User login EMAILPASSWORD

Montana Name Change Center

The Montana Name Change Law Center is a resource on changing your name in the State of Montana for non-lawyers and pro se litigants. Please let us know if we have omitted a link to an important state resource and we will gladly add it.

PRODUCTS AVAILABLE:
No-Fault Divorce Products
Marital Separation Agreements

Courts and Community Resources

Mediation
Glossary of Family Law Terms
Montana Courts and Judicial Districts

Montana Name Change Law

Chapter 31. CHANGE OF NAME

Part 1. General Provisions

27-31-101. Petition for change of name of natural person. All applications for change of names must be made to the district court of the county where the person whose name is proposed to be changed resides, by petition signed by such person and, if such person is under 18 years of age, by one of the parents, if living, or if both be dead, then by the guardian, and if there be no guardian, then by some near relative or friend. The petition must specify the place of birth and residence of such person, his or her present name, the name proposed, and the reason for such change of name and must, if neither parent of such person be living, name as far as known to the petitioner the near relatives of such person and their place of residence.

History: En. Sec. 2261, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7361, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 39, L. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9964, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9964, R.C.M. 1935; amended. Sec. 21, Ch. 240, L. 1971; amended. Sec. 33, Ch. 94, L. 1973; amended. Sec. 59, Ch. 535, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-2(part).

27-31-102. Petition for change of name of nonprofit corporation. Any religious, benevolent, literary, or scientific corporation or any corporation bearing or using or being known by the name of any benevolent or charitable order or society may by petition apply to the district court of the county in which its articles of incorporation were originally filed or in which its property is situated for a change of its corporate name. Such petition must be signed by a majority of the directors or trustees of the corporation and must specify the date of the formation of the corporation, the name proposed, and the reason for the change of name. Upon the filing of the petition, the same procedure shall be followed as upon applications for changes of names of natural persons.

History: En. Sec. 2261, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7361, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 39, L. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9964, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9964, R.C.M. 1935; amended. Sec. 21, Ch. 240, L. 1971; amended. Sec. 33, Ch. 94, L. 1973; amended. Sec. 59, Ch. 535, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-2(part); amended. Sec. 60, Ch. 12, L. 1979.

27-31-103. District court jurisdiction. Applications for change of names must be heard and determined by the district court. History: En. Sec. 2260, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7360, Rev. C. 1907; re-en. Sec. 9963, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9963, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-1.

Part 2. Procedure

27-31-201. Order setting hearing date -- notice -- safety. (1) When a petition setting out the matters contained in 27-31-101 or 27-31-102 is filed, the court or judge may appoint a time for hearing the petition. Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), notice of the time and place of hearing the petition must be published for 4 successive weeks in some newspaper published in the county, if a newspaper is printed in the county. If a newspaper is not printed in the county, a copy of the notice must be posted in at least three public places in the county for 4 successive weeks.

(2) Publication is not required for a change of name of a minor under 27-31-101 if both parents and all legal guardians consent in writing.

(3) The court may allow a petition to proceed on a sealed-record basis when probable cause is shown that the safety of the petitioner is at risk and the judge is satisfied that the petitioner is not attempting to avoid debt or to hide a criminal record. The request to proceed on a sealed-record basis must be set forth in the petition. All papers and records pertaining to the sealed-record petition must be kept as a permanent record of the court and withheld from inspection unless the judge denies the request to proceed on a sealed-record basis. A person, other than the petitioner, may not have access to the records except for good cause shown and on order of the judge of the court in which the petition was granted. History: En. Sec. 2262, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7362, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 7, L. 1911; re-en. Sec. 9965, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9965, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-3; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 233, L. 1987; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 169, L. 1997.

27-31-202. Filing of objections to change. At any time before such hearing, objections may be filed by any person who can, in such objections, show to the court or judge good reasons against such change of name. History: En. Sec. 2263, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7363, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 2, Ch. 7, L. 1911; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-4 (part).

27-31-203. Conduct of hearing. On the day set for the hearing of said petition or at any time to which the hearing is continued or postponed, due proof of the publication or posting of the required notice as set out in 27-31-201 being made, such application must be heard. On the hearing the court or judge may examine on oath any of the petitioners, remonstrants, or other persons touching the application. History: En. Sec. 2263, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7363, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 2, Ch. 7, L. 1911; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-4 (part).

27-31-204. Court order. The court or judge may make an order changing the name or dismissing the applications, as to the court or judge may seem right and proper.