Pennsylvania 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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Legal tasks such as changing your name can sometimes seem complicated. Don’t be discouraged, though. In Pennsylvania, changing your name is fairly easy. The requirements mostly consist of filing a form or petition with the court and a fee. The information provided below will outline the requirements and help you start the process.

What forms are required for a Pennsylvania name change?

The State of Pennsylvania does not have a specific name change form. You must write your own petition to change the name, use a form prepared by a commercial service, or have an attorney write one for you. The First Judicial District (Philadelphia County) posts its name change forms online.

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

The completed forms must be filed with the clerk of the court of common pleas in the county where you currently live.

Do I need to notarize the forms?

Check with your local court clerk.

Is there a filing fee for a Pennsylvania name change?

Yes. Check with the clerk of the court to determine the cost. A fee waiver may generally be obtained with a showing of sufficient hardship.

Do I need to schedule a court hearing?

Yes. The clerk will give you a date for your hearing when you file your petition. The hearing will be between one month and three months in the future.

Do I need to publish something in a local newspaper?

Yes. The clerk should give you information on where and when to publish notice.

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