West Virginia 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: Sep 24, 2010

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A name change in West Virginia may seem like a complicated task, but you can handle it on your own with a bit of guidance. The first step in West Virginia is to publish a notice in your local newspaper that states your intent to file for a name change and the date and time at which you’re going to file. Then, it is mostly a matter of completing and filing the proper forms and paying the fee. The following information will help get you started:

What forms are required for a West Virginia name change?

The State of West Virginia 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. Click on the following link and search the West Virginia Code for more details: West Viriginia Code §48-25-101 – 105t

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

The completed forms must be filed with the circuit or family court clerk of the county where you currently live.

Do I need to notarize the forms?

Check with your local courthouse.

Is there a filing fee for a name change in West Virginia?

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?

Check with your local circuit court to determine whether a hearing is required.

Do I need to publish something in a local newspaper?

Yes. Before you file your petition, you must publish a notice in your local newspaper that states your intent to file for a name change and the date and time at which you’re going to file.

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