Colorado Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in CO

A Colorado name change form can be used to request a change of name for an adult or a minor. The petitioner (person filing the request) must be above the age of eighteen (18) and may only submit their filings to a court located in the county where the applicant resides. If the change of name request is being made for reasons other than marriage or divorce, or if the applicant is fourteen (14) years of age or older, the applicant must submit a fingerprint-based criminal background check in addition to the standard name change forms.

Laws – § 13-15-101

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

If changing your last name to your spouse’s last name, you will be able to specify the new name when filling out your Colorado marriage licensing documents. Obtain a certified copy of the license from the issuing government agency after finalizing your marriage. Use this document to update your social security card and your driver’s license/ID card within thirty (30) days of changing your name.

Name Change After Divorce

The opportunity to revert back to your former name will be available when filling out your divorce paperwork. You will receive a decree after your divorce has been finalized. Obtain a certified copy of the decree from the issuing government agency and provide it to the Social Security Administration and the DMV to update your personal identification. This must take place within thirty (30) days after changing your name.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

In order to change your name in Colorado for reasons other than marriage or divorce, you must file a written application with your local county court or district court. However, before the application can be submitted, you must conduct a fingerprint-based background check on yourself with both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

If you have been adjudicated or convicted for a felony, you should attempt to file a Petition for Change of Name (Felon).

Step 1 – Background Check

It will be necessary for you to have your background checked with the FBI and the CBI. Go to a local law enforcement agency to have your fingerprints taken on an FBI and CBI fingerprint card. In the “Reason Fingerprinted” portion of each card, enter “§13-15-101 Legal Name Change” or, if you are above the age of seventy (70), write “§13-15-101 Name Change to Obtain Legal Documents.” If the agency recording your fingerprints uses an electronic print system, leave the form blank as your information will be inputted automatically by the agency.

You will need to mail or hand-deliver your completed fingerprint cards to both the FBI and the CBI. Included with your FBI fingerprint card should be a completed Applicant Information Form.

  • FBI – Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, Attn: SCU, Mod. D-2, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306
    • Fee – $18
  • CBI – 690 Kipling, Denver, Colorado 80215
    • Fee – $16.50

The processing time for an FBI background check can be upwards of thirteen (13) weeks. Your CBI background check should take no longer than four (4) weeks. Each background check must be dated within ninety (90) days prior to the submission of your change of name request. The Colorado Judicial Branch recommends that you submit your FBI fingerprint card by mail, wait seven (7) to nine (9) weeks, and then hand deliver or mail your CBI fingerprint card. Once processed, both agencies will supply you with a full report.

Step 2 – Petition for Change of Name

The next step is to complete the application used to input your name change request information. Download the Petition for Change of Name (Adult) or, if you are above the age of seventy (70), download the Petition for Change of Name (70 Years of Age or Older). Fill in all sections of the form except for the signature fields. Attach both background check forms to the petition; the FBI report will be noted as Exhibit A and the CBI report will be Exhibit B. Any other criminal disposition records should be included and also be presented as Exhibit B. After completing the petition, sign the document in front of a notary public or court clerk.

Step 3 – Order for Publication for Change of Name (not required if above age 70)

Fill out all sections of the Order for Publication for Change of Name form with exception to the signature field. If your change of name request is approved by the court, a judge or magistrate will sign the document.

Step 4 – Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name (not required if above age 70)

Download the Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name and fill it in with the requisite information. This document will be eventually be submitted to a newspaper in order to publish a notice for your change of name request.

Step 5 – Final Decree for Change of Name

Next, download the Final Decree for Change of Name or, if you are above the age of seventy (70), the Final Decree for Change of Name to Obtain Identity-Related Documents. Fill in the caption portion of the form only (court and petition information at the top of the form). The remaining spaces of the form will be completed by a judge or magistrate.

Step 6 – Make Copies of Your Filings

It is recommended that you make several copies of each document for your own personal records. This will provide you with additional security in the event that your paperwork is misplaced or destroyed.

