If a person has been convicted, one can assume by default that he is aiming at a fresh start. At times, the bid to do so will inspire them to disown the names that they had been using for the initial part of their lives.

An ex-felon will likely wonder, can ex-felons change their names?

If an ex-felon is to change his name, the laws of the prevailing jurisdiction need to be borne in mind. Other matters to be looked into are the severity and nature of the criminal offense.

Just as instance, Florida and Illinois are two states that have placed explicit restrictions on ex-felons, preventing them from changing their names. In Georgia, however, name changes are permissible.

In this article, we discuss a few of the most important aspects associated with ex-felons changing their names.

Why would an ex-felon want to change his name?

An ex-felon may seek to change his name because he seeks a fresh start. It’s a digitalized world that we live in. If anyone searches for an ex-felon by his name, Google will likely reveal a tremendous amount of information. The ex-felon, here, is in a bid to conceal a section of this information.

This becomes more so the case if the felony conviction is public.

Several cases come to cognition wherein ex-felons face difficulties finding jobs hiring felons. An ex-felon harbors a notion that if his colleagues come to know of his criminal past, they’ll perceive him differently.

So, an ex-felon might attempt to have the links to his name removed from search engines. Changing the name is likely the next course of action.

Will changing your name conceal a criminal record?

The fact of the matter is that upon changing your name, you still wouldn’t be able to hide your criminal history. If you change your name, let it be your personal preference. Do not do it to hide your criminal past.

When you change your name, in most states, you’ll be required to update your relevant public records.

But, even if you choose to skip this official step, your criminal record will still be associated with your new name. Your Social Security Number is going to be used for conducting a background check. This is more so the case when a business that has conducted your interview, intends to undertake a professional background check. Even if you change your name, your Social Security Number stays unchanged.

Depending on the jurisdiction, you might be able to take some proactive measures. This may come in the format of sealing or expunging an entry, which keeps your criminal record hidden from the public.

If we leave aside a formal pardon, which is an exceptional condition, the idea won’t work for genuine criminal convictions.


An ex-felon can’t erase his past completely. But they can still overcome the plight that several ex-felons need to deal with. Changing your identity will take effort, time, and work. But it can be done.

Contact ReeCareers today for elaborate resources on Rehabilitation Programs for Felons and Resume Writing for Convicted Felons, besides aid for jobs and housing for ex-felons.

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