California Name Change

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013

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Changing your name in California is not difficult, and most people tackle this legal task on their own. The forms are available online and you can fill them out and file them with the court yourself. The required fee may be waived if you are unable to pay. Here is some basic information to get you started.

What forms are required for a California name change?

The following forms are required for a name change in California:

  • Petition for Change of Name(form NC-100)
  • Name and Information Form(form NC-110)
  • Order to Show Cause for Change of Name(form NC-120)
  • Decree Changing Name(form NC-130)
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet (form CM-010)

These forms are available on the California Courts website. Check with your local superior court to find out if they require other forms (see “Where Must the Forms Be Filed?” Below).

Where do I file the forms for a name change in California?

The completed forms must be filed with the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the person whose name is to be changed currently lives.

Do I need to notarize the name change forms?

No.

Is there a filing fee for a name change in California?

There is a fee to file your documents. Check the court fees and waivers section of the California Courts website to find the correct fees A fee waiver may be obtained with a showing of sufficient hardship.

Do I need to schedule a court hearing?

Yes. A hearing on the Order to Show Causemust be requested for at least six weeks in the future.

Do I need to publish something in a local newspaper?

Yes. A copy of the Order to Show Cause must be published in a local newspaper once a week for at least 4 weeks before the hearing date.

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