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HOW DO I CHANGE MY NAME?

To change your name:
For adults that have or had a Family law case in Orange County, they will file at the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange.

  • The forms needed have been assembled in Self-Help Center form packet SHC-NC-07.

For adults that never had a Family law case in Orange County, they will file at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

  • The forms needed have been assembled in Self-Help Center form packet SHC-NC-01.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY NAME AND GENDER?

If you have or had a Family Law case in Orange County, you will need to file at the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange.

If you never had a Family Law case in Orange County, you will need to file at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

  • The forms needed have been assembled in Self-Help form packet SHC-NC-05

HOW DO I CHANGE MY GENDER?

PETITION FOR RECOGNITION OF CHANGE OF GENDER (ONLY):
Whether or not you have or had a family law case, you will have to file at the Central Justice Center.

  • The forms needed have been assembled in Self-Help form packet SHC-NC-06

FORMS

You can download the required forms by clicking on the form packet number or form number listed above. You can also locate the forms online from the Judicial Council website. The forms are also available at your nearest Self-Help Center .

If you want to speak with or hire an attorney, you may refer to the Lawyer Referral Services found on the Self-Help Resources sheet .


FEES

At the time of filing you must pay the appropriate filing fee or request a Fee Waiver. You can check the local fee schedule for the current fee.

If you cannot afford to pay the court fees, you can apply for a Fee Waiver by completing the forms found in Self-Help form packet SHC-FW-01.


WHAT DO I DO WITH MY COMPLETED FORMS?

Prior to filing you may visit one of the Self-Help Centers for a free pre-filing document review. Appointments are offered on a first-come, first served basis.
If you are filing at the Central Justice Center, you may file your completed forms online (eFile) , or you may file in person.
If you file in person, you will be required to provide the Court clerk with the original and at least one (1) copy of all the documents you intend to file. The clerk will file your forms, assign a case number, set a hearing date, and return your copy with the “filed” endorsed stamp.


WHAT DO I DO AFTER I FILE MY FORMS?

If you filed your forms at the Lamoreaux Justice Center:

Serve the Other Party:

You must have someone else who is over the age of 18, serve the other party in your case. You can ask someone you know, you can hire a process server, or hire the Sheriff’s office. Please note that a process server and Sheriff’s office do charge a fee.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to serve in person or via mail. Your server must complete the Proof of Service form. Either you or your server must file the completed Proof of Service with the court.

  • Proof of Service of Order to Show Cause: form NC-121 .  
If you are unable to locate the other party, you can seek procedural assistance from the Self-Help Center, staff may be able to assist.


Publication:

For most cases you must publish your filed form NC-120 (Order to Show Cause for Change of Name) in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for 4 weeks in a row. You can find the list of authorized newspapers here .
Please note there is a separate fee for publication that is not covered under a court ordered Fee Waiver. The fees also vary depending on the newspaper.
After you file your documents, you should not wait to arrange for the publication because this process must be completed before your hearing.
When the publication is complete, the newspaper will complete a proof of publication. That proof of publication must be filed with the Court prior to your hearing.

If you filed your forms at the Central Justice Center:

For most cases you must publish your filed form NC-120 (Order to Show Cause for Change of Name) in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for 4 weeks in a row. You can find the list of authorized newspapers here .
Please note that there is a separate fee for publication that is not covered under a court ordered Fee Waiver. The fees also vary depending on the newspaper.
After you file your documents, you should not wait to arrange for the publication because this process must be completed before your hearing.
When the publication is completed, the newspaper will complete a proof of publication. That proof of publication must be filed with the Court prior to your hearing.


DAY OF THE HEARING

You must be present at your hearing. If there are no objections and the judge grant’s your request, you will be provided a copy of signed NC-130 (Decree of Name Change). You can also purchase certified copies of NC-130. You will likely need a certified copy to update a driver’s license, passport, or similar legal documents. The court does charge a fee for certified copies.


HOW DO I GET AN AMENDED BIRTH CERTIFICATE?

Follow the instructions in the "Name Change for Minors" tab located on the left side of your screen.


WHAT IF THERE IS NO MIDDLE NAME ON MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND I WANT TO ADD ONE?

You can add a middle name to your birth certificate without going to court. In order to do so, you will have to complete a form and follow these steps:
Step 1:
Fill out form VS-24 (Application to Amend a Record). You can obtain the form at the following locations:
California Department of Public Health- Vital Records ( www.cdph.ca.gov )
Orange County Recorder (http://www.ocrecorder.com/ )
Orange County Self-Help Centers

Step 2:
Mail your completed form to:
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records-Amendments-MS 5105
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899

Please note you may have to pay a fee. For more information please visit the California Department of Public Health’s website noted above.
If your Application is approved, you will receive your updated birth certificate in the mail.


HOW DO I CHANGE MY LAST NAME TO MY SPOUSE'S NAME AFTER I GET MARRIED?

If you are interested in changing your last name to your new spouse’s last name, you do not need to file a Petition for Name Change. You can show a certified copy of your marriage license to:


AFTER A DIVORCE, HOW DO I GET BACK MY MAIDEN NAME OR OTHER NAME I USED BEFORE?

Follow these steps:
Step 1:
Complete form FL-395   (Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name After Entry of Judgment). If you cannot download the form, you can obtain the form at any Orange County Self-Help Center.

Step 2:
Before you file the completed form, you can also visit an Orange County Self-Help Center for a free pre-filing document review.
The completed form needs to be filed in the County in which you obtained your divorce. If you case was in Orange County, you can file in person at the Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange or you can file via mail. No matter how you file, you should include a self-addressed stamped envelope and the appropriate fee. For the current fee schedule, please click here .


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