In order to legally change your name in Pennsylvania, you MUST obtain court approval. Unless the proper steps are followed, including things like being fingerprinted and publishing notices in local newspapers, you CANNOT change your name. Exceptions apply for parties getting married or divorced. Your petition may be denied if you have committed a serious crime or are seeking to evade debts.
Of course, this is only the first step in the process. Once your legal name change has occurred, you still have the obligation to notify any and all necessary parties of the change, such as the Social Security Agency, DMV, taxing authorities, etc., not to mention your employer, banks and any other professional and personal affiliations.
If you desire a legal name change, the attorneys at Allegheny Attorneys can help. Contact our office at (412) 426-3321 to start the next chapter in your life today.