Ohio Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in OH

Updated January 23, 2023

An Ohio name change form can be used by residents of Ohio to legally change their name as long as they have resided in the State for at least one (1) year. Aside from changing one’s name for marriage or after a divorce, individuals may wish to change or alter their name for personal, religious, or political reasons. However, name changes aren’t always approved. An individual that wants to change their name must personally appear before a judge/magistrate in probate court and explain the reasoning behind their choice. A parent or guardian may petition for a legal name change of a minor (persons under eighteen (18) years of age) as long as the change isn’t being made for fraudulent purposes.

Laws –  § 2717

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

For a new wife to take her husband’s surname, all it takes is for the new name to be included on the marriage license. Once this is signed and submitted to the probate court in the county where the marriage took place, it becomes the official marriage license and the wife can begin using her new name. Unfortunately for a husband who wants to take his wife’s surname, he must file a request to receive a special court ordered approval similar to the standard name change process in Ohio.

Name Change After Divorce

Instead of going through the hassle of appearing in court to change your name after a divorce, Ohio law offers a simpler solution; simply include the name change (i.e. going back to your maiden name) with your divorce petition. The legal name change becomes part of the divorce decree once the court has completed the order. The divorce court is obliged to approve the name change as long as the request was made at the time of the divorce.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

Any adult can apply for a name change in Ohio as long as they are eighteen (18) years of age and have lived in the State for at least one (1) year. The judge will be the deciding factor on whether the reason for your name change is legitimate. According to Ohio code, the following reasons are cause for a name change denial:

  • Individual has a duty to comply with § 2950.04 or § 2950.041 (convicted of committing a sexual offense)
  • Individual has been convicted of identity fraud
  • Individual intends on changing their name for fraudulent purposes
  • Individual intends on evading legal authorities

Step 1 – Background Check (If Applicable)

Background checks are not required by State law, but some counties will ask you to request a BCI background check on yourself in order to apply for a name change. To request a background check, select an agency from this list of providers on the Attorney General’s website. An appointment may be required, otherwise most companies allow drop-ins. The price of a background check request is usually somewhere between $30 – $40. Have the background check mailed to the county probate court where your hearing will take place. (An example of a Request for Background Check Form.)

Step 2 – Complete Name Change Application Form

Download the Application for Change of Name of Adult Form, or visit the probate court in your county and ask the court clerk for the form. These forms vary from county to county, but they are all more or less based on the general form provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Complete all the fields on the application form excluding the “case number” field.

Step 3 – Complete Judgment Entry Form

Download the Judgment Entry Form and complete all applicable fields. Make sure to leave the following fields blank (they will be filled in later by the court clerk and/or the judge):

  • Hearing date
  • Judge signature
  • Deputy Clerk
  • Date

Step 4 – Complete Any Additional Forms

Some counties will ask that you complete an additional information form, which will most likely be available at your local probate court. Make sure to ask the court clerk for any county-specific documents so you can fill them out ahead of time and submit all the necessary documents at the same time. (Example of an Additional Information Form from Franklin County’s probate court.)

Step 5 – File Name Change Forms

Once you have completed the Application Form and Information Form (if applicable), file them with the Court Clerk at your local probate court. Bring a piece of photo identification as well as proof of residency (if your photo ID doesn’t have your current address on it). The clerk will give you a notice form which will include the date of the hearing. At this point you will be asked to pay all associated fees. The fee for submitting a name change application can be anywhere from $80 – $150, depending on which county you’re in.

Step 6 – Publish Notice

The notice must run in a local newspaper at least thirty (30) days before your hearing. The clerk will let you know if there is a specific newspaper that must be used when publishing a name change notice. In some cases they may take care of the notice publication for you; otherwise, download and complete the Notice of Hearing on Change of Name form before submitting it to your county newspaper.  Proof of publication will be sent by the newspaper after the notice is advertised. Publication can cost anywhere from $30 – $50.

Note: All background check fees, application fees, and publication fees are non-refundable. 

Step 7 – Attend Hearing

You must personally appear before the appointed judge, or magistrate, in probate court to plead your case regarding your desired name change. The judge/magistrate will make sure you are changing your name for legitimate reasons and, once they deem it a lawful change, will sign a judgment entry form, also known as an ‘order’.

Driver’s License

Updating your name on your driver’s license should be a relatively painless process. To update your name, visit your local Ohio BMV office. Make sure to bring your Ohio driver’s license, Social Security card, and proof of name change (i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order). For a regular driver’s license name change, the cost is $24.50 (most payment methods are accepted).

Voter Registration

There are two ways of updating your name on your voter registration card; online or by mail. The process to update a name change is the same as registering the first time, only you’ll be using your new name. Visit VoteOhio.gov and click “Register to Vote” to update your registration online. Alternatively, you can download the Voter Registration and Information Update Form and mail it to your county board of elections office.

Minor (Child) Name Change

A parent or guardian has the right to change their child’s name for almost any reason as long as it is not for unlawful purposes. Just like an adult name change, the minor must be a resident of Ohio (specifically the County where they’re applying) for at least one (1) year. Consent from both living parents must be submitted when applying for the name change of a minor. If a parent is not a part of the child’s life, i.e. not present to provide consent, they must be notified of the hearing by certified mail. The signed certified mail receipt, or green slip, must be filed prior to the hearing, or presented during the hearing to show that the parent received the notice.

Step 1 – Complete Minor Name Change Application Form

Each county has their own application forms, and you can visit your county probate court and ask the court clerk for all the necessary forms. Alternatively, download and complete this Application for Change of Name of Minor Form.

Step 2 – Complete Judgment Entry Form

Download and complete the Minor Name Change Judgment Entry Form. Make sure to leave the judge’s signature field blank as well as the field for the date.

Step 3 – Complete Consent Form (If Applicable)

Any parent not involved in submitting the application for a minor’s name change must provide consent. Download the Consent to Change of Name Form and have the parent sign it in front of a notary public or court clerk. The parent will have to identify themselves to the notary or court clerk through photo identification.

Step 4 – Submit Documents

Visit the probate court in your county and file all the completed forms with the court clerk. Bring your photo ID and a copy of the minor’s birth certificate (not all counties require the latter documentation). The court clerk will set a hearing date and provide you with a copy. Any fees associated with the minor name change process can be paid at this point in time.

Step 5 – Publish Notice of Hearing

Ask the court clerk if there is a specific county newspaper that should be used when publishing the notice of hearing. Sometimes the court clerk will publish the notice themselves, for a reasonable fee. If not, download and complete the Notice of Hearing on Change of Name Form. Submit it to the appropriate county newspaper. The ad must appear in the newspaper at least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing date. You should keep a copy of the newspaper, just in case the judge asks to see it.

If the parent is not available to sign the consent form, a notice of hearing will have to be sent to them as well. Again, some court clerks may take care of this for you, others will not. Make sure to keep the certified receipt as proof.

Step 6 – Attend Hearing

The judge will ask you to list off the reasons for changing the name of your child or the minor under your charge. If they believe there is sufficient reasoning behind the name change, they will sign the Judgment Entry Form and approve the desired change.