Iowa Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in IA

The Iowa name change forms can be used by any adult residing in Iowa to change their own name or the name of a child in their custody. Generally, applicants will be required to create a free online account and file their name change forms through the State provided eFiling service (certain exceptions apply). If the individual is seeking a new name due to a pending divorce or marriage, the standard name change process does not apply as the process can be accomplished through the divorce/marriage proceedings. The record retained from either procedure will serve as sufficient evidence of the name change, and can therefore be used to alter other official records (i.e., driver’s license, SSN).

Laws Chapter 674

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

Fill out your marriage license application and enter your new last name in the applicable area of the form. File the application with the County Recorder’s Office and pay the fee (usually between $30 and $35). Once you are legally married, request a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the Department of Public Health. The certified copy can be used to update the information on record with the Social Security Administration, DMV, and similar agencies.

Name Change After Divorce

If you are in the process of getting divorced, you have the option to change your name to the one recorded on your birth certificate or to the one used immediately prior to your marriage. There is an area in your divorce Petition in which you can specify your former name or birth name (enter whichever name you prefer to use). After the divorce proceedings, obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree from the Department of Public Health and use it to update your social security card, driver’s license, bank accounts, and other records which contain the name used during your marriage.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

If you are above the age of eighteen (18) and you do not have any civil disabilities (e.g., legal rights or privileges revoked), you can request a name change in Iowa by filing a Petition for Change of Name. The Petition will be submitted to the district court via their online “eFiling” service. However, paper filing is possible under certain conditions (more information on this below).

Step 1 – Request Certified Copy of Birth Certificate

Begin by requesting a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you were born in the State of Iowa, you can request your certificate from the Department of Public Health by following the instructions on this webpage. The certificate will cost $20 plus additional service fees.

If you were born in any state other than Iowa, request your birth certificate by contacting the agency in the state which handles vital statistics (see agency list).

Note: If you were not born in the U.S., you can obtain your birth record by submitting a written request to the following address:

Department of State Passport Services Vital Records Section
Room 510
1111 19th Street
NW, Washington, DC 20036

Step 2 – Choose Filing Method

In most circumstances, it will be necessary for you to file your paperwork electronically using Iowa’s eFiling service. However, this may not be required if you do not have a computer capable of uploading the requisite forms or if you do not have regular access to the internet at your home. If you would like to request an exemption from eFiling, contact a clerk in your county to see if filing in person or by mail is possible.

Note: Using the eFiling service requires the creation of a free online account. Go to this webpage and select “Request Account” to begin the account creation process.

Step 3 – Petition for Change of Name

The Petition for Change of Name will be used to provide the court with the information necessary to determine whether or not your name should be changed. Download the Petition and fill it in using the appropriate application on your computer, or print the form and complete it by hand.

Step 4 – Protected Information Form

It’s your responsibility to protect the confidential information you submit to the district court. This procedure can be complicated and may be best executed with the aid of an attorney. More information on the process can be found here. If certain aspects of your filing must remain confidential, you will need to complete a Protected Information Disclosure Form.

Note: Confidential information which is improperly filed may result in attorney fees and other expenses. In addition to contacting an attorney, you may wish to contact a clerk in your county to learn more about the proper methods of protecting your information.

Step 5 – Civil Cover Sheet

A Civil Cover Sheet will specify to the court the nature of your petition. Download the form and input the necessary information. In the “OTHER CIVIL ACTIONS” box, select “Change of name (CN-CN).”

Step 6 – Prepare for Filing

Make photocopies of your completed forms. These will serve as backups to be used in the event that the original documents become lost or damaged. Next, you will need to upload your paperwork to your computer in PDF format unless you have been permitted to submit paper forms. Be sure to include the certified copy of your birth certificate. For assistance in uploading your forms, review the eFiling user guide.

Step 7 – Submit Your Filings

Log into your online account to begin the eFiling process. Once logged in, navigate through each page in order to upload your documents. You will then need to provide payment for the $185 filing fee before completing your submission.

If you’ve been permitted by the court to file your paperwork by mail or in person, you must gather all documents along with the $185 filing fee and file with a clerk in your county.

Step 8 – Notify Your Spouse

Notice of your request for a name change must be given to your spouse (if applicable). There are several ways for this to be accomplished including personal delivery, personal service by a process server or sheriff, publication of a notice in a legal classified ad, and notice by certified mail.

Certain circumstances will dictate how your notice must be made. For example, if you are unaware of your spouse’s whereabouts, it will be impossible for the notice to be delivered to the individual in person; in this instance, notice by publication would be required. This webpage contains a number of helpful tips on the process of a legal notification.

After notifying your spouse, you should receive a document showing evidence that the individual has been notified. Photocopy this document and file the original with a clerk in your county.

Step 9 – Await the Court’s Decision

The court will issue a judgment on your case no less than thirty (30) days after your Petition is filed. You can check the status of your case by logging into your eFiling account or by calling the court directly.

If the court approves the name change, a Decree of Name Change will be issued and sent to you by mail. This document provides legal evidence of the name change.

