Washington, DC Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

In the District of Columbia, an adult at least twenty-one (21) years of age who wishes to change his or her name must be a current resident of the District of Columbia for at least sixty (60) days prior to filing. Proof of such must be provided to the Court. The Application informs the Court of the Applicant's name, the name the Applicant wishes to assume, the reasons for the change and other personal information as required by statute.

A party filing an Application for name change for an adult shall present to the Court all required supporting documentation, forms, an official copy of his/her birth certificate or current passport (check with the Clerk), as well as the filing fee. A fee for publication will also be required and is the Applicant’s responsibility. The Applicant shall be responsible for any court costs and/or any other fees incurred throughout the name change process.

At the time of the first filing, the Clerk of the Court will set a date for the final hearing and inquire if anyone is entitled to notice of the Application and final hearing. Notice of the hearing, together with a copy of the Application, must be served upon all creditors, as well as all interested persons designated by the Court, within ten (10) days of filing.

Publication of the name change in a local newspaper of general circulation in the District of Columbia is required and must begin within twelve (12) days of filing. Notice must be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks. The Applicant must obtain proof of the dates of publication from the newspaper. Typically the newspaper will provide a “Certified Proof of Publication” to the Applicant once all costs have been paid and the Order has been published for the required three (3) consecutive weeks.

The final hearing scheduled by the Court shall proceed at Judge-in-Chambers where the Judge will hear and determine all matters raised by the Application and to render final judgment or decree thereon. The Court may then proceed to enter an Order of approval of name change.

The procedure for changing a minor's name in the District of Columbia is similar to the Adult process. Please remember our name change materials are for simple uncontested name change actions only. As such, our District of Columbia Minor products include an Affidavit Supportive of Petition form for both of the minor's biological parents. If one parent has not completed an Affidavit Supportive of Petition, then notice must be served on that parent.

The granting of an Application for change of name is discretionary with the Court, and the Court may deny an Application on grounds, which would not constitute lawful objection. For an Order of name change to be granted, the Court must find sufficient reasons for the change and also find the name change in the interest or to the benefit of the Petitioner and in the interest of the public. A person is not allowed to change his/her name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person cannot change his/her name to defraud another person.

The law which governs name changes in the District of Columbia is Title 16 Particular Actions, Proceedings and Matters, Chapter 25 Change of Name. This information can be reviewed at: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/dccode/.

Washington, DC Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95
Minor Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95
Minor Name Change $119.95

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