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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Filing an Adult Name Change Petition in the State of Alabama

Where should I file my petition to change my name?

Pursuant to Section 12-13-1(b)(10) of the Alabama Code, a name change petition is filed with the probate court of the county in which you reside. The name change petition form consists of a written declaration, signed by the petitioner, that sets forth the petitioner's current legal name, and the new name that the petitioner wishes to use. A name change petition form, with instructions and other documents needed for changing your name in Alabama, are available for download on our website. You must be 19 years of age or older to file an adult name change petition.

Other than a legal name change petition form, what other documents do I need to provide to the Court?

You should also provide the court with a proposed name change order, which is included in our downloadable adult name change kit. In addition, you should also have a certified copy of your birth certificate. The certification should be dated within 30 days of the date on which you file your petition. You can obtain a certified copy of your Alabama birth certificate by contacting the Center of Health Statistics (phone: 334-206-5418). If you were born outside of Alabama, you should contact the appropriate department of your state to get your birth certificate. If you were born outside of the United States, you should bring a copy of your certificate of naturalization with you when you go to probate court.

Does a name change petition need to be notarized?

Yes. Typically, you can have your petition notarized at the court clerk's office when you file the petition. In order to do this, you should bring a form of picture identification with you (such as a driver's license). However, in a few counties (such as Calhoun County) the court clerks will not notarize your petition, and you will need to go elsewhere (such as bank or law office) to get your name change petition notarized.

Do I need to pay a filing fee to the court?

Yes. The fee for filing your name change may vary depending upon the county where you live. Typically, probate courts in Alabama charge filing fees in the range of $15.00 to $40.00 for name change petitions. The filing fees for adult name change petitions for some Alabama counties are as follows (this list is current as of November, 2011)

Autauga County: $25.00
Montgomery County: $15.00
Baldwin County: $21.00
Dallas County: $28.50
Pike County: $38.00
Tallageda: $50.00 (cash only)
Lee County: $57.00
Calhoun County: $65.00

In addition, after your name change petition is granted, you will need to request a certified (official) copy of the name change order, which costs $4.00.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

No. In fact, most people do not hire lawyers to change their names. Our adult name change kits have all of the forms and information that you need. Most people find that once they download the kit, they can complete the petition form in less than 15 minutes. We have done most of the work for you already. Our Alabama name change kits are written in plain English, and are designed to be used by ordinary people.