Frequently Asked Questions About the Name Change Process

How much does it cost to change your name?

The cost of our forms is the only charge we will collect. Other charges you may incur in the filing of any legal pleading with a court could include: filing fees, postage for certified mailings, fees associated with the signatures and seals of a Notary Public, publication fees and service of process charges. It is difficult to determine exactly what fees will be needed due to the varying circumstances surrounding any legal action or case. Moreover, the processes and requirements for a name change application vary from state to state and sometimes even from county to county or courthouse to courthouse. We recommend that you contact your local court clerk for information regarding the exact current cost of these fees.

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How long does it take to legally change my name?

Name change actions can take anywhere from a day, to six (6) months (sometimes even longer). The time it takes for name change actions to be ordered/decreed varies not only from state to state but from county to county and courthouse to courthouse as well. Should time be a major factor for you, to see how long a name change at your local courthouse will take to process, we recommend that you contact the courthouse where you anticipate filing your legal action.

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Can the entire name change procedure take place online or will a court appearance be necessary?

We always recommend that our customers file their action (documents/forms) in-person at their local courthouse. This is the fastest, easiest and best approach to filing. Besides appearing to file your documents/forms, name change actions often require other appearances within court. This process varies not only from state to state but sometimes from county to county or courthouse to courthouse. We recommend that you review your state’s name change laws/statutes at our Name Change Law Center web site, - state pages are provided from the main aforementioned URL. If you have further questions regarding court appearances pertaining to a name change application, we the recommend that you contact your local court clerk with your questions.

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How can I find out if my state requires publication of my notice to file for a name change, fingerprinting, service of process, etc.?

We recommend reviewing your state’s statutes/laws. For state specific information pertaining to the name change process in your state, please go to our main Name Change Law Center web site at: and click on your state's link. State specific web pages have the name change statutes for their respective state listed in the right-hand column of said web page.

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If I was born in Florida but have since moved to New Jersey, in which state should I file my application for change of name?

In order to file for a name change, one must meet the residency requirements of the state in which you wish to file. In other words, in order to petition a state for name change, you must be a permanent resident of that state. All states require a Petitioner/Applicant to be a resident of the state -- often for at least six months and sometimes for as long as one year -- before filing for a name change there. Someone who files for a name change, typically, must offer proof that (s)he has resided there for the required length of time.

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I am only interested in changing my first name. Do your forms apply to this circumstance?

Our name change forms are applicable to changes of the first name, middle name, last name and/or any combination.

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Are your name change forms appropriate if I have recently married?

No.  Our name change forms are not to be used when the name change is a result of marriage -- a simpler procedure should be involved. Please see Changing your name after marriage, for specific information regarding name change as a result of marriage.

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Are your name change forms appropriate in adoption proceedings or paternity actions?

No. Our name change products and services are not to be used in connection with an adoption or paternity action, since in such cases the name change should be done as part of that case or proceeding.

In your notes regarding this service it states that if someone has claimed bankruptcy, they should consider contacting a lawyer. I filed for bankruptcy but have been discharged for 5 years. Should I still consider using a lawyer or is it ok to use this kit or service?

Our name change materials (information and products) are for simple uncontested name change actions only. Attempting to change one's name when contemplating filing for bankruptcy and/or after one has claimed bankruptcy can be complicated and our name change pleadings are not applicable in such situations. These situations would typically require the assistance of an attorney who is a member of the bar in the state in which you live.

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Does your kit provide me with all the required forms, information and filing instructions?

All of our State-Specific Name Change forms contain more than just the needed forms. Our staff reviews state statutes, laws, regulations, and requirements when developing our forms. Detailed instructions are included with each package Within that text is always a recommendation that our customers contact their local court clerk to ensure that all necessary forms have been obtained. Our forms are State-Specific. We recognize however that local laws vary -- not just from state to state, but even from county to county. We make every effort to ensure that our legal forms are as comprehensive as possible -- County and Courthouse variation information however is not always readily available to our staff. Also, we cannot promise any of our customers perfection -- only our best efforts. Your local jurisdiction may require forms or papers that we have missed. More often than not, if something is missing from a form set, it is usually a single form or county cover sheet. These missing forms are usually available from the local court clerk.

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What is the difference between your Generic Name Change products and your state specific name change products?

Our state-specific products are based upon state statute. Within our state specific Name Change products, references are made to specific state statutes. The included forms meet state’s court requirements, and the instruction set has been written to help you clearly understand your state’s process of filing for a name change.

Our Generic forms, however, do not have any state-specific details. The forms are written to meet the general requirements of the papers/forms needed in the majority of states. An explanation is provided which covers the main, general ideas of name change and the steps that are typically involved in all name changes throughout the United States. Many forms within our Generic Name Change form package will never be needed in certain states. The forms are included in the Generic product however since the papers are needed in other jurisdictions. Some of the forms in our Generic Kit may not be accepted by the various courts due to very specific local legal requirements and special format details which certain courts mandate.

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How does your Document Preparation Service work?

Our Document Preparation Service, requires that you complete an on-line Questionnaire. Our software will instantly generate your legal forms once you submit your on-line Questionnaire.  Our legal document specialists will then review your documents for completeness, accuracy, and consistency.  If our staff requires additional information, or if you fail to answer the required questions, our staff will contact you. The prepared forms, with further instructions, will be returned to you as an attachment to an e-mail within a few business days (assuming we do not need additional information from you).

This service cost $99.95 for an Adult name change or a Minor name change. Our fee includes the review of the forms and delivery of the forms in a data format. Paper or disk copies of the forms can be mailed to you for a small additional charge. Other charges which may become necessary in the filing of any legal document with a court could include: filing fees, postage for certified mailings, fees associated with the signatures and seals of a Notary Public, publication fees and service of process charges. These fees and charges are the responsibility of the Petitioner, not our company.

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If I choose to purchase the Document Preparation Service, will I still have to contact all entities to amend documents, for example, passport, driver's license, etc. Or will those changes be submitted for me through this process for Document Preparation?

Once the forms have been delivered, you will have further steps to take. Our service does not include any notarization of forms. Likewise, we do not file your papers with any court or assist with other requirements, such as service or publication procedures. While we do provide a listing of agencies/places to contact after your action has been ordered or decreed (approved and finalized), we do not assist in these procedures. These steps will be your responsibility.

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If the paternal father's name isn't on my stepdaughter's birth certificate do we need to notify the paternal father of our petition?

Any parent or adult who retains parental or custodial rights over a minor has a right, based in statute, to be notified and must provide consent or waiver of consent to legal actions regarding the minor. The actual law will vary from state to state, but the general rule is that both parents must consent to a name change for a minor. Our products are designed for uncontested legal actions only - actions where all interested parties can come to agreement.

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