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Changing Your Name



Introduction

A person is free to adopt and use any name as long as it is not done for any fraudulent purpose and does not infringe upon the rights of others.
If an adult requesting a change of name is under the jurisdiction of the State of Washington Department of Corrections (DOC), a copy of the petition and the notice of hearing must be submitted to the DOC no less than five (5) days prior to the date of hearing.

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, a copy of the petition and the notice of hearing must be submitted to both the Sheriff of the county of residence and the Washington State Patrol no less than five (5) days prior to the date of hearing.

Per statute, name change petitions for minors may be initiated in District Court by a custodial parent, a third party custodian of the minor or legal guardian for the minor. 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. 

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.  The Skagit County District Court Clerk’s Office is open from 830 am to 430 pm, Monday through Friday excluding legal holidays.

What to bring with you

  • Any form of picture ID for identification purposes, to be reviewed by the court prior to initiating the name change process.  The court wants to make sure that your identity is verified and protected.
  • $196.50 for Filing and Recording fees
  • The petitioner must be present at the hearing with their picture identification.

What to file

The petition for both adult and minor name changes are available at the Skagit County District Court Clerk’s Office. Upon filing and payment of the fees, the clerk will set the matter for a hearing and you will be given a notice containing the date and time to appear in front of the Judge. 

Minor Children

If the person whose name is to be changed is a minor (under 18 years of age), the necessary parties to the name change are the parents of the child and/or any legal guardian (except a guardian only for the purpose of overseeing a child’s financial affairs), and/or court designated third party custodian. Any child over the age of twelve shall be present at the hearing, and the court shall allow testimony from any child over the age of twelve if they wish to testify.

If all parties consent to the name change but one party cannot be present at the hearing, then the absent party shall provide a notarized consent to the name change of the minor.  The petitioner must be present with their picture identification, the minor’s birth certificate and the notarized consent of the absent party.

If all parties do not consent or if a party is not aware of the petition for name change, service of the petition and notice of hearing date shall be provided to any non-petitioning party with parental, custodial, or guardianship rights to the child.  Service shall be by normal methods as provided in RCW 4.28.080, unless the identity of the father is unknown as reflected on the child’s birth certificate.  Proof of service shall be filed with the court clerk prior to the hearing.

The petitioner must be present with their picture identification and the minor’s birth certificate.

If a parent is deceased or parental rights have been terminated, then a certified copy of the death certificate or order terminating parental rights shall be provided at the hearing.

If notice must be served on a non-consenting party, the hearing will be set out 45 days to allow adequate time for service and response.

Costs

Fees paid of $196.50 (US Funds) include the court filing fee, the Skagit County Auditor’s legal recording fee, and fees for (5) five certified copies of the Order Changing Name given to you after court.  Additional certified copies can be provided at a cost of $5 each.

When hearings are held

Petitions for change of name are usually heard on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at 1 30 p.m.   

Courtroom Procedures

Appropriate courtroom attire is expected.  Please do not wear tank tops, shorts, hats or flip-flops.  When the Judge calls your case, you may walk up to the podium.  You will be asked some questions in order to determine if the petition should be granted.  If the Judge grants the name change, you will return with the Order to the Clerk’s Office, and the certified copies will be prepared.

Department of Corrections

The court is required by law to ask you if the person whose name is to be changed is under the supervision of the Washington State Department of Corrections.

If the person whose name is to be changed is under the jurisdiction of DOC, the petitioner must submit a copy of the petition and notice of hearing to DOC no less than five (5) days before the date set for hearing.

The petitioner will be required to show proof that the document was submitted to DOC within the period given.
If the petition for name change is granted, a copy of the order changing name must be submitted to DOC within five (5) days of the date of the entry of the order.  Violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

Sex Offender Registration

The court 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 is required to register as a sex offender, the petitioner must submit a copy of the petition and notice of hearing to both the Sheriff of the county that they reside in and the Washington State Patrol no less than five (5) days before the date set for hearing. 

The petitioner will be required to show proof that the document was submitted to the Sheriff and the State Patrol within the period given.  If such proof is not provided, the petition for change of name cannot be granted. 

If the petition for name change is granted, a copy of the order changing name must be submitted to the Sheriff of the county of residence and to the Washington State Patrol within three (3) days of the date of the entry of the order. Violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor.

Department of Health

If the person whose name has been changed was born in the State of Washington, the Department of Vital Records requires notice of the order changing the person’s name.  You must mail a certified copy to

Legal Name Change
DOH – Center for Health Statistics
PO Box 9709
Olympia, WA 98507-9709

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.  More information, including how to request a change to a birth certificate, is available at the website https //www.doh.wa.gov.  Select options

  • Licenses, Permits and Certificates
  • Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce
  • Court Ordered Name Changes

Social Security Administration

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

Social Security Administration
710 E. College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Department of Licensing

To change the name on a driver’s license or ID card you will need to visit a driver licensing office in person.  Bring a certified copy of the order changing name.  You may also need to change your name on your vehicle registration.  More information is available at https//www.dol.wa.gov.

US Military

Contact your commanding officer for information.

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