Adult name change
Change your legal name
In California, you can ask for a court order to change your legal name. To do this, you file a petition with the court and publish a notice in a newspaper. Then, you'll either have a court date (a hearing) where a judge will make a decision, or the judge may make a decision without a hearing. Once the judge decides, you pick up a court decree (court order) with your new name. The process generally takes up to 3 months.
Choose any part of the process below to get step-by-step instructions.
Step 1. File a petition with the court
First, you fill out and file court papers and pay a fee.
Step 2. Publish your request in a newspaper
Next, you must publish a notice in a newspaper saying that you are asking the court to legally change your name.
Step 3. Go to a hearing (if required)
Some courts require you to go to a court hearing. Other courts may order the legal name change without a hearing.
Step 4. Get your decree
If the judge approves your request, you'll get a signed decree. You can use this to change your name on any legal documents, like birth certificate, social security card, passport, and driver's license.