Step 7 – File Petition with the Court

Submit your filings to a Colorado court located within your county of residence. You will be required to pay the $100 filing fee upon submission of your documents. Additional fees may be required for certified copies. If you cannot afford the filing fees, complete the Motion to File without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit and submit it to a court clerk. The court will review your request to waive the filing fee and decide on whether or not the fee must be paid. You may be required to provide the court with a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

Step 8 – Prepare for Hearing (not required if above age 70)

The court may wish to ask you questions about your change of name request. In these instances, they will schedule a hearing for you which you must attend to provide them with the additional information.

Step 9 – Publish Name Change (not required if above age 70)

After your Order for Publication has been filed, you will be required to publish your completed Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name in a local newspaper. The notice must be published at least three (3) times within twenty-one (21) days of the date that your Order for Publication for Change of Name was filed.

According to § 13-15-102, you may be excluded from the publishing requirement if any of the following situations apply:

Request proof of publication from the newspaper after the publishing requirement has been met.

Step 10 – Decree for Change of Name

If you are below the age of seventy (70), provide the court with proof of publication unless an exemption has been made pursuant to § 13-15-102. Proof of publication can include a copy of the newspaper notice. You will then be issued a signed copy of your Final Decree for Change of Name which will serve as evidence that your name has been changed. Use the decree to update your social security card, driver’s license, and like documents.

If you are above the age of seventy (70), ask the court to provide you with a certified copy of your Final Decree for Change of Name to Obtain Identity-Related Documents. This will be offered to you at no cost. You should then provide the certified copy to the Department of Revenue so that they can issue you a new driver’s license or identification card showing your new name.

Driver’s License

Before you can change the name on your driver’s license, you must contact the Social Security Administration to obtain a new social security card. Submit the Application for a Social Security Card by mail or in person to a Social Security Administration office. Along with the application, provide the following documents:

  • Proof of legal name change (e.g., court order, marriage license)
  • Proof of identity (e.g., U.S. passport, U.S. driver’s license)
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (e.g., U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport)

All of the above documents must be the originals or certified copies. A complete list of documents accepted by the SSA can be seen here.

After updating the SSA, wait twenty-four (24) hours and visit a Colorado DMV. Bring along your legal name change documents, confirmation from the SSA that your name has changed, proof of identity, proof of address, your social security number, and payment for the $27 fee. The DMV has provided a list of accepted identification documents and residency documents. All documents must be the originals or certified copies. Your new driver’s license will be delivered to you within thirty (30) days.

Voter Registration

Updating the name on your voter registration can be accomplished by submitting a new Colorado Voter Registration Form to the Colorado State Department of Elections. Enter your former name in section (8) of the form to notify the agency of your change of name. If you have a Colorado driver’s license or ID card issued by the DMV, you can update your voter information online.

Minor (Child) Name Change

A minor’s name can be changed by filing a Petition for Change of Name with the court located in the county where the child resides. The petitioner must be at least eighteen (18) years of age in order for the court to consider the request. If the minor is above the age of fourteen (14), a fingerprint-based background check must be conducted on the individual within ninety (90) days of filing the petition.

Step 1 – Background Check

If the child is fourteen (14) years of age or older, they must submit a criminal background check from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Contact a local law enforcement agency to have the child’s fingerprints recorded on an FBI and CBI fingerprint card. There will be an area labeled “Reason Fingerprinted” in the upper-left portion of each card. Enter “§13-15-101 Legal Name Change” in that space. Complete the form by entering the child’s name, date of birth, and home address. If the law enforcement agency uses an electronic print system, do not write on the form as the child’s information will be entered electronically.

Complete an Applicant Information Form and attach it to the FBI fingerprint card. Mail or hand deliver the completed fingerprint cards to the FBI and CBI.

  • FBI – Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, Attn: SCU, Mod. D-2, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306
    • Fee – $18
  • CBI – 690 Kipling, Denver, Colorado 80215
    • Fee – $16.50

It may take up to four (4) weeks for the CBI to process the background check. The FBI background check can take as long as thirteen (13) weeks. The results of each background check must be dated within ninety (90) days prior to filing the change of name request. For this reason, it is recommended that you submit the FBI fingerprint card by mail, wait seven (7) to nine (9) weeks, and then submit the CBI fingerprint card by mail or in person.

