Nebraska Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in NE

Nebraska name change forms are legal documents for residents to use either as proof of name change or to request that their first, middle, and/or last name be changed to a different name. If a person is changing their last name because they are getting married or divorced, they can legally do so as a part of either process. Once their marriage or divorce is final, they will be able to obtain a document which proves that their name has been legally changed. For any other legal name change, residents must apply by petitioning their District Court. If the subject is under nineteen (19) years old, their parent must file the petition on their behalf. Before their name can be changed, petitioner’s will also need to write a legal notice of their name change and have this notice published in a local newspaper. If their Petition for Name Change is granted, a judge will sign a decree that authorizes the change.

Laws – §25-21,271

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

Changing a last name when getting married is the most common reason for people to get their name changed. In order to legally alter a surname in Nebraska, you just need to indicate the name change on your marriage license application and submit the application seven (7) to thirty (30) days in advance of your wedding date. Once you have received your marriage license and your wedding ceremony has taken place, the marriage officiant will sign the license and submit it to the county clerk. The county clerk will prepare your marriage certificate which will serve as proof of name change when you update your government registrations, IDs, bank accounts, and anything else that is registered in your old name. If you attempt to change your name after your marriage has already taken place, you will need to file a Petition for Name Change with your District Court.

Name Change After Divorce

In Nebraska, both men and women are permitted to have their former name restored when getting divorced. All you need to do is include a request to assume a previous name in your petition for dissolution and divorce decree. You will also need to present evidence of your former name (birth certificate, etc.) to the court. Once your divorce is final, you will be able to obtain a divorce certificate. This certificate can be used as your proof of name change when updating your IDs and registrations (driver’s license, social security, voter information, etc.).

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

In order to file a Petition for Name Change in Nebraska, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least nineteen (19) years of age or older
  • Be a resident of Nebraska
  • Be a resident of your county for a minimum of one (1) year
  • Not be changing your name for fraudulent reasons

You must file your name change request at the District Court of the county in which you reside. Furthermore, you are required to publish notice of your name change hearing in a local newspaper. After completing the publication requirement, as long as all of the petitioner’s documents are in order and there is no public objection, most name change requests can be approved without trial. Once your name change is complete, it is your responsibility to update all of your IDs and registrations.

Step 1 – Fill-in the Petition for Name Change

Obtain the Petition for Name Change (DC 6-9-1) and fill out the entire document. On this form, you will provide your personal information, your desired name, and your reasons for requesting a name change.

Step 2 – File Your Petition with the District Court

Next, you will need to file the petition at your local Clerk of District Court’s office. It is recommended that you contact the Clerk’s office in advance to verify their procedure for filing a Petition for Name Change. The Clerk will assign a judge to your case and give you the contact information for the Bailiff, who will schedule your court date and assign you a case number.

Step 3 – Pay the Filing Fee

When you file your petition, you will be required to pay a filing fee. Both the fee and the accepted methods of payment will differ depending on your county. Therefore, you should obtain this information from the Clerk of District Court’s office before filing your petition.

Step 4 – Fill-in the Legal Notice of Name Change

Once you have scheduled a court date and have been assigned a case number from the Bailiff, you will need to fill out the Legal Notice of Name Change (DC 6-9-2). This document acts as legal service of notice regarding your name change, and you must published it in a local newspaper.

Step 5 – Publish Notice of Name Change

Contact your local newspapers to verify their fees for publishing a notice of name change and arrange for the publication of your Legal Notice of Name Change. Publication must occur for a minimum of one (1) time per week for a period of four (4) consecutive weeks. You will be invoiced by the newspaper and required to pay a publication fee. After publication of your notice has been completed, the newspaper will write an affidavit of publication. This affidavit will be attached to the published notice and filed with the Clerk. Contact your Clerk’s office to verify their reception of the affidavit and proof of publication.

Step 6 – Fill-in the Decree of Name Change

At this juncture, you can fill out the Decree of Name Change (DC 6-9-3), but leave the date and signature fields blank. The judge will sign and date this document if your name change is approved.

Step 7 – Attend Hearing/Obtain Decree of Name Change

Once all of the above steps have been completed, and there is no objection from the public or reason for suspicion on behalf of the court, the judge will authorize your name change by signing your Decree of Name Change. If a hearing is required, you must attend the hearing with a copy of your Decree of Name Change. You will be called upon to testify at which point you must make the declarations outlined within the Name Change Hearing Instructions (DC 6-9a). If the judge authorizes your name change, they will sign and date your Decree of Name Change. You must obtain certified copies of this signed document to use as your proof of name change when you update your social security, driver’s license, account holder information, etc.

