Please use this information as a guide, but be sure to verify everything with an appropriate government official. Nothing on this website should be considered a replacement for legal advice on your particular situation.

What You Need for a Court-Ordered Name Change

Fingerprints

You can get these at the sheriff’s office for around $10 cash or money order. You’ll need two copies, one for the state background check and one for the federal background check.

 

Post About Your Name Change

Complete a Notice of Intent to File Name Change. Call of the Clerk of Superior Court (Special Proceedings) in the county where you live to find out what to bring with you when you take it in. Get all the stuff together and go to the Clerk’s office. Have them file stamp your Notice with the date and time, and ask them where you need to hang it. It has to stay up for 10 days.

State Background Check

Fill out a “Right to Review” form and send it, along with $14 certified check or money order, your fingerprints, and proof of your identity containing name, address, race, sex, and date of birth (a driver’s license or birth certificate works) to the address on the form.

 

Get Everything Together

Generally, you’ll need proof of those two background checks, an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, two notarized affidavits of good moral character, a notarized affidavit stating you have no outstanding tax or child support (don’t lie), proof of residency and identification (driver’s license, passport, water bill), a self-addressed stamped envelope, and $120 in cash or certified check or money order. Check with the Clerk of Superior Court (Special Proceedings) to make sure this list is correct.

FBI Background Check

Visit the FBI website for instructions and options for obtaining your “Identity History Summary”. This process costs $18 and takes three months. You may request a waiver of the fee if you can prove you can’t pay it. There is also a list of “expediters” on the site who will speed up the process, but may charge additional fees.

 

File!

After your Notice of Intent has been posted for 10 days, but within 90 days of receiving your FBI and SBI background checks, file a Petition for Name Change, along with a Verification page and all of the things required by your county Clerk. Note that all name changes are subject to a hearing. You could do everything right, and a judge may still deny your request. The self-addressed stamped envelope is so the Clerk can send you confirmation or denial of your name change.