Step 2 – Petition for Change of Name

The request to change the child’s name must be presented to the court via a written Petition for Change of Name (Minor). Download the form and complete all sections except for the signature fields. Attach the FBI and CBI background check results and identify them as Exhibit A. Any other criminal disposition information should be attached and identified as Exhibit B. Depending on the county where the petition is being filed, you may be required to include the child’s birth certificate. Contact a clerk to determine whether or not this requirement applies. Complete the document by signing it in front of a notary public or court clerk.

Step 3 – Consent and Notice Forms

If the child has a living non-custodial parent and you know where the individual lives, you must notify them of the name change request by conducting either of the following procedures:

  • Have the non-custodial parent complete a Consent of Non-Custodial Parent form. The non-custodial parent must sign the form in the presence of a notary public or court clerk. Include the form with your filings.

          or

  • Complete a Notice to Non-Custodial Parent form and send it by certified mail (return receipt requested) to the non-custodial parent. Have the individual sign the return receipt. The return receipt may be included with your filings or it can be submitted to the court at any point at least fourteen (14) days prior to your hearing.

If the child has a living non-custodial parent and you do not know where the individual lives, complete the Request to Publish Notice to Non-Custodial Parent of Change of Minor’s Name and Publication Order and sign it in front of a notary public or court clerk. Prepare a Notice to Non-Custodial Parent by Publication form and attach it to the Request to Publish Notice. Include both forms with your filings.

Step 4 – Order for Publication for Change of Name

Prepare the Order for Publication for Change of Name form and attach it to your completed documents. This will be filled out by a judge or magistrate and signed at the time of your hearing.

Step 5 – Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name

Download the Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name and fill in the applicable fields. This document will eventually be submitted to a local newspaper in order to publish a notice of the change of name request.

Step 6 – Final Decree for Change of Name

Next, you will need to prepare a Final Decree for Change of Name form and fill in the caption area only (space at the top of the form which mentions the purpose of the form and the court information). This form will be signed by a judge or magistrate and returned to you upon proof of publication.

Step 7 – Make Copies of Documents

Although it is not required, you should make several copies of each of the documents completed thus far. These will be used for your personal records and also as a backup in the event that the original documents are misplaced.

Step 8 – Submit Filings to the Court

Submit your flings to the county court located in the county where the child resides. If the child is the subject of a child support or allocation of parental responsibilities (decision-making and parenting time) action, your documents must be filed in the district court located where the child support or allocation of parental responsibilities (decision-making and parenting time) action currently exists.

After submitting your filings, you will need to pay either a $100 filing fee (county court) or a $227 filing fee (district court). If you are unable to afford the filing fee, fill out the Motion to File without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit and submit it to a court clerk at the time of your hearing. The court may ask that you supply a self-addressed and stamped envelope. Once payment has been accepted (if applicable), you will be issued a date for your court hearing.

Step 9 – Publish Notice of Petition for Change of Name

After your filings have been submitted to the court, you will need to publish the completed Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name in a local newspaper at least three (3) times within twenty-one (21) days from the date that your Order for Publication for Change of Name was filed. Ask for proof of publication from the newspaper after the appropriate number of publications.

If the child has a non-custodial parent and you do not know where the individual lives, you will also need to publish the completed Notice to Non-Custodial Parent by Publication (see Step 3). This is meant to inform the other parent of the change of name request as well as the date, time, and location of the hearing. This notice must also be published at least three (3) times within twenty-one (21) days from the date you filed the Request to Publish Notice to Non-Custodial Parent of Change of Minor’s Name and Publication Order. Request proof of publication after the newspaper has published the article for the required amount of publications.

According to § 13-15-102, you may be exempt from the publishing requirement if the minor has been a victim of a crime which was determined as fact by the court. This includes acts of domestic violence as defined in § 18-6-800.3(1). Furthermore, publishing may not be required if the child is a victim of child abuse (§ 18-6-401) or a victim of domestic abuse (§ 13-14-101(2)).

Step 10 – Attend Hearing

Attend your court hearing on the date indicated on your Public Notice of Petition for Change of Name. Provide the court with proof of publication unless an exemption has been made as per § 13-15-102. Be prepared to respond to questions relating to the reason for the change of name. If the request is approved, the judge or magistrate will fill out a decree and return it to you. This document will serve as evidence of the child’s change of name. A certified copy of the decree can be requested for an additional fee.