Rhode Island Name Change

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2023Fact Checked

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2023Fact Checked

Changing your name in Rhode Island is a relatively simple procedure. Only one form is required, which you must complete and file with the proper court at which time you will be required to pay a fee. Here is more information that will help you navigate the process.

What forms are required for a Rhode Island name change?

The following form is required to change your name in Rhode Island:

  • Change of Name Form (Form PC-8.1)

This form can be found on the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.

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

The completed form must be filed with the probate court clerk of the county where you currently live.

Do I need to notarize the forms?

Yes. Ask the clerk if he or she may perform the function of a notary public. If not, check with your bank. Banks often offer notary services for free for their account holders.

Is there a filing fee in Rhode Island for a name change?

Yes. Check with the court clerk to determine the amount. You may have the fee waived if you can show financial hardship.

Do I need to schedule a court hearing?

Yes. The court clerk will tell you the date of your court hearing.

Do I need to publish something in a local newspaper?

Yes. You must publish notice of your name change in a local newspaper. Ask the clerk for more information on when and where to publish your notice.

Case Studies: Rhode Island Name Change

Case Study 1: Name Change for Marriage

Emily recently got married and wants to change her last name to her spouse’s last name. She completes the required name change form provided by the Rhode Island Secretary of State and files it with the probate court clerk in her county. Emily pays the filing fee and schedules a court hearing. She also publishes a notice of her name change in a local newspaper as required. The court approves her name change, and Emily successfully changes her name to her married name.

Case Study 2: Name Change for Personal Reasons

John wants to change his first name legally for personal reasons. He obtains the necessary name change form from the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website, fills it out, and files it with the probate court clerk in his county. John notarizes the form and pays the filing fee. He is given a court hearing date and follows the instructions to publish a notice of his name change in a local newspaper. The court grants his name change request, and John legally changes his first name.

Case Study 3: Name Change for Gender Identity

Alex identifies as non-binary and wants to change their name to better align with their gender identity. They download the name change form from the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website and complete it. Alex files the form with the probate court clerk in their county, providing the necessary notarization and paying the filing fee. They are assigned a court hearing date and publish a notice of their name change in a local newspaper. The court approves their name change request, and Alex legally changes their name to one that reflects their gender identity.

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

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...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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