person is free to adopt and use any name that he/she sees fit so long
as it is not done for any fraudulent purpose and does not infringe
upon the rights of others.
A person cannot change ones name to avoid family responsibilities,
to evade creditors, to aid a fugitive from justice, to avoid paying
taxes, to intentionally injure or embarrass another person, or to
unfairly compete in business or a profession. If an adult requesting
a change of name is under the jurisdiction of the State of Washingtons
Department of Corrections, notice must be served on the DOC prior
to the hearing.
A parent or legal guardian of a minor child can petition the court
to change the name of that minor child or ward. The court must find
that such a change of name is in the best interest of the minor child
or ward to grant such a petition. Notice must be given to the natural
parent(s) of said child of the request for change of name.
If a person whose name is to be changed (whether an adult or minor)
is required to register his/her address as a sex offender, notice
must be given to the Skagit County Sheriff and the Washington State
If you have recently been married, you may be able to effectively
change your name without filing a petition with the court. Certified
copies of your marriage certificate can often be used at the Department
of Licensing, Social Security Administration, passport offices and
other private and public agencies. Contact those agencies for information.
WHERE TO FILE
A document called a Petition for Change of Name must be
filed in the District Court of the county in which the person seeking
the change of name lives. Skagit County District Courts hours
are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
WHAT TO FILE
If the person
whose name is to be changed is 18 years of age or more a copy of
picture identification of petitioner a copy of the birth certificate
of the petitioner the original petition for change of name, completely
filed out the original proposed order changing the petitioners
name a filing fee of $166 (US Funds)
Upon completion of all filing requirements, the clerk will set this
matter for hearing on the second Monday after the completion of
filing at 1:30 p.m. You will be given a notice containing the date
and time. Although the actual time to complete your hearing is minimal,
you will have to wait your turn. Be early, but plan on a least one
The court clerk is required by law to ask you if you are under the
supervision of the Washington Department of Corrections. If you
are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, a copy
of the petition and of the notice of hearing must be served on the
If you are under the supervision of the DOC, you must cause a copy
of the petition and notice of hearing to be sent by certified mail,
return receipt requested at least twenty-two days prior to the date
set for the hearing. You must file an Affidavit of Service form
including your proof of mailing and DOCs receipt with the
court on your hearing date.
The court clerk is required by law to ask you if the person whose
name is to be changed is required to register as a sex offender.
If the person whose name is to be changed, whether an adult or a
minor, is required to register as a sex offender, the person seeking
the name change must serve a copy of the petition and notice of
hearing on both the Skagit County Sheriff and the Washington State
Patrol at least seven (7) court days before the date set for hearing.
The petitioner must provide proof of such service by filing with
the court a completed Affidavit of Service form. If such proof of
service is not provided, the petition for change of name cannot
be granted (Chapter 220, Laws of 1998, section 1, subsection 5).
If the petition for name change is granted, a copy of the order
changing name must be served on the Skagit County Sheriff and on
the Washington State Patrol within five (5) days of the date of
the entry of the order.
If the person
whose name is to be changed is under 18 years of age: a copy of
the picture identification of the petitioner a copy of the picture
identification of the child, if any. a copy of the childs
birth certificate the original petition filled out completely with
the signatures of both birth parents
OR the original written consents of each natural parent to the name
OR a written declaration by the petitioner, under penalty of perjury,
as to why the consent of the natural parent(s) should not be required
and the original and notice of hearing to the non-consenting birth
parent(s) a copy of the court order that places the custody of the
minor with the petitioner the original proposed order changing the
name of the minor a filing fee of $166 (US Funds) and
If the person
whose name is to be changed is under 18 years but over 14 years
of age: the original written consent of the minor to the change
All forms required are available from the District Court Clerk.
Upon completion of all filing requirements, the clerk will set the
petition for a court hearing. If both parents consent to the change
of name it will be set the second Monday after the date of completion
of filing at 1:30 p.m. If the summons and petition must be served
on a non-consenting parent, the matter will be set for hearing five
Mondays after the completion of filing to allow adequate time for
serve and response, at 1:30 p.m. The clerk will give you a Court
Appointment form with the date and time.
filing fee of $166 must be paid to the Court at the time of filing
the petition. The order changing the name is recorded with the County
Auditor. The court will provide you with five (5) certified copies
of the order Changing Name.
The cost of that is included in the sum set forth. Additional certified
copies cost $5 each.
and Courtroom Procedures: Petitions for change of name are heard
each Monday at 1:30 p.m. All persons over the age of 14 years whose
names are to be changed must be present. Those under 14 years of
age are welcome, but need not be present. When the Judge calls your
case, come to the front of the courtroom. The judge will ask you
some questions in order to determine if the petition should be granted.
If the Judge allows the name change, you will return with the file
to the Clerks counter, and the certified copies will be prepared.
Convictions: If you have been convicted of a felony crime, and are
under the supervision of the state Department of Corrections, the
court will not grant the petition to change your name unless you
prove that you have mailed a copy of the summons and petition to
the DOC at least twenty-two (22) days before the hearing, and the
court finds that changing your name will not interfere with legitimate
penological interests. (RCW 4.24.130(2))
Sex Offenders: If the person whose name is to be changed is required
to register as a sex offender with state and local law enforcement,
the court will not grant the petition to change that persons
name unless it is proven that a copy of the summons and petition
have been served on both the Skagit County Sheriffs Office
and the Washington State Patrol at least seven (7) court days prior
to the date set for hearing, and that the changing of the name does
not interfere with legitimate law enforcement interests. The person
who receives an order changing the name of a person required to
register as a sex offender must submit a copy of the order to the
County Sheriff of the county in which they reside and to the Washington
State Patrol within five working days of the entry of the order.
Notification to Other Agencies: If the person whose name has been
changed was born in the Sate of Washington, the Department of Vital
Records requires notice of the order changing the persons
name. You must mail a certified copy to: Washington Department of
Vital Records, PO Box 9709 ET-14, Olympia, WA 98504-9709. It is
suggested that you request a copy of the birth certificate reflecting
the name change. This will require a check for $20 and a self-addressed
stamped envelope. If you are merely reverting to a maiden name after
a divorce, there is no need to change your name with the Department
of Vital Records. The Social Security Administration requires you
to provide them with a certified copy of the order changing your
name. The local office is located at 710 E. College Way, Mt. Vernon,
WA 98273. If the person whose name has been changed holds a drivers
license, the Department of Licensing requires a certified copy of
the court order be sent to them in order to issue a new drivers
license. If the person whose name has been changed is in military
service, an additional certified copy is necessary to be provided
for military records.