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, 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, UNLESS you are told specifically that you do not have to do so.

 

If you want to change a minor’s legal name, 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) Have the Order to Show Cause served on the non-petitioning parent in the manner prescribed by the California Code of Civil Procedure, and have the server complete the Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause.   You can disregard this step if both parents petition together;

4) Attend the hearing on the date set.

 

Selecting Your Newspaper

 

However you fill out your forms, you will need the Adjudicated Newspapers of Kern County to fill out one of the forms. 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.

 

This list was most recently updated as of October 2023.  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

Do not rely solely on the information here.  You will want to confirm the information is up to date and accurate. 

 

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.  At the bottom of this page 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. 

Attending Your Hearing

 You will be given a hearing date which you must attend unless you are specifically told otherwise.  If you do not attend your hearing, your petition will not be considered and you will have to start over. 

 

You have options for how to attend your hearing.  If you want to attend your hearing in person, you will need to review your Order to Show Cause to see the date, time, and department where your hearing will take place. 

 

If you want to attend your hearing remotely, you will need to complete and file a Notice of Remote Appearance and an Order Regarding Remote Appearance.  You will have to do this at least 5 COURT DAYS before your scheduled hearing date. 

 

If you would like to use a court date calculator, you can CLICK HERE to make sure you give yourself enough time to request a remote appearance. 

 

If you are approved to attend remotely, you will visit THIS PAGE to access your hearing.

Get In touch

More Information

Hours

Monday - Thursday:
8am-4pm
Friday:
8am-12pm
1-3:30 available by appointment only

Location and Phone

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

Available Services

Including library services & resources availble for use

Information and Guidance

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