In this article, we will explain how to legally change your name in Illinois. We will answer the questions: what are the eligibility requirements for a name change in Illinois?, what forms are required for a name change in Illinois?, and what happens at a name change hearing in Illinois. We will also explain how to publish notice of a name change in Illinois and what to do after your name has been legally changed.
There are two different processes to change your name: (1) through petition to the court; and (2) a simplified process as a result of marriage or divorce. In this article we will focus on how to change your name through the court petition process. If you’d like to learn how to change your name after a divorce, check out our article: How to Legally Change Your Name After a Divorce in Illinois.
In Illinois, in order to be eligible to legally change your name:
If you have convictions for a felony or certain misdemeanor sexual offenses (that do not require to register as a sex offender) on your record, you cannot change your name until 10 years have passed since the end of your sentence.
In order to initiate the process of applying for a name change, you must fill out the following forms and submit them to the clerk of court in the county in which you reside:
When you file these forms with the clerk of court, you will be charged a filing fee and the clerk will set a hearing date for your name change petition. The hearing date will be scheduled at least eight weeks from the date that your request for name change is filed in order to give you time to publish notice of your name change with a local newspaper.
Once you have filed your request for a name change, it is your responsibility to publish notice of your name change in a paper of general circulation in the county in which you reside. The first date of publication must be at least 6 weeks prior to the hearing date, and the notice must run in the newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks.
Once the notice has been published in the newspaper for three consecutive weeks, the newspaper will provide you with a Certificate of Publication that you should file with the clerk of court prior to your hearing date. Some newspapers may send this directly to the clerk, in which case you need not file it yourself.
Your name change hearing will be very straightforward if all of your documents are in order. You should bring the following documents with you:
The judge will review your documentation and may ask you a few questions about the reason for your name change or your background. The judge will then either grant or deny your request.
After the judge has signed your order for name change, you should update the following documents: