Self Help

Civil Name Change

Is a Civil Name Change is Right For Me?


If you want to change your legal name, a civil name change may be a good fit for you.  However, if you have an open case in the Family Court for Dissolution of Marriage (divorce), or if you already have a final judgment in a divorce, you should visit this page, whether the name change is for you or a minor.


How Does it Work?


If you want to petition the court to change your legal name, or the name of a minor, you will need to:

1) Complete and file the appropriate forms, along with a filing fee of $435.00 (If you think you may qualify, you may wish to submit a Request to Waive Court Fees and Order to Waive Court fees with your name change documents to ask that the court waive your filing fee).

2) Publish your Order to Show Cause in the newspaper you selected when you filled out your paperwork.  This must be done once per week for four weeks prior to the hearing date the court clerk will assign for your hearing.

3) Go to your hearing, if necessary.


Selecting Your Newspaper


However you fill out your forms, you will need a list of approved newspapers of Kern County to fill out one of the forms. CLICK HERE to download it. 

This list of newspapers now includes price information for publishing your Order to Show Cause, and tells you whether the newspapers will file your Proof of Publication for you, or if they will give it to you for you to file. 

Be sure to review the list with the heading for Name Changes, not Probate, for price info for your Name Change case.  PLEASE CALL THE NEWSPAPER BEFORE YOU SELECT IT – you will want to confirm the information is up to date. 


Completing Name Change Forms

You have two options for filling out your forms – you can fill them in yourself, or you can use a program that completes them for you by asking a series of questions and using your answers to fill out the paperwork. 

There is a form building program you can use by clicking here.  Below is a video demonstration of the program with commentary – please note that the examples used in the video are entirely fictitious, and the video is included only to provide a demonstration of how the form-builder program works.  Please use the documents generated at your own discretion, and remember that it is the responsibility of the user of the program to review the contents of the documents prior to filing them.

Click here to download the forms to fill in directly, if you prefer.   

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More Information


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Location and Phone

1415 Truxtun Ave, Rm. 301 Bakersfield, CA 93301 (661) 868-5320

Available Services

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Information and Guidance

For example, which forms to complete and how to file them.