How to Obtain a Name Change for an Adult in Kansas
Can I have my name changed in Kansas?
Only individuals who have been a resident of the State of Kansas for at least 60 days can petition to have their name changed in Kansas. To be considered a resident of Kansas a person has to have a fixed place to live in Kansas that they intend as their residence and they have a present intent to remain in the state of Kansas. You must also be 18 years or older to petition the court for a name change.
When can I have my name changed in Kansas?
The state of Kansas does not specify when or how often an adult resident may petition for a name change. There may be local county rules that have more specific requirements of when or how often a person can petition for a name change. However, the judge does reserve the right to reject a petition for a name change after reviewing the application and evidence presented before the court.
Where do I go to petition to have my name changed in Kansas?
In Kansas, a person must go to their local district county court in the county in which they reside to petition the court for a name change. To find your local district county court, click here.
How do I petition to have my name changed in Kansas?
In order for an adult resident of the state of Kansas to have their name changed they must follow a very specific petition process that they file with their local district county court where the person resides. The process is as follows:
1. The individual petitioning for a name change must complete a Civil Information Sheet. To obtain a Civil Information Sheet, click here.
- Only fill out the plaintiff information.
- Mark “Other Civil” when selecting the nature of suit located in the civil section.
2. Complete the Petition for Change of Name. To obtain the Petition for Change of Name, click here.
3. Sign the Petition for Change of Name form.
4. After signing the form file the original and one copy of the petition with the clerk of the district court in the county in which you are a resident and pay the filing fee.
- As of December 2010 the filing fee was $173.50. However, the filing fee may vary from county to county. It is important to contact your local district county court clerk to determine the correct filing fee amount to bring with you when filing the petition.
- A fee waiver may be obtained with a showing of sufficient hardship. Ask the local district county court clerk what is necessary to show hardship.
5. When you file the Petition for Change of Name make sure to obtain your case number and court division assignment from the clerk. This will be important when you call to schedule your hearing before the court concerning your name change.
6. Contact the clerk for the court which has been assigned your case and ask for a date and time for your hearing before the court and what the requires for notice. Whether the notice needs to be by publication or mail or both. To find the correct county court clerk, click here.
7. Give the notice that is required by the court.
- What notice by publication means:
You must publish notice of the hearing once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper that is authorized by law to publish legal notices and is published in the county where your petition for name change has been filed. No judgment can be entered until the proof of service is approved by the court and filed. The newspaper may send a statement of publication directly to the court or to you. If it is sent to you be sure to bring it with you to the hearing.
- What notice by mail means:
You must send notice by registered mail with return receipt requested. Bring the return receipt with you to the hearing.
8. Prior to reporting to your hearing before the judge complete the Order Changing Name for the judge’s signature. To obtain the Order Changing Name form, click here.
9. Arrive at your hearing at the specified date and time provided to you by the clerk of the court. You must bring with you to the hearing:
- The completed Order Changing Name, and
- Proof of notice (if it has not been sent directly to the court by the newspaper or notice was given by mail).
10. After the hearing and the judge is satisfied with the reasons for your name change provided in testimony, examination of the evidence and review of record the judge will grant your petition for name change by signing the Order Changing Name make several copies of the signed order.
11. File the original signed Order Changing Name form with the clerk of the district court. While filing the original ask the clerk to file-stamp the additional copies that you made. Social Security, credit card companies, etc. will need the copies and the must be file-stamped.
It is important to keep in mind that there may be additional requirements at your local district county court for petitions for name change. When you contact your local district county court clerk for the filing fee amount, do not forget to ask if there are any additional requirements.
Furthermore, if you want to change your name on your birth certificate you must send a file-stamped copy of the Order Changing Name to Vital Statistics along with letter request and appropriate fee.
Office of Vital Statistics
1000 SW Jackson, Ste 120
Topeka, KS 66612-2221
Are there any restrictions?
You may not obtain a name change in the state of Kansas for the purposes of avoiding debts, avoiding legal process, or to mislead or defraud any person. The district county court judge also reserves the right to deny your petition for name change after reviewing the testimony, examining the evidence and reviewing the record.
