Minnesota Legal Name Change
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, after reviewing the information below, you find the need for further legal assistance, you should visit this online legal service.
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.
Minnesota State Code:
Sec. 259.10 General requirements.
Subdivision 1. Procedure. A person who shall have resided in this state for six months may apply to the district court in the county where the person resides to change the person’s name, the names of minor children, if any, and the name of a spouse, if the spouse joins in the application, in the manner herein specified. The person shall state in the application the name and age of the spouse and each of the children, if any, and shall describe all lands in the state in or upon which the person, the children and the spouse if their names are also to be changed by the application, claim any interest or lien, and shall appear personally before the court and prove identity by at least two witnesses. If the person be a minor, the application shall be made by the person’s guardian or next of kin. The court shall accept the certificate of dissolution prepared pursuant to section 518.148 as conclusive evidence of the facts recited in the certificate and may not require the person to provide the court a copy of the judgment and decree of dissolution. Every person who, with intent to defraud, shall make a false statement in any such application shall be guilty of a misdemeanor provided, however, that no minor child’s name may be changed without both parents having notice of the pending of the application for change of name, whenever practicable, as determined by the court.
Subdivision 2. Witness and victim protection name changes; private data. If the court determines that the name change for an individual is made in connection with the individual’s participation in a witness and victim protection program, the court shall order that the court records of the name change are not accessible to the public; except that they may be released, upon request, to a law enforcement agency, probation officer, or corrections agent conducting a lawful investigation. The existence of an application for a name change described in this subdivision may not be disclosed except to a law enforcement agency conducting a lawful investigation. History: (8633) RL s 3620; 1917 c 222 s 1; 1943 c 28 s 1; 1943 c292 s 1; 1951 c 535 s 1; 1975 c 52 s 1; 1986 c 317 s 1; 1986 c444; 1991 c 161 s 1; 1995 c 259 art 1 s 39
Sec. 259.11 Order; filing copies.
(a) Upon meeting the requirements of section 259.10, the court shall grant the application unless it finds that there is intent to defraud or mislead or in the case of the change of a minor child’s name, the court finds that such name change is not in the best interests of the child. The court shall set forth in the order the name and age of the applicant’s spouse and each child of the applicant, if any, and shall state a description of the lands, if any, in which the applicant and the spouse and children, if any, claim to have an interest. The court administrator shall file such order, and record the same in the judgment book. If lands be described therein, a certified copy of the order shall be filed for record, by the applicant, with the county recorder of each county wherein any of the same are situated. Before doing so the court administrator shall present the same to the county auditor who shall enter the change of name in the auditor’s official records and note upon the instrument, over an official signature, the words "change of name recorded." Any such order shall not be filed, nor any certified copy thereof be issued, until the applicant shall have paid to the county recorder and court administrator the fee required by law. No application shall be denied on the basis of the marital status of the applicant.
(b) When a person applies for a name change, the court shall determine whether the person has been convicted of a felony in this or any other state. If so, the court shall, within ten days after the name change application is granted, report the name change to the bureau of criminal apprehension. The person whose name is changed shall also report the change to the bureau of criminal apprehension within ten days. The court granting the name change application must explain this reporting duty in its order. Any person required to report the person’s name change to the bureau of criminal apprehension who fails to report the name change as required under this paragraph is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. History: (8634) RL s 3621; 1917 c 222 s 1; 1941 c 178; 1943 c 28s 2; 1959 c 250 s 2; 1975 c 52 s 2; 1976 c 181 s 2; 1986 c 317 s2; 1986 c 444; 1992 c 464 art 1 s 56; 1992 c 571 art 15 s 2
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