- Marriage or civil partnership (e.g. Tiffany Rodriguez marries Aanchal Chaudhari and assumes her surname, becoming Tiffany Chaudhari)
- Adoption, or marriage of a custodial parent
- Divorce or estrangement of parents
- Immigration / adaptation of the name to a different language or script (e.g. Samantha Ogden became Shilpa Ojha on becoming an Indian national)
- To evade the law or a debt or commit fraud
- To avoid a stalker or harassment
- Religious conversion and/or deconversion, ordination or return to lay status (e.g., Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali upon conversion to Islam)
- To choose a surname associated with a hobby, interest, or accomplishment (e.g., old name Henry Schifberg, new name Henry Lizardlover)
- To receive an inheritance conditional on adopting the name of the deceased (this reason was once quite common in landowning families in the UK)
- To replace a name which might be considered undesirable with a more desirable one (e.g., old surname Lipschitz, new surname London)
- To dissociate themselves from a famous or infamous person (e.g., old name Michael Jackson, new name Martin Jackson)
- To identify with a famous or infamous person (e.g., old name Simon Johnson, new name Simon Pendragon)
- To dissociate themselves from a family black sheep (e.g., relatives of Adolf Hitler).
- To dissociate themselves from an ethnic origin (e.g., changing Battenberg to Mountbatten or Jan Ludvik Hoch to Robert Maxwell).
- Commercial sponsorship, e.g., Jimmy White temporarily became Jimmy Brown for HP brown sauce. Ashley Revell became Ashley Blue Square Revell for Rank Group's Blue Square service. Peter Janson briefly changed his name by deed poll to NGK Janson to circumvent a Motorsport Australia rule that only allowed a driver's, and not a sponsor's, name to be carried on a windscreen at the 1977 Bathurst 1000.
- Protest or activism (e.g., old name Jennifer Taylor, new name Jennifer Save the Forests)
- To change to a fictional character's name, (e.g., old name Tracy Darling, new name Tracy Beaker)
- To make their name more attractive or "catchy" so as to increase their chance of success (see Stage name)
- To change the legal name to the one used in everyday life (e.g., where middle name has been used throughout life)
- To remove superstitious consequences of the old name (e.g. old name Mulyono, new name Joko Widodo)
- To better fit one's gender identity, or as part of one's gender transition (e.g. Jake Zyrus)
- Losing a bet - for instance, a New Zealand man changed his name to Full Metal Havok More Sexy N Intelligent Than Spock And All The Superheroes Combined With Frostnova, and apparently discovered it has been accepted when his passport expired.
- In accordance with witness protection.
Read more, here.
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