How To Start Over

Changing My Identity


My name is Jane Smith – at least it is as far you’re concerned.  I wasn’t born with that name; to be honest, that’s not even the name I use every day – I’m not going to take any chances in putting that out there. 


Why?  Because there are people I owe a lot of money to, that’s why – big time; and they’ve been looking for me for years. So far, I have been careful enough to be one step ahead of them.It was the recession that got me into this mess – lost my job, house worthless, big credit card debts.  There was no way I could pay it back – the only option was to disappear and try and change my identity.

The trouble is that there are lots of people advertising on the Internet that claim you can totally change your identity and they’ll give you all the supporting documentation you need.   The problem is that they are mostly scams, at least the ones I tried were. They took my money and sent me a bad fake ID or one time it turned out they’d issued the same set of documentation to lots of people. And you can’t just pick a gravestone with a baby’s name on it these days; computer technology has stopped that being a solution that works.


What I found in the end was that your best bet if you want to erase your identity and start over is to legally change your name, move to a different state (or better than that, a different country), get a different job and start a new life.  If possible, it’s a good idea to change how you look – from the way you dress, to how you walk, to the color of your hair.  Once you get some money behind you again, I’d consider plastic surgery as well.

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If you want to change your identity the legal way, it’ll take some time and I’m sorry to have to break it you but there’s always going to be a way to trace you back to the real you eventually.

First you need to change your name, and then your social security number. The procedure for changing your name varies by state, so you need to check with your county court or on the Internet to find out the exact steps you need to follow.  All I can do here is tell you how it happened in my state (I’m not going to tell you which state, for obvious reasons).

I filled out a petition requesting the change. The court ran an ad in the local newspaper for a month to see if anyone has an objection to the request.  Nobody objected so I had to pay less than $50 and I was officially a new person and got an official document to change my name everywhere else — bank, driver’s license, credit cards, insurance and Social Security Administration.

Changing my Social Security number (SSN) was trickier because I had to prove that my identity had been stolen (ironic, eh?) or that I was a victim of domestic violence. Luckily for me (well, lucky, in this case), my former husband had been convicted of assault on me a few years ago, so domestic violence was pretty easy to prove; otherwise, I probably would have been out of luck.

Once all that had come through, I went to the opposite end of the country to start my new life – it’s been hard without having a credit history.

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