A new Identity is difficult but may be necessary
When caught in a bad situation, humans generally have two instinctual responses: fight or flight.
In the modern age we live in, the option of flight is nearly an impossible choice. Sure you can run and try to hide by moving to another town or another state or in extreme cases another country, but everywhere we go we leave a trail – bank accounts, credit cards, utility bills, cell phone accounts – making it simple for even an inexperienced sleuth to find you. This is why some people resort to changing identity. It is difficult by most standards, but certainly not impossible to do. Having assistance from a government agency can significantly aid you in the process and will increase your chances of truly fleeing a bad situation. Of course real life is not a blockbuster film where the main character can simply erase his existence and start fresh somewhere else, but it would require someone to do a lot of homework to find you once you have made the choice to move on.
There are only a few reasons why the government will assist you in changing identity. Is your life in danger due to an abusive partner or gang relations? Do you need protection because you witnessed a crime? If these scenarios do not match your current situation you may not qualify for government assistance, but there is no need to fret. You can work through changing your identity on your own. It will take some time, paperwork, and training, but it can be done. Going through the process of changing identity is difficult so you must be committed, above all else. Be sure that it is your last resort. And don’t think that you can change your identity to escape from debt collectors because that will never work. Your creditors will always spend the resources to locate you.
As with every legal act such as changing identity, there is paperwork involved so that you can change your name legally and apply for a new social security number. Completing these items will allow you to get all the proper documents you will need to create a fresh start for yourself. Before the explosion of the Internet, a fairly dishonest person could create a new identity with a short visit to a cemetery. He could find the name of an infant that died around the same year he was born and just assume that identity by filing out all the appropriate paperwork. Now that these records are electronic there are many flags that would go off if you tried to raise the dead like this.
Time and training is the next hurdle you will face when you change your identity. You will need to practice with your new name, both introducing yourself and also in your signature. These are some hard habits to break. You will also need to develop a back story for yourself that is simple and believable. With a new identity you have to train yourself not to be whom you were. Unique skills that you had in your old life must be put aside because using them would make it easier to be found. You have to become a new person completely.
The final stage is the hardest. You will have to sever all ties with your family and friends and relocate to a new place. This is extremely difficult if you are going to change your identity alone. Now consider that you will need to apply for work and you will have no pervious experience and no references. You will have to start building your life from nothing. So finding work will be very hard. You will have no credit so getting loans and being approved to rent an apartment will also prove difficult. When changing identity, it is best to have as much cash on hand as possible because when this money runs out you will have no one to assist you. When you relocate, move far enough away to ensure that no one from your previous life would expose your true identity thus wasting all your efforts.
If you decide that changing your identity is the only way to escape, be sure you are prepared for a long and hard road. With dedication you will be able to become a new person, but it will be a long time before it becomes easy enough to be happy in this new life. Before making such an extreme decision, be sure that you weigh the pros and cons.
Remember, you will never be able to see your family or friends again and for most people this is the most difficult part.