Check “Yes” when asked if your name has legally changed since USCIS issued your most recent card and fill out the appropriate information.

After you receive your new LPR Card, update your Social Security Card and that will allow you to get a new Driver License and then change other documents.

As for France, I'm not familiar with the procedure as each country has specific rules. Generally speaking, you would go to the French consulate with your marriage certificate and ask them to register your marriage there and change your name to your married name.

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