Driver’s License

The name on your driver’s license can only be updated after you have corrected your social security information. Therefore, if you have yet to request a new social security card, you must submit Form SS-5 to a local Social Security Administration (SSA) office along with the requisite accompanying documents.

After notifying the SSA, go in person to an Iowa driver’s license issuance office and provide them with a copy of your name change document (e.g., marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order). You must also supply the necessary identifying documents and pay the $10 processing fee. Your new driver’s license will be issued after completing the above steps.

Voter Registration

In order to update your voter registration information, you will need to either specify the new information online or through the submission of a new Voter Registration Form. If you decide to use the paper form, enter your former name in the “PREVIOUS VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION” portion of the application before filing it with the County Auditor/Commissioner of Elections Office.

Minor (Child) Name Change

A minor child may have their name changed via the filing of a written request. The request must be executed by the child’s parent(s) who possess legal rights to the child. If the name is being changed due to a pending divorce action, the new name can be included in the contents of the divorce Petition. The child may assume the name after the Decree is issued. Changing a child’s name for reasons other than divorce can be accomplished in accordance with the below instructions.

Step 1 – Request Certified Copy of Birth Certificate 

The first step in changing a child’s name is to request a certified copy of their birth certificate. If the child was born in Iowa, their birth certificate can be obtained from the Department of Public Health for a fee of $20 (additional service fees may apply). Brith certificates recorded in other states can be obtained from the state department which handles vital statistics.

For children born outside of the United States, a written request must be sent to the Department of State Passport Services (Vital Records Section). Mail the request to the following address:

Department of State Passport Services Vital Records Section
Room 510
1111 19th Street
NW, Washington, DC 20036

In the event that no birth certificate is available, describe the reason for the unavailability on the Petition for Change of Name of Minor and attach another form of the child’s identification.

Step 2 – Choose Filing Method

Iowa requires filers to submit their paperwork electronically via their eFiling service. Create your free eFiling user account by navigating to this webpage and selecting “Request Account.”

Online filing may be waived under certain conditions (e.g., if you do not have access to the internet at home, if your computer is unable to view the name change documents). Ask a clerk in your county to see if an exemption from eFiling can be attained.

Step 3 – Petition for Change of Name of Minor

Next, you will need to fill out the Petition for Change of Name of Minor. This document will describe the reason that the child’s name is being changed and it will supply the personal information required by § 674.2.

Step 4 – Consent to Name Change

A child aged fourteen (14) or older must provide their consent to the name change in the form of a written statement. If the child is below the age of fourteen (14), both parents will need to complete a written statement indicating their consent to the change. All consent documents must be included with the Petition upon filing.

In the event that one (1) of the child’s parents does not consent to the name change, the court will set a hearing to determine whether or not the child’s name should be changed. The non-consenting parent will be given twenty (20) day’s notice of the hearing.

Step 5 – Protected Information Form

In Iowa, there are regulations that require that specific pieces of personal information be kept confidential when submitted to the court. Failure to protect this information can result in additional court fees and other expenses. It is recommended that you contact an attorney to assist you in keeping your information confidential. Further details can be found by clicking here, or by contacting a clerk.

In the case that your personal information should be held confidential, you will be required to include a Protected Information Disclosure Form with your Petition.

Step 6 – Civil Cover Sheet

Prepare a Civil Cover Sheet by entering your case information into the form. Below the “OTHER CIVIL ACTIONS” heading, select the “Change of name (CN-CN)” box.

Step 7 – Prepare for Filing

Make photocopies of your paperwork and store them in a safe place for future reference. You will then need to upload all of the documents to your computer in PDF format including the child’s birth certificate (PDFs are not required if the court has granted you permission to file in person or by mail).

  • If you need help uploading your documents to your computer, you may either seek the assistance of a court clerk or review the eFiling user guide.

Step 8 – Submit Your Filings

Access your eFiling account to begin the process of filing your paperwork. Submit your filings online and pay the $185 fee to complete the process. If you have been granted permission to submit your paperwork in person or by mail, you will need to gather all of your documents and submit them to a clerk of the court.

Step 9 – Notify Spouse

If you are married, you will need to provide your spouse with notice of your filing with the court. Notice is generally done via the following methods: personal service by the sheriff or a process server, publication of a notice in a legal classified ad, notification by certified mail, or personal delivery. Review this webpage to learn more about proper notification methods.

Once your spouse has been legally notified of the request to change the child’s name, a document will be issued indicating the results of the notification. The document you receive should be photocopied and the original form should be filed with the court.

Step 10 – Await the Court’s Decision

The court will review your case and order a judgment within thirty (30) days of filing your Petition. If one of the child’s parents does not consent to the name change, the court may set a hearing to consider the non-consenting parent’s reasons against the name change.

Check the status of your case by accessing your eFiling account. You may also contact a clerk to see if your case has been processed. If the court grants the request, they will provide you with a Decree of Name Change form which will serve as evidence of the change.