Help with Name Change Paperwork:
You can pick up the forms you will need to ask the court for a name change at the courthouse for a fee, or you can download them here:
Name Change Forms Packet** Forms for additional name change types can be found here .
- This packet requires these forms (click to view & download)
Name Change FAQs:
- Fill out the Petition for Change of Name, including the Attachment to Petition and make 2 copies of each.
- Fill out the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name and make 2 copies.
- Fill out the Civil Case Cover Sheet.
- Fill out the Decree Changing Name for the judge to sign.
- Review the Fee Waiver Information sheet (FW-001-INFO) and, if you think you might qualify, fill out the Fee Waiver forms (FW-001 & FW-003).
- File all your papers with the copies in the court in the county where you live.
- Publish the Order to Show Cause in a newspaper of general circulation once per week for 4 weeks in a row. Not all newspapers are valid, and the fees they charge are different, so call around.
- Pick up your Proof of Publication from the newspaper you chose and file it at least 5 days before your hearing date.
- Go to your court date. Once you get your Decree Changing Name, get a certified copy from the court. You will need this to change all your legal documents, including your birth certificate and social security card.
For the current fees for filing a name change petition, please see the current fee schedule for Humboldt County Superior Court. If you are low-income, you may be able to qualify for a fee waiver and not have to pay a filing fee. Fee Waiver forms and information can be found here.
On top of the court fee, you have to pay to publish your petition for the change of name in a newspaper. Publishing the name change in a local newspaper is required in most name change cases. You cannot get a fee waiver for this fee. Different papers charge different fees for publication, so call around.
Although it may not make a lot of sense to you, the law requires that you publish your request to change your name and the date of your court hearing to give people a chance to object to your request to change your name. Normally, no one objects, but it is still a legal requirement and you can't get a court order to change your name without doing it.
After you file your Petition for Change of Name, you will get a court date on your Order to Show Cause between 6 and 12 weeks away. If your paperwork is correct and you followed all the required steps, the court will give you a court order changing your name within a few days. Some courts are busier than others and it may take longer.
There are ways for your new name to remain confidential and not appear on the court records. You can register with the Safe At Home program to keep the information confidential. You can find more information on the Safe at Home program at: http://www.casafeathome.org/
Civil Division of Humboldt County
421 I St.
Eureka, CA 95501