Kentucky Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in KY

Updated December 02, 2021

A Kentucky name change form is used to petition the court for a change to the name of an adult or a minor. There are several scenarios where a name change might be desired, such as after a divorce or marriage, to make minor changes in spelling, for religious purposes, or for other personal reasons. The purpose of the name change will dictate the required method of application as well as the forms which must be filed. Select one (1) of the links below to be directed to corresponding filing instructions.

Laws Chapter 401

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

Begin by entering the requested last name on your marriage license application. Finish filling out the form and file it with a county clerk ($35 fee). You will have thirty (30) days to conduct the marriage ceremony before the license expires. After the marriage is legal, you’ll need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate from the clerk in the county where the document was filed. Take the certified copy to the Social Security Administration and the DMV to update your personal information.

Name Change After Divorce

Kentucky statute § 403.230 states that a wife may, upon the dissolution of her marriage, request to restore her former or maiden name. However, this is only possible if both the wife and husband are without children. Therefore, if you are a woman who is filing a divorce action, and you have no children with your current husband, you can request for the court to restore your former name.

If neither of the above information applies to your name change case, you will need to obtain a court order through the filing of a Petition for Name Change (instructions below).

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

You can apply for a name change in Kentucky by filing the Petition for Name Change (Form AOC-295) with the circuit clerk’s office in the county where you reside. If you are currently living in a United States Army post or another type of military fort/reservation, your request will need to be submitted to the neighboring district court.

Step 1 – Petition for Name Change

The Petition for Name Change (Form AOC-295) must be completed and submitted to the court. Fill out the Petition using the appropriate application on your computer; the form cannot be filled out by hand. Additionally, do not complete section (7) and do not provide your signature until requested later on in the tutorial. Make two (2) photocopies of the Petition after it has been completed.

Step 2 – Notarize Petition

Your Petition will need to be notarized before you file it with the court. Visit a notary public in your county and provide the individual with both copies of your Petition (a notary public can often be found at local banks, clerk’s offices, and other government agencies). Sign both copies of the Petition in the presence of the notary. After your signature is provided, the notary will notarize the Petition and return your copies.

Note: A small fee for notarization may be required.

Step 3 – File Your Petition

Go to the courthouse in your county and submit both copies of your Petition to a clerk. The clerk will ask you to provide personal identification and to pay the filing fee. Contact the office before your visit to determine the current prices in your county. After filing, the clerk will give you a case number and stamp your forms.

A hearing for your case may be scheduled to settle any issues concerning your name change. If a hearing is necessary, ask the clerk to inform you of the date, time, and location of the hearing. If no hearing is needed, the clerk will submit your Petition directly to a judge, and your court order will be issued (proceed to step 6 if this applies).

Step 4 – Background Check

While not always required, the court may demand that you conduct a criminal background check on yourself. Criminal background checks can be requested in person, online, and by mail. Navigate to this webpage to see how you can conduct your background check. The criminal history report you receive will need to be filed with the court.

Step 5 – Attend Hearing

Visit the courthouse and attend your hearing (if required). A judge may ask you to identify yourself further and respond to questions relating to the reason for your name change. If the judge approves your request, you will be issued a court order indicating the legality of your new name.

Step 6 – Certified Copies of Court Order

Ask a clerk to make you certified copies of the order form; when updating the name on your social security card, driver’s license, bank accounts, etc., a certified copy of the court order is often required. There is usually a fee for each certified copy.

Step 7 – Update Your Accounts

Use the certified copies of your court order to update your previously recorded personal information. Contact the Social Security Administration and the DMV to request new cards. You should also notify your bank, credit provider, employer, and other accounts which have your former name on file.

Driver’s License

You’ll need to notify the Kentucky DMV within ten (10) days of your name change. However, before updating your driver’s license, you must contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) and request a new card. Visit the SSA website for helpful information on how you can update your social security information.

After a new social security card is requested, go to a Division of Driver Licensing location in person and submit the following:

  • Name change document (e.g., court order, marriage certificate, divorce decree)
  • Social security card containing the new name
  • Payment of the fee ($12)

The Kentucky Division of Driver Licensing will issue your new driver’s license once the above has been completed.

Voter Registration

Changing your Kentucky voter registration information can be accomplished by filling out a Voter Registration Form and mailing it to the clerk’s office in your county (select the “Name Change” option found in the upper-left portion of the form). Alternatively, you can update your registration information online by going to this webpage.

Minor (Child) Name Change

Changing the name of a minor in Kentucky can be accomplished by filing a Petition for Name Change with the circuit clerk’s office in the county where the child resides. Both parents should sign the Petition unless one (1) is deceased. If neither parent is living, the Petition should be executed by the child’s legal guardian.

If either parent is unable or unwilling to sign the Petition, the individual(s) must be given proper notice of the Petition via service of process in accordance with State law (more information on this in step 4).

Correcting a minor spelling error on a child’s birth certificate should be done by making a request to the Office of Vital Statistics.

Step 1 – Petition for Name Change

Download the Petition for Name Change and fill it in to include the minor’s personal information, their requested name, and the reason for the name change. The Petition must not be written by hand. Instead, you can enter the requisite information using your computer. Print two (2) copies of the form once it has been completed.

Note: Neither parent should provide his/her signature at this point; a notary public will need to be present at the time of signing.

Step 2 – Notarize Petition

Take both copies your Petition to a notary public and sign the forms in their presence. The notary may require a small fee for notarization. After your documents are signed, the notary will notarize the forms and return them to you.

A notary public can usually be located at the following places:

Step 3 – File Petition 

Contact a circuit clerk’s office in the county where the child lives and ask for the current price of filing. Next, go to the clerk’s office to submit both copies of the signed Petition and pay the filing fee. Your Petitions will be stamped by the clerk, and your case number will be issued.

You may be required to attend a hearing to settle the name change case. If a hearing is needed, ask the clerk to inform you of your hearing information (i.e., date, time, location). If no hearing is scheduled, the clerk will deliver your Petition to a judge, and your court order will be issued (skip to step 6 if this applies).

Step 4 – Notify Other Parent

If one (1) or both of the child’s parents refuses or is unable to sign the Petition, the parent will need to be informed that the Petition has been filed. Proper notice must be served upon the individual in accordance with the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure. There are several ways for this to be accomplished including notice by certified mail and personal delivery. Review this webpage for more information on the Kentucky service requirements. 

After the notice has been served, you will receive a statement indicating proof of service. Make a photocopy of this document. Be sure to bring the original form to your court hearing.

Step 5 – Attend Hearing

Visit the courthouse for your hearing (if required). The judge may ask you to answer questions and/or provide additional personal identification documents. If the judge determines that the child’s name should be changed, they will sign a court order which will serve as evidence of the name change.

Step 6 – Certified Copies of Court Order

Ask a clerk of the court to produce several certified copies of the document. These will be needed when updating the child’s identification documents, bank accounts, etc. There may be a fee for each certified copy depending on the policies of the court.

Step 7 – Update Personal Accounts

The last step in the process is to update the child’s accounts to reflect the new name. You’ll want to update the minor’s social security number, driver’s license, bank account, and any other accounts which contain the child’s former name.