Montana 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.
Montana State Code:
Sec. 27-31-101. Petition for change of name of natural person. All applications for change of names must be made to the district court of the county where the person whose name is proposed to be changed resides, by petition signed by such person and, if such person is under 18 years of age, by one of the parents, if living, or if both be dead, then by the guardian, and if there be no guardian, then by some near relative or friend. The petition must specify the place of birth and residence of such person, his or her present name, the name proposed, and the reason for such change of name and must, if neither parent of such person be living, name as far as known to the petitioner the near relatives of such person and their place of residence.
History: En. Sec. 2261, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7361, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 39, L. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9964, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9964, R.C.M. 1935; amended. Sec. 21, Ch. 240, L. 1971; amended. Sec. 33, Ch. 94, L. 1973; amended. Sec. 59, Ch. 535, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-2(part).
Sec. 27-31-201. Order setting hearing date — notice — safety.
(1) When a petition setting out the matters contained in 27-31-101 or 27-31-102 is filed, the court or judge may appoint a time for hearing the petition. Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3), notice of the time and place of hearing the petition must be published for 4 successive weeks in some newspaper published in the county, if a newspaper is printed in the county. If a newspaper is not printed in the county, a copy of the notice must be posted in at least three public places in the county for 4 successive weeks.
(2) Publication is not required for a change of name of a minor under 27-31-101 if both parents and all legal guardians consent in writing.
(3) The court may allow a petition to proceed on a sealed-record basis when probable cause is shown that the safety of the petitioner is at risk and the judge is satisfied that the petitioner is not attempting to avoid debt or to hide a criminal record. The request to proceed on a sealed-record basis must be set forth in the petition. All papers and records pertaining to the sealed-record petition must be kept as a permanent record of the court and withheld from inspection unless the judge denies the request to proceed on a sealed-record basis. A person, other than the petitioner, may not have access to the records except for good cause shown and on order of the judge of the court in which the petition was granted. History: En. Sec. 2262, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7362, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 7, L. 1911; re-en. Sec. 9965, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9965, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-3; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 233, L. 1987; amended. Sec. 1, Ch. 169, L. 1997.
Sec. 27-31-202. Filing of objections to change. At any time before such hearing, objections may be filed by any person who can, in such objections, show to the court or judge good reasons against such change of name. History: En. Sec. 2263, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7363, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 2, Ch. 7, L. 1911; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-4 (part).
Sec. 27-31-203. Conduct of hearing. On the day set for the hearing of said petition or at any time to which the hearing is continued or postponed, due proof of the publication or posting of the required notice as set out in 27-31-201 being made, such application must be heard. On the hearing the court or judge may examine on oath any of the petitioners, remonstrants, or other persons touching the application. History: En. Sec. 2263, C. Civ. Proc. 1895; re-en. Sec. 7363, Rev. C. 1907; amended. Sec. 2, Ch. 7, L. 1911; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1921; re-en. Sec. 9966, R.C.M. 1935; R.C.M. 1947, 93-100-4 (part).
Sec. 27-31-204. Court order. The court or judge may make an order changing the name or dismissing the applications, as to the court or judge may seem right and proper.
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