Self Help

Civil Name Change

There are different methods for changing your legal name, one of the most common being a Civil Name Change.  The California Court’s website now features an interactive tool by which to complete the forms you will need for a Civil Name Change.

If you visit the link above, you will see that there are options from which to choose which include for adults:

  1. Civil name change
  2. Restoring maiden name
  3. Changing an adult’s name to conform to gender identity
  4. Recognition of gender change.

There are also options available for name changes for minors, including:

  1. When both parents want to petition for a name change
  2. When one parent is petitioning for a name change
  3. Changing a child’s name to conform to gender identity
  4. Changing a minor’s gender (with or without a name change).

If you are interested in completing a civil name change, you will need to complete Judicial Council forms to file with the appropriate Civil Department.  You may follow this link to find the forms you will need to complete your name change process, whatever the details.

You will also be responsible for a filing fee in the amount of $435.00.  If you think you may qualify, you may wish to review these Fee Waiver Forms that you can file with your packet of civil name change documents.  Please begin by reading the document titled FW-001-INFO.

There is also a program you can use by clicking here to assist you in completing your forms.  Just select “For an Adult” or “For a Minor” and expand the menu under Item #1 – Fill Out Your Forms.  You will see a link which says Complete Your Forms Online which will take you to the auto-fill program.  PLEASE NOTE: This program will not be available for 100% of civil name change matters (e.g., if you are the guardian of a minor whose name you wish to change), but will be available for the majority of types of civil name changes.  However you fill out your forms, you will need a list of Adjudicated Newspapers of Kern County to fill in one of the forms.

The process of using the program is fairly straightforward – you must answer the series of questions presented and fill in information as accurately as possible, and at the end, the program will generate the forms you need to file for your civil name change.  It is nonetheless always adviseable to review the packet of documents generated for completeness and accuracy.

Below is a video demonstration of the program with commentary – please note though that the examples used in the video are entirely fictitious, and the video is included only to provide a demonstration of the functionality of the website.   Please use the documents generated at your own discretion, and remember that it is the responsibility of the user of the program to verify the contents of the documents prior to filing.

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