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Ohio Name Change Forms | Petition SCO-CLC-PBT 0021.0

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Ohio Name Change Forms | Petition SCO-CLC-PBT 0021.0

Updated August 14, 2023

Ohio name change forms can be used by residents of Ohio to ask a court to legally change their name. The applicant must personally appear before a judge or magistrate in probate court and explain the reasoning behind their choice. Name changes related to marriage or divorce typically do not require an application and can be handled as part of marriage or divorce proceedings.

Name Change After Marriage

Ohio residents can adopt their spouse’s last name without a name change order.[1] Simply include the new name on the marriage license application. After the ceremony has taken place, the officiant must fill out and sign the marriage license and return it to the probate court in the county where the marriage took place. A certified copy of the marriage certificate can be used as legal proof of the name change and to change other needed documents.

Name Change After Divorce

A name change can be included in a marital settlement agreement and divorce petition. The legal name change becomes part of the Final Divorce Decree once the court has completed the order.[2] The divorce court is obliged to approve the name change as long as the request was made at the time of the divorce. You can obtain a copy of a divorce decree from the probate court in the county where the divorce occurred.

How to Change Your Name (7 steps)

  1. Complete Name Change Form
  2. Request Background Check, if Required
  3. Complete Judgment Entry Form
  4. Have Someone Complete Affidavit Form
  5. File Documents with Probate Court
  6. Publish Notice of Hearing, if Required
  7. Attend Hearing, if Required

1. Complete Name Change Form

The Application for Change of Name of Adult is the principal required form. Among other information, it requires you to state why you are changing your name, and what you would like your new name to be. The Ohio Supreme Court offers this form, and all others needed in the process, but some counties will offer their own name change forms; either are acceptable.

Name change applications are handled by the probate court in the county where you reside. You must have been a resident for at least 60 days before applying.[3]

2. Request Background Check, if Required

Background checks for name change applications are not required by state law, the probate court does have the authority to require one.[4] The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation handles background checks. Fingerprinting and other requirements can be handled by one of the approved agencies chosen by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

When requesting a background check, stipulate that, once the background check has been conducted, the agency send the results to the probate court where you are filing.

3. Complete Judgment Entry Form

The Judgment Entry Form will be the order that authorizes your name change. Applicants should complete all but the following fields (they will be filled in later by the court clerk and/or the judge):

  • Hearing date
  • Judge signature
  • Deputy Clerk
  • Date

4. Have Someone Complete the Affidavit Form

Next, have someone you know fill out the Affidavit in Support of Application for Change of Name of Adult. The affidavit must be filled out by an adult resident of Ohio who can testify to aspects of your application.[5] The person (known as “the affiant”) should be able to verify that:

  • You are not applying in order to deceive or defraud others
  • You have been a resident of the county for at least 60 days
  • You are not currently in bankruptcy proceedings
  • You have not been convicted of certain crimes
  • And you are not required to register as a sex offender

The affiant must sign this form in front of a notary.

5. File Name Change Forms

Once you have the completed Application for Change of Name of Adult, Judgment Entry Form, Affidavit, and any other forms that may be required by your county, file them with the clerk in the probate court.

Bring a form of photo identification, a copy of your birth certificate, proof of residency, and the filing fee, which varies by county.

6. Publish Notice of Hearing, if Required

Under Ohio statute, courts decide whether or not a hearing is required for a name change application, and if there is to be a hearing, the kind of notice that is required.[6] If the court decides a hearing is required, it will also typically require you to publish a notice of their name change application and the coming hearing with a newspaper in the county at least 30 days before the hearing date.

If a hearing is required, the applicant will fill out a Notice of Hearing on Change of Name, which the court will send notice to a newspaper of record in the county. However, if the applicant can provide proof that publishing notice of the hearing will endanger their safety, they can ask their court to waive the notice requirement — and, potentially, place the proceeding under seal — by filing an Application to Waive Publication and Seal File.

7. Attend Hearing, if Required

If a hearing is not required, you will receive your completed Judgment Entry Form by mail. If a hearing is required, you will be notified of the time and date by mail.

Depending on your county of residence, the hearing may take place in person, or using electronically via videoconference. At the hearing, a judge or magistrate will make sure you are changing your name for legitimate reasons.

If they deem it a lawful change, they will sign the Judgment Entry Form. Once signed, it becomes a court order that serves as legal proof of your name change and can be used to change your name on other documents.

Driver’s License

To update your name on your driver’s license, visit your local Ohio BMV office and bring one of the following documents to prove your legal name change:

  • Original or certified copy of a marriage certificate or license
  • Certified copy of a divorce decree, dissolution, or annulment of marriage
  • Certified copy of a court order[7]

For a name change on a standard driver’s license, the fee is $26.[8]

Voter Registration

There are two ways to update your name on your voter registration card: online or by mail.

To register online, visit VoteOhio.gov and follow the provided steps. To register by mail, complete the Voter Registration and Information Update Form and mail it to your county’s Board of Elections office.


  1. Probate Court of Cuyahoga County: Name Change Adult
  2. Probate Court of Franklin County: FAQ
  3. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2717.03
  4. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2717.19
  5. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2717.06
  6. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2717.08
  7. Ohio BMV: Acceptable Documents
  8. Ohio BMV: Fees
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