The process for changing a name can be complicated, and it is somewhat different depending whether the name being changed is for an adult, or a child (minor), although many of the same forms are used. The tabs above outline the steps to take for changing a name, adding a name (such as a middle name), or for adults, recording a gender change.

After a name is changed, there are numerous places you need to notify (such as social security, DMV, passport office, etc.), and information is provided below to help with that.


Most name changes are filed in the Civil Division of the Superior Court of Orange County. Staff in both the Civil Division and Self-Help Centers can assist you with general information:


You can go to any of the courts below to for procedural assistance between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm, and at the Civil Complex Center between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. The amount of your lawsuit as well as the "venue" determines the proper court. Please see the chart below to determine which court you need to put on your document for the proper venue before you file your documents.

Limited Civil Justice Centers (actions $25,000 and under)

Phone Number

Examples of "venue" include where the defendant lives or does business; where the plaintiff’s property was damaged; where the plaintiff was injured; or where the contract was made, signed, performed, or broken.
Central Justice Center
700 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Civil Division - 1st Floor, Room D 100
Self-Help Center - 1st Floor, Room G-100

(657) 622-6878

Orange County – all cities

Unlimited Civil Justice Center (actions over $25,000)

Phone Number

For Property Located In:

Central Justice Center
Unlimited Civil
700 Civic Center Dr.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Civil Division - 1st Floor, Room D 100
Self-Help Center - 1st Floor, Room G-100

(657) 622-6878

Orange County - all cities

Central Justice Center
Complex Civil (requires exceptional Judicial Management- Rule 3.400 of the California Rules of Court)

Civil Complex Center
751 W. Santa Ana Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(657) 622-6878 Orange County-all cities



Civil forms are available online, or at one of the Justice Centers above. Read more about court forms in the The Basics of Court Forms.

If you do not find the correct form to file, you will have to formally prepare the document on pleading paper in accordance with the California Rules of Court, rules 2.100 to 2.119.


These are some of the commonly used laws in civil lawsuits:


Documents may be electronically filed (eFiled).

Pursuant to section 1010.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, rule 2.253(b)(2) of the California Rules of Court, Orange County Superior Court Rule 352, and Administrative Order 13/03, all documents filed by attorneys in limited, unlimited, and complex civil actions must be filed electronically unless the Court rules otherwise. Self-represented parties are exempt from the mandatory electronic filing requirement set forth in Orange County Superior Court Local Rules 352, but are strongly encouraged to participate voluntarily in electronic filing and service.

Electronically filed documents subject to the mandatory electronic filing requirements in civil limited, unlimited, and complex actions can be filed until midnight on the day that the filing is due, and will be considered timely pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 subdivision (d)(1)(D). The document is “filed” at the date and time it is received by the court and the confirmation of receipt is created. See Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 2.259(a)(1). Any electronically filed document received by the Court on or after midnight will be file stamped on the next court day.

eFiling for Probate cases is encouraged but is not required.

In addition to the Self-Help Centers, if you need access to a computer to eFile, you can find public computers at most public libraries and at the Public Law Library.


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