Name Change Proceedings
Where to File
Any person desiring to change his/her name or that of his/her child may apply to the District court of the county in which he/she resides, by petition setting forth the reasons for the change. (The superior court may also take name change petitions, and their procedures may differ as they are not set out statutorily.)
Complete the Petition
The petitioner (the person requesting the change) must complete the petition provided by the clerk. If you are petitioning the court to have the name of a minor child changed, signature of both legal parents must appear on the petition.
Reasons You Cannot Change Names
A person is free to adopt and use, absent a statute to the contrary, any name that he or she sees fit so long as it is not done for any fraudulent purposes and does not infringe upon the rights of others. Examples of fraudulent purposes are to:
- Aid a fugitive from justice
- Avoid family responsibilities
- Avoid paying taxes
- Evade creditors
- Intentionally injure or embarrass a prominent member of the public
- Unfairly compete in a business or profession
A person who is required to register as a sex offender cannot change names unless the person sends to the sheriff a copy of the name-change petition at least five days prior to entry of the order changing names. The filing fee is $191.50 and includes three certified copies of the Order when signed, the recording fee and certification fee. The district court shall collect the fees authorized for filing and recording a name change order, and transmit the fee and the order to the county auditor.
Additional copies of the Order, certified, are $5. Non-certified are $1 for the first page and $.50 for every page thereafter.
Places You Will Need to Notify
Department of Vital Records
The Department of Vital Records in your birth state requires a certified copy. If you were born in Washington, mail a certified copy to:
Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics
P.O. Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98507-9709
It is suggested you request a copy of your birth certificate reflecting the name change. There is a charge for this procedure. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Social Security Department
The Social Security Department requests and keeps a certified copy of the name change. The address of the local office is:
Social Security Administration
Social Security Number Unit, Federal Building
301 Yakima Street, G-30
P.O. Box 1428
Wenatchee, WA 98807-1428
You must change the name on your driver’s license. The Department of Licensing requires a copy, non-certified, to issue a new license.
Your bank will also require a copy, non-certified, to change all necessary documents.
If you are or were in the military service, you will need a certified copy for your military records.
Your insurance company(s) may also need a copy.