Arkansas Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in AR

Updated January 23, 2023

An Arkansas name change form is used to request a legal name change for an adult or minor. Changing an individual’s name for any reason other than marriage or divorce will be accomplished through the submission of a written petition to a local Circuit County Clerk. In the case of changing the name of a child, both parents must agree to the change before the courts will review the request. Name changes after marriage or divorce are much less complicated as the opportunity will be available when signing the licensing documents (marriage) or during the divorce court proceedings. After a person has officially changed their name, they should update the information currently on record with the Social Security Office and other government agencies to reflect the alteration to their name.

Laws – § 9-2-101

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

You will be able to change your name when completing the standard Arkansas marriage licensing documents. After receiving your official marriage license, you may take it to government agencies such as the Social Security Office and the DMV to update them with the alternation to your name.

Name Change After Divorce

The opportunity to change your name will be available during the court hearing for your divorce. You will receive a divorce decree after your divorce has been finalized. This document will serve as evidence of your name change when updating identification documents such as your driver’s license, social security card, and passport.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

Section 9-2-101 of the Arkansas Code states that, upon good reason shown, the circuit court has the power to alter or change the name of a person. Therefore, you should prepare a reason for the courts to consider as a valid circumstance for a change of name (e.g. preferred common usage, religious reasons).

Step 1 – Cover Sheet

You will need to prepare a cover sheet to accompany the request to change your name. Download the Arkansas Civil Court Cover Sheet and fill it in to include the following information:

  • County
  • Filing date
  • Plaintiff (your name)
  • Address
  • Select “No” for “Jury Trial Requested”
  • Select “(OM)” for “Type of Case”
  • Select “Original” for “Manner of Filing”

Step 2 – Petition for Change of Name

The request to change your name must be presented to the courts via a written petition. It must clearly state the reason for your name change as well as the new name that you would like to use. There is no formal document available on the Secretary of State website, though this Template Petition may be downloaded and completed for this purpose.

Step 3 – Notarize Petition

After completing the petition, bring the document to a Notary Public to have it notarized. Notarial services are often available at bank branches and various government agencies (a small service charge may be required). Alternatively, a notary can be found in your area by conducting a search of the Secretary of State’s database.

Step 4 – Order for Name Change

An Order for Name Change is a document that must be presented to a judge along with the cover sheet and the petition to change your name. The order form will be filled out similarly to the petition form in that it will show your current name and the proposed new name. Download the Order for Name Change template and fill in all applicable fields (do not complete the fields designated for the circuit judge).

Step 5 – Take Forms to Circuit Court Clerk’s Office

After carefully examining the aforementioned documents to ensure that your information was inputted correctly, make three (3) copies of both the cover sheet and the petition before delivering them, along with the Order for Name Change and all original documents, to a local Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

Step 6 – Pay the Processing Fee

The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will require a processing fee of around $140 to $195. An exact amount can be determined by contacting the Clerk’s Office in the county where you live. Payment will be accepted in cash or by check/money order made payable to “[County Name] County Circuit Court Clerk.”

The name change process may be completed upon acceptance of the processing fee, though you may need to wait longer if no judge is available or if an additional hearing is required to settle any issues. In these instances, the Clerk will notify you of this information and provide you with the necessary instructions to schedule an additional hearing.

Driver’s License

In order to change the name on your Arkansas driver’s license or ID card, you will need to appear in person at a local DFA Office and present the following documents:

  • Proof of name change (e.g. marriage license, divorce decree, court order)
  • Identification – One (1) ID from the primary list or two (2) IDs from the secondary list
  • Payment – $10 for a driver’s license, $5 for an ID card

Voter Registration

You can change the name on your voter registration card by completing a new Arkansas Voter Registration Application and submitting it to a County Clerk or your local Board of Elections. On the voter registration application, select the small box labeled “This is a name change” found in the upper-left portion of the form.

Minor (Child) Name Change

Changing the name of a minor can only be accomplished by the parent or legal guardian of the child. If the purpose of the name change is to simply alter a minor spelling mistake, a request to change the name can be made directly with the Arkansas Department of Health. However, changing a child’s name for any other reason will require an order issued by an Arkansas court.

Step 1 – Petition for Name Change

Arkansas law requires a child’s parent or guardian to submit a written petition to a local Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. This will be used to notify a judge of the child’s current name as well as the name that he or she will further be known as. The petition should state the following:

  • Name of the parent/guardian
  • Child’s county of residence
  • Parent/Guardian’s relationship to child
  • Reason for changing name
  • Written consent of the other parent/guardian
  • Statement indicating that the name is not being altered for fraudulent reasons
  • Contact information
  • Whether or not the parent/guardian is being represented by a lawyer

For your convenience, we have supplied a Petition for Name Change template which you may download and complete on your computer or fill in by hand.

Step 2 – Parental Consent

It is imperative that both parents consent to having the child’s name be changed. If a legal guardian is requesting a change to their child’s name, they must still obtain consent from the child’s parents or show proof to the courts that an attempt to obtain consent was made.

Record the parental consent by having the individual complete a Consent to Change Name form. The form must also be notarized, therefore the parent will need to provide their signature in front of a Notary Public before the document is deemed legal.

Step 3 – Order for Name Change

An Order for Name Change is a document which will be presented to the judge along with the name change petition and the notarized consent. Download the Order for Name Change template and fill in all fields except for the spaces designated for the circuit judge.

Step 4 – Submit Forms to Circuit Court Clerk’s Office

Before filing your paperwork, make several copies of each form for your own personal records. Next, take all original documents and photocopies to a local Circuit Court Clerk’s Office to file them with the Clerk. Submit your original forms to the Clerk and supply the filing fee (call the Clerk ahead of time to find out the exact amount). After payment has been accepted, ask the Clerk to stamp the photocopied forms so that they may be authenticated and used for future use if necessary.

Step 5 – Attend Hearing

It is likely that you will need to attend a court hearing to complete the name change process. The Clerk to whom your forms were submitted will schedule a date and time for your hearing. Attend the hearing to settle any issues and also to finalize the process.