How to Obtain a Name Change for Minor in Kansas
Who can seek to have a minor’s name changed in Kansas?
In the state of Kansas a minor may file a petition for name change through their parent, legal guardian, conservator or next friend. The minor and the individual filing the petition on behalf of the minor must be residents of the state of Kansas. A minor’s residency is established based upon the residence of their parent or parents, legal guardian or conservator having legal custody over them.
A conservator is an individual that is appointed by the court to act on behalf of the minor they are appointed. The conservator is in possession of some or all of the powers and duties invested in them by the court to protect the minor’s interests.
Next friend is not a party to the action, but merely a representative meant to protect the interest of the minor. Next friend may be a guardian, conservator, or any other person. The individual performing the next friend role need not be a judicial appointment, but typically the court will select the individual for the minor. Use of next friend will only be used when the minor is without a parent or legal guardian and for the plaintiff, not the defendant.
A minor in the state of Kansas is any person under 18 years of age.
Where do I go to have a minor’s name changed in Kansas?
To have a minor’s name changed in Kansas you must go the local district county court where the minor is a resident. To find your local district county court, click here.
When can I have a minor’s name changed in Kansas?
Kansas allows for a petition for name change for a minor’s last name upon divorce and on the minor’s birth certificate in the following situations:
1. To the natural father’s last name,
2. Hyphenating a child’s last name to the name with the mother’s maiden last name and father’s last name,
3. To change the child’s last name to mother’s maiden last name, and
4. To change a child’s last name to a name other than the mother’s maiden last name or the natural father’s last name.
How do I petition to have a minor’s name changed in Kansas?
Kansas has specific procedures that need to be followed in each situation for a petition for name change for a minor.
1. Upon divorce:
The court hearing the divorce proceedings does not have the power to change the name of the minor child. There must be a separate court proceeding in the local district county court to have the minor’s name changed. During the hearing for name change of the minor’s last name the court will apply the best interest test. In apply the best interest test the court will include the considerations such as:
1. The child’s preference in light of the child’s age and experience,
2. The effect of a name change on the development and preservation of the child’s relationship with each parent,
3. The length of time the child has used a name,
4. The difficulties, harassment, or embarrassment a child may experience from bearing the present or proposed name,
5. The possibility that a different name may cause insecurity and lack of identity, and
6. The motive or interest of the custodial parent
The custodial parent is the parent who is granted custody by the court.
2. To change the minor’s last name to the natural father’s last name, hyphenating a child’s last name, and to change a child’s last name to the mother’s maiden last name:
1. The child must be under 18 years of age
2. The mother and father need to appear before a judge in any district county court in Kansas. Contact the clerk for the district county court.
3. Mother and father must complete a Paternity Consent Form for Birth Registration called a VS211. Or just the mother completes the Paternity Consent Form for Birth Registration when changing the child’s last name to the mother’s maiden last name if there is no father listed on the birth certificate and the mother was not married during her pregnancy. To obtain the Paternity Consent Form for Birth Registration, click here.
4. You will also need a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate with you and identification for both parents, or just the mother in the case of changing the child’s last name to the mother’s maiden last name.
5. You do not need an attorney to appear before the judge and there is no court cost for this proceeding.
6. Once the legal name change has been granted you will need to submit a certified copy of the court order with a cover letter stating that you would like the child’s last name to be changed on the birth certificate to the following address:
Office of Vital Statistics
1000 SW Jackson, Ste 120
Topeka, KS 66612-2221
3. To change a child’s last name to a name other than the mother’s maiden last name or the natural father’s last name:
You will need to obtain a legal name change through the courts following the procedure set out for adult name change requests listed above.
Are there any restrictions?
Kansas does not allow courts authorized to hear divorce proceedings to change the name of a minor child. A separate action must be brought on behalf of the child in local district county court. Furthermore, the court hearing the proceedings for a petition for the name change of a minor will apply the best interest test when considering whether or not to grant the petition for a name change for a minor. The court retains the right to deny the petition if they believe it is not in the best interest of the child to grant a name change.