How to change your name

Name changes require legal documentation showing the name change.

Please submit a request including your full name as it appears on your license, profession, license number, your new name, your date of birth, the last four digits of your social security number, and your signature.

Attach supporting documents, which must be one of the following:

  1. a copy of a state issued marriage license that includes the original signature and seal from the clerk of the court
  2. a divorce decree restoring your maiden name
  3. a court order showing the name change (adoption, legal name change, federal identity change)

Any one of these will be accepted unless the Department has a question about the authenticity of the document. If you wish to receive a new license that reflects the name change, you must request a duplicate license. Mail your $25.00 payment and request to:

Division of Medical Quality Assurance Licensure Support Services P.O. Box 6320

Tallahassee, Florida 32314-6320

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

Applying for a change of name in Connecticut is accomplished through the filing of a Petition for Change of Name. The petition can be submitted to both the probate court or the superior court. However, the instructions below apply to the filing procedures of the probate court. Note that all filings must be submitted to the court located in your county of residence.

Step 1 – Petition for Change of Name

Begin by downloading the Petition for Change of Name (Adult). This document will be used to provide the court with your personal information, the proposed new name, your spouse’s personal and contact information (if applicable), and the reason for the change of name.

Step 2 – Affidavit Regarding Change of Name

Next, you will need to fill out the Affidavit Re Change of Name (Adult). This form will be used to notify the court of your criminal history as well as supply them with additional personal information. Fill out the form completely except for the signature field. You will need to provide your signature in front of a notary public prior to filing with the probate court OR have an official of the court (e.g., clerk, judge) witness the signing of the document when it is filed.

Step 3 – Prepare for Submission

Before filing with the probate court, ensure that the following documents are included in your filings:

  • Petition for Change of Name (Adult)
  • Affidavit Re Change of Name (Adult)
  • Certified copy of your long-form birth certificate
  • Two (2) forms of identification, including at least one (1) form of photo ID

Step 4 – Submit to Probate Court

Take your filings to the probate court in your county and submit them to a clerk. A $225 filing fee will be required upon submission. This fee can be paid by cash, credit card, money order, or check. Checks should be made payable to the “Treasurer, State of Connecticut.”

If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can ask to be exempt by submitting a Request/Order Waiver of Fees – Petitioner to a court clerk.

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Step 5 – Attend Hearing

After your filings have been submitted, the court shall schedule a time, date, and location for your hearing. Notice of such hearing will be sent to you and to all other interested parties. The court will then send your personal information to the Department of Public Safety in order to have your background checked on the Connecticut sex offender registry.

Attend your hearing and the court will determine whether or not your change of name request is valid. If approved, you will be permitted to assume the new name.

Minor (Child) Name Change

A request to change a child’s name in Connecticut can be made if the petitioner (person submitting request) is the child’s parent or guardian. If you are neither the child’s parent or guardian, contact the probate court in your county to see if your relationship to the child qualifies as permissible for a change of name request. Furthermore, the request must be filed with the probate court or superior court located in the child’s county of residence.

If you are changing a child’s name as part of an adoption agreement or declaration of an intention to adopt, you will not have to go through the standard filing process (§ 45a-736). Instead, make a request to change the child’s name when filing the adoption paperwork.

Note: The instructions below are directed towards the probate court filing procedures. Those filing with the superior court should contact the court in advance to see if additional steps are required.

Step 1 – Petition for Change of Name

The Petition for Change of Name (Minor) will be used to notify the court of the reason for the change of name, the name(s) of the petitioner(s), the proposed new name, and other information relevant to the change of name request. Complete the form and attach any additional sheets if more space is needed.

Step 2 – Affidavit Regarding Change of Name

After completing the Petition for Change of Name (Minor), you will need to fill out the Affidavit Re Change of Name (Minor). This document will be used to inform the court of the child’s criminal history and to ensure the court that the change of name request is not being made to defraud, mislead, or deceive any person or government agency. Leave the “Subscriber” signature field empty. You will need to sign the document in front of a notary public prior to filing. Alternatively, you may sign before a clerk or other court official.

Step 3 – Prepare for Submission 

Have the following documents prepared and ready for submission:

  • Petition for Change of Name (Minor)
  • Affidavit Re Change of Name (Minor)
  • Certified copy of the child’s long-form birth certificate, unless the court will accept other documents which prove the child’s birth name
  • Two (2) forms of identification, including at least one (1) photo ID
  • If available, other documents proving the identity of the child
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Step 4 – File with the Probate Court

Bring your filings to the probate court located in the district where the child resides. Submit your documents to a court clerk and pay the $225 filing fee. You may pay by credit card, cash, check, or money order. Checks should be made out to the “Treasurer, State of Connecticut.” If you are unable to afford the fee for reasons the court deems valid, you may request an exemption by filing a Request/Order Waiver of Fees – Petitioner.

Step 5 – Prepare for Hearing

A clerk will inform you of the time, date, and location of your court hearing. The court will also notify the parents/guardian of the minor (if you are neither the child’s parent or guardian) as well as the minor (if the minor is twelve (12) years of age or older).

Depending on the minor’s criminal history mentioned on the Affidavit Re Change of Name, the court may conduct a criminal background check on the minor and/or search the Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry to determine if the child is a registered sex offender.

Step 6 – Attend Hearing

Go to the probate court on the date and time that was indicated to you by the clerk. The purpose of the hearing will be for the judge to review the change of name request and to listen to other persons who may have objections to the request (if any). If the judge determines that the change of name request is valid, a decree will be issued which will serve as legal proof that the child’s name has been changed.

The legal ins and outs in Maryland

By Judy Malmon

There are many reasons why people seek to legally change their name, the most common being upon marriage, divorce or adoption. You don’t need a specific event or reason to change your name in Maryland, however; you can do it simply because you don’t like the one you have. There are, however, a few limitations.You’re not allowed to change your name as a means to avoid creditors, or to perpetrate any kind of fraud. You can’t take the name of a celebrity, an offensive word or phrase, a number, or something spelled with a symbol (like * or #).Maryland recognizes the common law rule permitting the adoption of a new name simply by using it and telling others of the change. However, this can be impractical and lead to confusion for purposes of official identification. To formally change your name, you can do so by petitioning the court. Approval of a name change is discretionary with the judge who handles your petition, but generally a reasonable change will be granted. Changing the name of a minor must be found to be in the child’s best interests.If you’re marrying in Maryland, either spouse may keep their name or opt for the other spouse’s name; and it may be hyphenated or combined. You can simply start using the new name upon marriage, and should use it consistently. A certified copy of your marriage certificate will allow you to update your ID.If a name change is expected as part of gender reassignment, it’s recommended that you pursue a legal name at the same time.Legal Name Change ProcessIf you’re over 18 and you reside in the state of Maryland, you may file a Petition for Change of Name in your local county circuit court. You may also request to resume your former name in your divorce complaint. A notice of your request will need to be published in a local paper (ask the court clerk whether the petitioner or the court handles publication in your county), and you must provide proof of publication to the court. After a period of time is allowed for objections (if, for example, one parent doesn’t want a child’s name changed), you’ll either have 15 days to respond to any objections made, or you’ll receive a signed Order for Name Change in the mail. When you submit your paperwork, ask for multiple certified copies so you can provide documentation to others.Once you receive your order, follow up with additional agencies that need your correct name information, including the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), Social Security Administration, your bank, employer, insurance, school, creditors, etc. You’ll need to update your passport, driver’s license, Social Security card and other forms of ID.There are some costs associated with this process, including a court filing fee (currently $165), publication fee (depends on publication), additional certified copies ($5 per document certified), and additional cost of new ID. You don’t need a lawyer to complete a name change, but if you’re already working with a lawyer (such as for divorce or adoption), they may handle the change of name.Changing the Name of a MinorWhether a name change will be granted for a child depends largely on if the parents are in agreement. Where parents do not agree, the court will decide if it’s in the child’s best interest, assessing whether the circumstances are extreme. Factors considered will include the length of time the current name has been used, the strength of the parent-child relationships, the need of a child to identify with a new family unit, and any conduct that led to the disgracing of an existing surname. Note that a change of name without adoption does not modify parental rights and obligations. If your child is less than one year old, you may be able to change or correct their name through the Division of Vital Statistics, without a court order.

Maryland

You’re not allowed to change your name as a means to avoid creditors, or to perpetrate any kind of fraud. You can’t take the name of a celebrity, an offensive word or phrase, a number, or something spelled with a symbol (like * or #).

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