ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Change Your Name = Clean Slate?

Updated on November 8, 2009

If you are attempting to avoid legal action of any kind or to defraud any person, you will not be permitted to legally change your name.

As is typically the case when discussing laws, the statutes regarding name changes vary with the state in which you reside. However, some regulations are uniform.

  • Typically, for an order of name change to be granted, the court must find sufficient reasons for the change and find it consistent with the public interest.
  • Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court's findings as to whether the change of name is proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person.
  • A person is not allowed to change his/her name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions or to avoid debts and obligations.
  • A person can not change their name to defraud any person.
  • You must file a petition with the proper court and pay the required fees (at the time of filing). The petition will contain the name you wish to adopt and typically the reason you wish to change it.
  • Most states require the petitioner to place advertisements in the local newspapers at his/her expense and provide proof the notice was published.

Below are some of the states with different procedures and/or information:

Alabama - You must be 19 or older to be considered and adult.

Alaska - If a name change is granted, your birth certificate may be amended (and it will carry the notation “amended”). This requires you complete the forms provided by the Department of Vital Statistics.

Arizona - Arizona statutes do not provide for the issuance of a new certificate of birth nor the amendment of the original certificate of birth following a court ordered name change based solely on the name change statute.

Arkansas - Even if a name change is approved, records of persons under the jurisdiction and supervision of the Department of Correction will continue to reflect the name as recorded by the various circuit courts.

Delaware - Individuals subject to the supervision of the Department of Correction shall be prohibited from adopting any names other than their legal names or otherwise effecting name changes. However, if the person's request is motivated by a sincerely held religious belief, the court may grant the change.

Florida - A FBI fingerprint card must be attached for each individual applying for a name change.

Illinois - Your Petition must also be verified by the affidavit of some credible person.

Iowa - The verified petition must be accompanied by a certified copy of the birth certificate. If one is not available, this should be noted in the Petition and a substitute form of identification provided such as Immigration and Naturalization papers.

Louisiana - If you were born in Louisiana, you can have your original birth record altered to reflect the name change. The state registrar of vital records must be provided with a certified copy of the name change judgment.

Maine - To protect the person's safety, the judge may limit the notice required if the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that he/she is a victim of abuse and is currently in reasonable fear of his/her safety. The judge may seal the records of the name change in this instance.

Minnesota - If the court determines that the name change for an individual is made in connection with his/her participation in a witness and victim protection program, the court shall order that the court records of the name change sealed.

Missouri - Petitions must include details regarding any judgment for money which has not been satisfied or any pending matters and, if so, the style of the case wherein the judgment was entered and the court in which the judgment was entered.

New York - The Petitioner must also attach to the petition either a birth certificate or a certified transcript or a certificate of the commissioner or local board of health that none is available.

North Carolina - The process for obtaining a name change begins with the posting of a Petition for Name Change at the door of the Superior Court in the jurisdiction in which you reside. The Petition is posted, generally on a bulletin used for that purpose near the main entrance to the courthouse, for 10 days in order to give the public notice by publication of the requested name change. Afterwards, the Petition is filed with the Clerk of the Court.

The Petition must be accompanied by two (2) affidavits of good character made by two (2) citizens of the county in which the you reside.

The Petition also inquires as to whether or not your name has ever before been changed by law, and, if so, why.

After the Petition is posted and filed, if the clerk thinks that good and sufficient reason exists for the change of name, it's his/her duty to issue an order changing your name.

Pennsylvania - The Court forwards all Petitions and a completed fingerprint card for each to the Pennsylvania State Police for processing regarding any possible criminal record. With 60 days the State Police will respond to the Court with any relevant information concerning the Petitioner.

Vermont - The process for obtaining a name change begins with the filing of the Petition in the Probate Court in which you reside. You must attach a copy of your birth certificate and, if married, a copy of your marriage license.

The register of probate with whom the change of name is filed and recorded then send the certificates and a certified copy of the Order of Name Change to the supervisor of vital records registration. The supervisor of vital records registration then forwards the Order to the town clerk in the town where the person was born within the state, or where the original certificate is filed, with instructions to amend the original certificate and all copies. The amended certificates will be marked "Court Amended.”

West Virginia - Statutes may prevent some with a criminal record from obtaining a name change.

IMPORTANT NOTES & DISCLOSURES: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name. Although all applicable forms are available for purchase online, you may need an attorney to complete this process. My Research was conducted primarily- but not solely at US Legal Forms, however, I have NO AFFILIATION with this site as of the date I wrote this.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)