California Legal Name Change


Start Your Name Change NOW!



Change your name with confidence. Avoid common errors and filing mistakes. Get your name changed quickly and easily.

Still not sure? Visit our Help page to learn more about our product and view our Frequently Asked Questions.

Legal Name Change Info and State Statutes

If you are opting to go through the product without the assitance of our e-guide… or if you simply want to learn more before moving ahead with the process, we have provided tons of free information to help you on your way.

We encourage you to read and learn as much as possible about the legal name change process. There is a lot to know and the process differes by state. Thus we have provided all of this information to give you an understanding of the overall process and the specific rules that may apply to you.

Below are the relevant state statutes, as well as links to the form petitions and instructions for obtaining a legal name change for yourself or a minor.

If you are seeking a marriage name change or a divorce name change, your marriage license or divorce decree can serve as your legal name change document. Thus you can proceed to Name Change Notification, the final step of the name change process. Otherwise, read the information below and follow the links to learn about obtaining a legal name change.


Our e-guide provides you with all the forms you need and walks you through the process with detailed instructions, specified to your needs and location, so you can change your name as quickly and easily as possible.


Why should you use our product?


California State Code:

Sec. 1275. Applications for change of names must be determined by the Superior Courts.

Sec. 1276. All applications for change of names shall be made to the superior court of the county where the person whose name is proposed to be changed resides either:

(a) by petition signed by the person or, if the person is under 18 years of age, by one of the person’s parents, if living, or if both parents are dead, then by the guardian of the person and, if there is no guardian, then by some near relative or friend of the person or

(b) as provided in Section 7638 of the Family Code.

The petition or pleading shall specify the place of birth and residence of the person, his or her present name, the name proposed, and the reason for the change of name, and shall, if neither parent of the person is living, name, as far as known to the person proposing the name change, the near relatives of the person, and their place of residence.

In an action for a change of name commenced by the filing of a petition: (a) If the person whose name is proposed to be changed is under 18 years of age and the petition is signed by only one parent, the petition shall specify the address, if known, of the other parent if living.

(b) If the person whose name is proposed to be changed is 12 years of age or over, has been relinquished to an adoption agency by his or her parent or parents, and has not been legally adopted, the petition shall be signed by the person and the adoption agency to which the person was relinquished. The near relatives of the person and their place of residence shall not be included in the petition unless they are known to the person whose name is proposed to be changed.

Sec. 1277.
(a) Where an action for a change of name is commenced by the filing of a petition, the court shall thereupon make an order reciting the filing of the petition, the name of the person by whom it is filed and the name proposed, and directing all persons interested in the matter to appear before the court at a time and place specified, which shall be not less than four or more than eight weeks from the time of making the order, to show cause why the application for change of name should not be granted. A copy of the order to show cause shall be published pursuant to Section 6064 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation to be designated in the order published in the county. If no newspaper of general circulation is published in the county, a copy of the order to show cause shall be posted by the clerk of the court in three of the most public places in the county in which the court is located, for a like period. Proof shall be made to the satisfaction of the court of this publication or posting, at the time of the hearing of the application. Four weekly publications shall be sufficient publication of the order to show cause. If the order is published in a daily newspaper, publication once a week for four successive weeks shall be sufficient. Where a petition has been filed for a minor and the other parent, if living, does not join in consenting thereto, the petitioner shall cause, not less than 30 days prior to the hearing, to be served notice of the time and place of the hearing or a copy of the order to show cause on the other parent pursuant to Section 413.10, 414.10, 415.10, or 415.40.

(b) Where application for change of name is brought as part of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12 of the Family Code), whether as part of a petition or cross-complaint or as a separate order to show cause in a pending action there under, service of the application shall be made upon all other parties to the action in a like manner as prescribed for the service of a summons, as is set forth in Article 3(commencing with Section 415.10) of Chapter 4 of Title 5 of Part 2.Upon the setting of a hearing on the issue, notice of the hearing shall be given to all parties in the action in a like manner and within the time limits prescribed generally for the type of hearing (whether trial or order to show cause) at which the issue of the change of name is to be decided. (Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 163, and Sec. 60. Effective January 1, 1993. Operative January 1, 1994, by Sec. 161 of Ch. 163.)

Sec. 1278.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the application shall be heard at the time designated by the court, only if objections are filed by any person who can, in those objections, show to the court good reason against the change of name. At the hearing, the court may examine on oath any of the petitioners, demonstrants, or other persons, touching the application, and may make an order changing the name, or dismissing the application, as to the court may seem right and proper. If no objection is filed the court may, without hearing, enter the order that the change of name is granted.

(b) Where the application for a change of name is brought as part of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3 (commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12 of the Family Code), the hearing on the issue of the change of name shall be conducted pursuant to statutes and rules of court governing those proceedings, whether the hearing is conducted upon an order to show cause or upon trial. (Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 163, Sec. 61. Effective January 1, 1993. Operative January 1, 1994, by Sec. 161 of Ch. 163.)

Sec. 1278.5. In any proceeding pursuant to this title in which a petition has been filed to change the name of a minor, and both parents, if living, do not join in consenting thereto, the court may deny the petition in whole or in part if it finds that any portion of the proposed name change is not in the best interest of the child.

Sec. 1279. A certified copy of the decree of the court, changing the name of a person, shall within 30 days from the date of the decree, be filed in the office of the county clerk in the county in which the person lives.

Sec. 1279.5.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), (d), or(e), nothing in this title shall be construed to abrogate the common law right of any person to change his or her name.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, no person imprisoned in the state prison and under the jurisdiction of the Director of Corrections shall be allowed to file an application for change of name pursuant to Section 1276, except as permitted at the discretion of the Director of Corrections.

(c) A court shall deny an application for a name change pursuant to Section 1276 made by a person who is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, unless that person’s parole agent or probation officer grants prior written approval. Before granting that approval the parole agent or probation officer shall determine that the name change will not pose a security risk to the community.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law, a court shall deny an application for a name change pursuant to Section 1276 made by a person who is required to register as a sex offender under Section 290 of the Penal Code, unless the court determines that it is in the best interest of justice to grant the application and that doing so will not adversely affect the public safety. If an application for a name change is granted for an individual required to register as a sex offender, the individual shall, within five working days, notify the chief of police of the city in which he or she is domiciled, or the sheriff of the county if he or she is domiciled in an unincorporated area, and additionally, with the chief of police of a campus of a University of California or California State University if he or she is domiciled upon the campus or in any of its facilities.

(e) For the purpose of this section, the court shall use the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) and Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) to determine whether or not an applicant for a name change is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code. Each person applying for a name change shall declare under penalty of perjury that he or she is not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 of the Penal Code. If a court is not equipped with CLETS or CJIS, the clerk of the court shall contact an appropriate local law enforcement agency which shall determine whether or not the applicant is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections or is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290of the Penal Code. (Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 821, Sec. 1. Effective October 9, 1997.)

State Name Change Petition and Instructions
Adult Form Instructions
Child Form Instructions



(back to top)



COPYRIGHT © 2007-2011 Winter Rock LLC • HomeAbout UsContact UsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy

NewLastName.org (the Site) is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you have questions that are legal in nature, please contact an attorney. Furthermore, the Site disclaims any and all connection with any state or federal government agency. NewLastName.org does its best to obtain accurate information for each state, however the information has not been certified by a state or federal government agency. The Site does not claim responsibility for the accuracy of the information displayed herein. Additionally, the Site expressly disclaims any and all liability for third party links or resources on the Site and any claims of negligence arising from same.