If you are reading this article, there is a good chance that you have recently decided to change your name, or you may be contemplating doing so soon. There are many reasons why a person would like to change their name including going back to their maiden name after a divorce, taking their step-father’s name, changing it to conform to the way you have always spelled it, or for many other legitimate reasons. My name is Vivid Niroula, I am a civil attorney based in Oklahoma City, with experience with name change proceedings in Oklahoma County.

An adult who is domiciled in Oklahoma and has lived in one of the many Oklahoma counties for 30 days and whose purpose for the name change isn’t for a criminal or fraudulent reasons, or to evade creditors, may legally change their name after completing these three steps: (1) file a petition for a name change, (2) publish the notice of hearing at least 10 days before the hearing date, and (3) file the order for name change after the judge signs it. If the person whose name is to be changed is a minor, the action may be brought by his or her guardian or next friend, just like in any other action. (See 12 O.S. § 1631).

Step 1: The first step in legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to file a petition for the name change

The first step towards legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to file a petition for name change in the county of your residence. Please note that you must be a resident of a county in Oklahoma for at least 30 days to qualify for a name change application. You must complete the petition by filling in your current legal name, date, and place of birth, the name you would like your current name changed to, your domicile information, and a statement of the legal reason for the name change. After filling out the petition, you must certify that the information provided is true and accurate under penalty of perjury and file it with the court clerk by paying a fee. While you file the petition, the clerk will let you know the date of your hearing and the name of the judge who is assigned to your case.  Check-in with the county clerk’s office for the filing fee amount.

Step 2: The second step in legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to publish the notice of hearing

The second step towards legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to publish a notice of the hearing in a newspaper at least 10 days before the hearing date, specifying the time of the hearing and the judge assigned to your case. Usually, this can be done at the clerk’s office while you file the petition, by having the clerk certify your notice, paying a publication fee to the clerk, and dropping the notice in a basket designated for a certain newspaper. For example, if you were filing a petition in Oklahoma county, bring a pre-printed notice of hearing, and leave blank spaces in place of the hearing date, time, and the assigned judge’s name. You must fill in these blank spaces after the clerk gives you the information, pay a publication fee, and drop the notice of hearing in the newspaper basket. Oklahoma county usually has a few different newspapers you can choose from to publish the notice of hearing. Please note that this notice of hearing must be published at least 10 days before the day your hearing date is set, therefore, make sure to ask for a hearing date at least 15 days from the day you file the petition. That way even if it takes a few days for the newspaper to publish the notice, it will be published at least 10 days before the hearing date. Check-in with the county clerk’s office for the publication fee amount.

Step 3: The third step in legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to attend the hearing

The third step towards legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to attend the name change hearing on the date and time set by the clerk when you filed the petition, appear in front of a judge, and answer a few questions after you are sworn in. The judge will ask you a few questions like how long have you lived in the county, reasons for the name change, whether you are changing your name for fraudulent, illegal, or creditor evading purposes, etc. You must truthfully and accurately answer the judge’s questions. If he or she is satisfied with your answers, then they will sign the name change order.

Step 4: The last step in legally changing your name in Oklahoma is to file the order for the name change

Lastly, you want to take several copies of pre-printed order forms with you to the hearing. When the judge approves your name change, you can have him or her sign the order (original) immediately. Congratulations! your name has now been legally changed, and you may start using the new name immediately. However, before you can do that you must file the signed order (original) with the clerk’s office. While you do that make sure you ask the clerk to certify several pre-printed copies of the order. This is because many governmental agencies like DMV and Social Security Administration will require a certified copy to change your name on their records.

Name change lawyer in OKC

The name change process is pretty straightforward, as it consists of proper filing or publication of three forms, and attending a hearing. (See 12 O.S. § 1631). However, if you would like to make sure the proceedings are handled correctly and adequately under the law and would like to leave no room for error, it’s a good idea to hire a name change attorney. We at Niroula Law will take care of the entire process for you from start to finish and keep you updated at every stage of the process. If you would like to hire Vivid Niroula as your name change lawyer please contact us by calling (405) 456-9250, emailing vivid@niroulalaw.com, or filling out the Contact Us Form.