Maine Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in ME

A Maine name change form comes in two forms that are generally required for an individual to change their name: the Petition for Name Change (Form CN-1) and the Petition for Name Change for Minor (CN-2). These forms are filed with the probate court of the county in which the subject lives. The person making the request may be required to attend a court hearing when the decision regarding their petition is made. Furthermore, if approved, their change of name must be published in their local newspaper. If an individual is getting married or divorced and they wish to adopt their partner’s name or revert back to their maiden name, they can use their marriage license or divorce decree as proof of name change and do not need to process a request through the probate court.

Laws – §1-701, §1051

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

In Maine, an individual can assume their spouse’s family name when getting married by obtaining a marriage license, which is issued by the couple’s city or town. Next, in order to update their personal identification, the person will need to update their social security and state-issued driver’s license/photo ID. To update their name on their social security records, they will need to go to the Social Security Office, submit a completed copy of Official Form SS-5 and their marriage license. Within thirty (30) days of changing their name, an individual must present themselves at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in order to update their registered name.

Name Change After Divorce

Maine residents who wish to revert to their maiden name can include the changing of their name with their divorce proceedings. Furthermore, as per §1051, a judge may approve an individual’s name being changed to any other name as a part of a divorce. Once the divorce process has been completed, an individual can use their divorce decree to update their personal identification and accounts. If an individual changes their name after a divorce, they will need to do so the usual way by filling out and filing Form CN-1 with their probate court, paying the associated fee.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

In order for an adult to request that their name is changed in Maine, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age
  • Be a resident of Maine
  • Not be making the request for fraudulent purposes

As per §1-701, the judge making the decision regarding a name change has the right to request a credit or background check on the individual making a request. Furthermore, the subject is required to cover the costs of any background checks.

Step 1 – Petition for Name Change

A request to have a name change is made by filling out the Petition for Name Change (Form CN-1). On this form, the subject must provide their desired name, their reason(s) for changing their name, their attorney’s name (if any), as well as their current name and address.

Step 2 – Required Documents

Once the petition has been filled out, the individual should gather the required documents (listed below).

  • Petition for Name Change
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of address
  • Certified divorce decree (if the request is in regards to a divorce that has been finalized)

Step 3 – Submit Documents to Probate Court and Pay the Fee

Next, the individual will need to present themselves at their local probate court, submit their documents, and pay the required fee. According to Maine Statute §1-701(4), the fee for filing the name change petition is set at $75. However, the cost of filing a petition does vary from one county to another and often includes the publication fee for printing the name change announcement in the newspaper. Fees (including publication costs) range from $70 to $121.

Step 4 – Attend Hearing

The individual may be required or have the option to attend a hearing regarding their name change request. The Court Clerk will set the hearing date and notify the subject if their attendance is required.

Step 5 – Publication

If a petition is accepted, the individual’s name change must be published in their local paper and they must pay the cost of publication. An individual is not required to have their name change made public if they are a victim of an abuser or if there is a reasonable fear for their safety.

Step 6 – Judge Issues Court Order Declaring Name Change

If there is no objection, the judge assigned to the case will issue a court order authorizing the name change.

Driver’s License

Within thirty (30) days of changing their name, a Maine resident must update their driver’s license/photo ID at their local driver’s license office. In order to have their identification updated, an individual must present themselves in person with a document proving that their name has been legally changed (marriage license, divorce decree, court order, etc.), as well as their current driver’s license/photo ID, proof of SSN,  and a proof of address (utility bill, bank statement, etc.). The subject will be required to pay a $5 fee.

Voter Registration

In order for residents of Maine to change their name on their voter registration, they will need to fill out the Voter Registration Form and submit it to their Municipal Registrar. On the second page of the form, they will write their full new name and select “Change of Existing Voter Registration” and “Name Change” to indicate that they are changing their name on their voter registration.

Minor (Child) Name Change

In order for a minor to have their name changed in Maine, their parent(s) or legal custodian(s) will have to file a Petition for Change of Name for Minor (Form CN-2) with the county court in which the minor resides. In this state, a minor is defined as a resident who is younger than eighteen (18) years of age. Regarding name change requests for minors, most legal reasons for changing a name will be accepted. Changing a minor’s name would be unlawful if the change of name is for fraudulent purposes or if it is for reasons that could defraud another individual. If the minor is in the custody of only one (1) parent, the other biological parent must be given notice of their child’s name change and, in some cases, must give their written consent.

Step 1 – Petition for Name Change for Minor

The legal guardian(s) of the minor must fill out the Petition for Change of Name for Minor. The personal information of the person making the request and that of the minor in question must be included on the form, along with the requested name and the reason for changing the minor’s name.

Step 2 – Consent Waiver

In some instances, one (1) or more of the minor’s legal guardians may need to fill out a Name Change Consent Waiver in order to give their authorization for the name change. This consent waiver, if requested, will be attached to the petition form and must be notarized by a Notary Public/Attorney-at-law.

Step 3 – Required Documents

Next, the individual(s) making the request should contact their probate court to become informed of the filing fees associated with the petition. The following documents are required and should be gathered:

  • Petition for Name Change
  • Certified copy of child’s birth certificate
  • Photo ID
  • Proof of address
  • Consent Waiver (if required)
  • Certified copy of divorce decree (if the name change is related to divorce)

Step 4 – Submit Documents to Probate Court and Pay the Fee

The Petition for Name Change for Minor, along with the attached supporting documentation, must be submitted in person at the probate court. According to §1-701(4), the filing fee for a name change is $75, however, the cost does vary from one county to another and often includes other fees.

Step 5 – Attend Hearing

The parent(s)/legal custodian(s) and, in some cases, the minor may be required to attend the hearing at the probate court for the name change. The judge has the right to ask for a credit or background check from the minor’s legal guardians, although this request is rarely made. If there is no objection to the name change, the judge will issue an order that declares the legal name change.