|Instructions: Changing Your Name in Illinois||
Last updated: July 2013
Following are step-by-step instructions to help you with your legal problem. You should print these steps and take them with you to use as a checklist.
There will be fees to file your court forms and to publish notice. Check with the Circuit Clerk for your County to find out what those fees are.
If you cannot afford to pay, you can ask the court to "waive" these fees, so that you can file your forms without paying.
Go to the "Related Articles" section of this guide to learn how to waive your court costs.
If you got your court costs waived, then you can also ask the court to waive your publication fee. You will need to complete:
File them with the Circuit Clerk. The Circuit Clerk will give them to a judge for approval.
You will have to wait a few days to see if your Motion is approved. If it is approved, the Order Waiving Publication Costs will be returned to you with the Judge's signature. If it is not approved, you will have to pay the publication fee.
Fill out the following forms (all four forms are included in the automated document or A2J interview listed in the "Forms/Letters" section of this guide):
You must have the Affidavit signed by a witness, in front of a Notary Public. The witness can be anyone who knows you, and who can swear that everything stated in your Petition is true. Then the Notary Public will sign the Affidavit, to confirm that the witness signed it.
Make three copies of each form once you have filled them out.
Tell the Circuit Clerk that you are filing a Petition for Change of Name and need to get a hearing date. The date the Clerk gives you should be written onto the original and each copy of the Notice of Filing of Petition for Change of Name form.
NOTE: Whatever date the Clerk gives you must be at least eight weeks before your hearing date. This time period will give the newspaper time to publish your notice. The law says that the first date of newspaper publication must be at least six weeks before your hearing date. Because it can take a newspaper a few weeks to get and publish your Notice, it is best to get a hearing date that is at least eight weeks after the date you mail your Notice of Filing of Petition for Change of Name and letter to the newspaper. This gives the newspaper two weeks to start publishing the Notice.
The Clerk will ask you for the following completed forms:
The Clerk will keep one copy each of the Notice and the Petition "file stamp" the other copies for you.
The Notice of Filing of Petition for Change of Name is what you will publish in the newspaper. It must run in a weekly newspaper which is published in the county where you filed. If there is no weekly newspaper in your county, you can use a newspaper in a county that is next to yours, if the newspaper's circulation covers your county. Once you pick a newspaper to publish in, you must mail them:
After your Notice has run in the newspaper for three straight weeks, the newspaper should send you (or the Circuit Clerk) the Certificate of Publication. The Certificate says that the Notice ran for three consecutive weeks and includes a copy of the Notice that appeared.
Fill out the Order for Change of Name (this form is included in the automated document or A2J interview listed in the "Forms/Letters" section of this guide). Make three copies.
There is no way to know exactly what will happen at your hearing. But here are some things you should do:
When you testify, your testimony should include:
If the Judge grants your Petition, give him or her your Order for Change of Name form to be signed. If the Judge wants corrections made, don’t panic. You can ask for permission to submit a corrected version by mail.
If you were born in the state of Illinois you will need:
Mail these three things to the address below:
Bureau of Vital Records
State of Illinois - Dept. of Health
605 West Jefferson
Springfield, IL 62702-5097
If you were born in a state other than Illinois, contact the office that keeps birth records in the state where you were born. Ask a representative in that office how to change the name on your birth certificate.
If your request was denied because of a procedural mistake on your part (for example, you did not do the publication correctly), then you should correct the error and request another hearing.