In South Carolina, any person who wants to change his or her name has to fill out a petition in writing, before a family court judge in the appropriate circuit. The petition should state the reason for the change, the age of the petitioner, his or her place of residence and birth, and the name by which the petitioner desires to be known.
If a parent who desires to change the name of his minor child, the parent may petition, in writing, a family court judge in the appropriate circuit. The other parent, if there is not one then the child, must be named as a party in the action unless waived by the court. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child. The court shall grant the petition if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child.
The judge will have discretion to grant or deny the said petition as he thinks will be proper with a due account taking of the interest of the petitioner.
The filing fee is $100
Courts are now giving higher scrutiny to name changes due to security concerns. In South Carolina, at the time of filing of a Complaint to change an adult’s name, the petitioner is now required to provide all of the following documents:
- Petition for Change of Name of Adult
- Results of a fingerprint and criminal background check conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division; (here are the instructions on how to obtain a fingerprint and criminal background check http://www.sled.sc.gov/CATCHHome.aspx?MenuID=CATCH
- A screening statement from the Department of Social Services that indicates whether the person is listed on the department’s Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect;
- An affidavit signed by the petitioner which provides whether the petitioner is under a court order to pay child support or alimony; and
- A screening statement from the State Law Enforcement Division that indicates whether the person is listed on the division’s sex offender registry.
The Court will only grant a name change after a hearing, and it will require that notification of the name change be provided to DSS, SLED, child support enforcement, and/or such other agencies as the Court deems appropriate if the Court has any concerns.
Changing Your Name on a Birth Certificate in South Carolina
South Carolina does not replace the birth certificate with your previous name with a new one; there will only be an amendment made.
Contact the Department of Health and Environmental Control within the South Carolina Bureau of Vital Statistics and request a birth certificate change form. You can write to the SC Bureau of Vital Statistics at:
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Dept. of Health and Environmental Control,
J. Marion Sims Building, 2500 Bull St.
Columbia, SC 29201. Or, call your request in directly to 803-898-3630.
Contact your county courthouse and request a name change hearing. Appear before a judge with whatever proof of identity your local court has requested. Authorities will ask you to swear to facts about yourself and will check your background to ensure you are not changing your name to flee from the police. After the hearing, you will receive a notarized court order granting you permission to change your legal name.
Fill name change request form. Attach the court order and a check or money order for $39 to the request form using a paperclip. Do not staple or tape or permanently affix the court order and/or check or money order to the request form.
Mail all of the required paperwork to the South Carolina Bureau of Vital Statistics, using the address listed in above. Wait until you receive official notice of the change from the state of South Carolina before utilizing your new name on legal documents.