Legal Second Identity? Illegal or Questionable?

Posted on 2009-02-08
Last Modified: 2013-11-10
 I am doing a college research paper on Questionable Activities and If Why and How they are Legal and Illegal.  Are there laws against obtaining a new Identity or is it just frowned upon.  I did not want to go out and experience jail time for a college assignment nor did I want to look like a fool being interrogated if it is against the law.  I also wanted to know which reasons were legal and illegal, if applicable.  Is there any way to do these things, it would save a lot of worthless internet searches and digging in law books at the campus and public libraries?
    LVL 62

    Accepted Solution

    This may vary with different countries so for your benefit we would need to know where you want this to apply.

    There is a common law issue with identity which effectively means you can only have one legal identity at any point in time. Any other identity used at that point is an alias. At this point interpretation becomes dependent on where you are.. As a very broad generalization use of an alias is legal unless it is done with the intention to defraud or otherwise commit an illegal act or if it interferes with the legitimate investigation of a crime. In the UK the "giving of a false name" is an offence if you are being cautioned by a police officer under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
    Changing your name (i.e. obtaining a new legal identity is perfectly legal - effectively in law all you need to do is publicly declare that henceforth you will be known as ,,,,, for all legal purposes  This then becomes your one legal identity.
    LVL 17

    Assisted Solution

    Depending on which country you live in this may be something to ask your local law enforcement/court system(lawyer).  Many countries have the means to change your identity based on a court order.  (Canada, US, UK, France)  This is usually due to threat of life and limb to you or your family members.  It is possible to also change your name legally.  You usually have to have a lawyer involved to change your name on a whim.

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