Driver’s License

Once a resident has legally changed their name in Nebraska, they will need to obtain a new driver’s license displaying their new name. By law you are required to apply for a new ID within sixty (60) days of your legal name change coming into effect. In order to apply for your new license, you must present yourself at your local driver’s license office with the following documents:

  • Current driver’s license
  • Evidence of name change (marriage certificate, divorce certificate, court order, or social security card)
  • Two (2) different proofs of address (utility bill, bank statement, government check, etc.)
  • New, Renewal and Replacements Form – filled out
  • Payment for new driver’s license fee ($13.50 at the time of this writing)

You will be given a temporary driver’s license to use until you receive your new driver’s license by mail. It should take around fourteen (14) days for your new ID to be delivered. If you have a vehicle title in your previous name, you should renew your title or obtain a duplicate with your new name.

Voter Registration

After an individual has legally changed their name, they will need to update their voter information in order to be eligible to vote in any upcoming elections. Updating one’s voter information can be accomplished online, by mail, or in person. To update your voter information online, you will need to navigate to the Online Voter Registration webpage and follow the instructions. You will be asked to enter your new name and your previous registration information into the online form. If you prefer to update your information by mail or in person, fill out the Nebraska Voter Registration Form, providing your new name in the primary name field and your previously registered name and address below the “previous registration information” heading. Once completed, deliver the registration form by hand or mail to the office of your local County Clerk or Election Commissioner.

Minor (Child) Name Change

Any adult resident may change the first, middle, and/or last name of a child who is in their in their custody as long as they fulfill the criteria listed below.

  • The child’s parent or legal custodian files the petition on their behalf
  • Both the adult petitioner and the child have been a resident of their county for at least one (1) year
  • The adult is at least nineteen (19) years old
  • The child is less than nineteen (19) years old
  • The child’s other parents consent to the name change
  • The child’s name is not being changed for fraudulent purposes

If a minor of less than nineteen (19) years of age wishes to legally change their name, a legal custodian of the minor must file a petition for name change on their behalf.

Step 1 – Fill-in the Petition for Name Change of a Minor Child

First, you must fill out the Petition for Name Change of a Minor Child (DC 6-11-1) except for the case number; this will be assigned to your case later. In this document, you will need to explain your reasons for changing your child’s name.

Step 2 – File the Petition with Your District Court

Once you have filled out the petition, you will need to file it with the Clerk of District Court for your area. The Clerk will give you the phone number of the Bailiff whom you must contact in order to arrange your hearing date and be assigned a case number. Each district has different rules and fees that may apply to name changes, especially in regards to a minor. Therefore, you should check what rules and procedures govern the process of changing a minor’s name in your county before you open a case.

Step 3 – Pay the Filing Fee

Be sure to inform yourself as to what the cost of filing your petition will be and what the accepted methods of payment are at your District Court. You will be asked to pay immediately in order for your petition to be filed (most districts will accept credit cards as a payment method).

Step 4 – Publish Notice of Name Change

Next, fill out the Legal Notice for Name Change of a Minor Child (DC 6-11-2) and have it published once a week for a minimum of two (2) consecutive weeks by a newspaper with circulation in your county. The newspaper will send you an invoice for the publication service, which you are responsible for paying. After the two (2) weeks of publication have been fulfilled, the newspaper will send an affidavit of publication and the published notice to your District Court. You should verify that the court has received your proof of publication in advance of your hearing date.

Step 5 – Obtain Consent

If the child’s other parent consents to the name change, you should give them the Consent for the Name Change of a Minor Child (DC 6-11-3) to fill out. They must sign this document in the presence of a notary public, who needs to provide their verification before the document is filed with the District Court. Notary publics can be found in banks, UPS Stores, or by locating a private notary.

Step 6 – Serve Notice

In the event that the child has a non-custodial parent who has not given their consent, you will need to fill out the Notice to Parent of Hearing for the Name Change of a Minor Child (DC 6-11-4) and send it to them by certified mail within five (5) days of the notice being published. Keep the receipt of the certified mail in case you need to present it at the hearing.

Step 7 – Fill-in the Decree of Name Change

The Decree for Name Change of a Minor (DC 6-11-5) is the document which the Judge will sign and date if your petition is accepted. Fill out all of the blank fields except for the date and signature fields. At this juncture, you can review the Checklist for Name Change of a Minor Child (DC 6-11a) to ensure that you have completed all of the necessary steps up to this point.

Step 8 – Attend Hearing/Obtain Decree of Name Change

If there are no objections or complications with your petition, it is likely that the Judge will approve your child’s name change without trial. If no trial is required, bring your Decree of Name Change to the District Court to be signed by the Judge. If there is a court hearing, you must attend and bring copies of all of your completed name change documents. As relayed in the Minor Child Name Change Hearing Instructions (DC 6-11-6), you will be called upon to testify appropriately to your situation and present any documents that are relevant to your case. At such a time that the Judge approves your petition, they will sign and date your Decree of Name Change. You will then need to obtain certified copies of this decree from the Clerk of District Court, which constitutes your child’s proof of name change.