South Dakota Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in SD

Updated August 07, 2022

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A South Dakota name change form is a document that can be completed by any qualified South Dakota resident who wishes to legally change their name. Although these forms aren’t necessary when making a name change after a divorce or after a marriage, they are required when an individual desires to change their name for religious, political, or any other personal reasons. According to State law, a person must be a resident of South Dakota for at least six (6) months before applying for a legal name change. The name change of a minor (persons under eighteen years of age) must be petitioned by one (1) of the minor’s parents. The other parent, if living, must consent to the change. It is recommended that petitioners seek legal counsel when applying for a name change in South Dakota; however, one can complete the name change process without it.

Laws§ 21-37

Table of Contents

Name Change After Marriage

Both partners in a marriage have the right to change their name once they get married, but only their last name. Your name can be changed after marriage by simply entering the name you intend to use on the marriage certificate (or marriage decree) after the ceremony. The original certificate must be presented to government agencies, such as the SSA and DPS, when updating your name on your Social Security card, driver’s license, or photo ID card.

Name Change After Divorce

Changing your name after a divorce is only valid if you wish to revert back to your previous name before marriage. There is a section included in divorce petitions/complaints that gives you the option of entering your name prior to marriage, stating that you wish to stop using your spouse’s last name. At the divorce hearing, you will have the opportunity to confirm with the judge that you would like to go back to using your maiden name. You will need to update your name again with all government agencies, financial institutions and the like.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

Residents of South Dakota aged eighteen (18) years or older can legally change their name as long as they have resided in the State for at least six (6) months. The process is relatively straightforward in South Dakota as all counties follow the same procedures and use the same forms. Once a petition is filed, the petitioner must publish a notice of the hearing. Once published, a hearing will take place where a judge will make a ruling. The judge will deny a petitioner of a proposed name change if they believe the petitioner’s intent is to avoid debts or legal action.

Step 1 – Complete Petition 

Once you have decided that you would like to change your name, download the Petition for Adult Name Change Form. Fill out the entire form except for the Verification section at the bottom. You can sign the bottom of the Petition, but wait until you are in the presence of a notary public to sign the Verification Statement. You can find a notary at your local courthouse, through a private notary service, or even your bank (if you have a personal account, the fee for notarization may be waived).

Step 2 – Complete Notice

Download the Notice of Hearing for Adult Name Change Form and complete only the fields for your county, your current name, your proposed name, and your current name again on the first line of the notice statement. The rest can be filled out once you get the appropriate information from the court clerk. A judge or court clerk will sign this form, not the petitioner.

Step 3 – Complete Filing Statement

All name change petitions must have a Civil Case Filing Statement Form (Form UJS-232) attached to them. Download Form UJS-232 and enter all appropriate information.

Step 4 – File Forms

Name changes are processed through the Circuit Court in the county where you, the petitioner, reside. Find your county’s Circuit Court and file the Petition, the Notice of Hearing, and the Filing Statement forms with the court clerk. They will ask for the $70 filing fee and will return to you a copy of the Notice of Hearing Form. The clerk will also provide a hearing date, which you can enter on the appropriate line of the Notice Form.

Step 5 – Publish Notice

Contact one of your local newspapers and have them publish the Notice Form once a week for the four (4) weeks leading up to your hearing date. The selected newspaper must be one that publishes public records; ask your County Auditor if you are unsure which newspaper to choose. Failure to publish the notice will result in the denial of your name change petition; you will have to start the process over and the filing fees will not be reimbursed. The newspaper should provide proof of publication, also referred to as an affidavit of publication, for you to file with the court clerk on or before the day of your hearing.

Step 6 – Complete Order Form

Download the Order for Adult Name Change Form and complete all the fields except for the date at the bottom and the judge’s signature. Make two (2) copies of the Order to bring to your hearing.

Step 7 – Attend Hearing

On the day of your hearing, you must personally appear before the appointed judge and present to them your current birth certificate, the proof (or affidavit) of publication, and two (2) copies of the Order for Adult Name Change Form. If the judge deems the name change to be honest and in the public’s interest, they will sign the Order. Ask the court clerk to make certified copies of the Order to provide proof of your legal name change when you update your Social Security card, driver’s license, and other identification cards.

Driver’s License

To update your name on your driver’s license, you will have to visit your local DMV in person. There is no application form that needs to be completed beforehand; however, make sure to bring proof of your name change (decree/court order), proof of identity, proof of Social Security number, and proof of address with you to the DMV office. You will be asked to pay a $15 fee for the new card.

Voter Registration

Updating your voter registration after a name change is the same process as registering to vote for the first time, with one minor change. Download the South Dakota Voter Registration Form and complete the appropriate fields. Unlike the first time you filled out this form, the previous voter registration section (fields 9 through 11) must be completed. Once you have completed the form, mail it into your County Auditor.

Minor (Child) Name Change

A minor name change (persons under the age of eighteen (18) years old) must be petitioned by the minor’s parent. A minor name change is a more lengthy and complicated process compared to that of an adult. There are more forms involved and a few more variables to consider. Most minor name change petitions will include publication of the hearing notice in a local newspaper and, in most cases, all parties involved in the petition must attend a judicial court hearing in front of a judge. The court makes exceptions regarding the requirement of publication and of a court hearing if all of the following conditions apply:

  • The minor has been a resident of the county in which the petition is filed for at least six (6) months
  • The parents and/or guardians that have legal custody of the minor provide written consent to the name change
  • The minor is twelve (12) years of age or older and provides written consent to the name change
  • The court finds that the name change is in the minor’s best interests

Step 1 – Complete Petition

Download and complete pages (1) to (3) of the Petition for Name Change of a Minor Child Form. Page (4), the Verification section, should only be signed in the presence of a notary public. To locate a notary, contact a local bank, your county courthouse, or a private notary service. Notaries charge a fee for their services, however, your local bank may waive the fee if you currently have an existing personal account.

Step 2 – Complete Notice

Download the Notice of Hearing for Name Change of a Minor Child Form and complete the top section of the form as well as the minor’s current and proposed names in the appropriate fields. A court clerk (or sometimes a judge) will sign the Notice of Hearing, not the petitioner. The Notice of Hearing Form is only required if the minor is twelve (12) years of age or older, and the minor’s parents/guardians have given written consent to the name change.

Step 3 – Complete Filing Statement

All civil cases processed through the judicial court require that a Filing Statement Form be completed and attached to the Petition. Download Form UJS-232 and provide all the necessary personal information.

Step 4 – File Petition

Attach the Notice of Hearing and Filing Statement to the Petition and file them with the court clerk at your county’s Circuit Court. The fee for filing a minor name change petition is $70. The clerk will set a hearing date and time, and will give you a signed copy of the Notice of Hearing Form with the hearing information on it.

Step 5 – Publish Notice

A copy of the Notice must be published once a week for four (4) weeks leading up to the hearing date. The newspaper must be a legal publication that circulates within your county and publishes public records. If you are unsure which newspapers are acceptable, contact your County Auditor. The newspaper will send you an affidavit of publication, which you are required to file with the court clerk before, or on the day of the hearing.

Step 6 – Service Other Parent

Any parent of the minor who is not a party to the petition (the ‘other’ parent) must be served copies of the Petition and Notice of Hearing (if applicable). This can be accomplished in one of three ways:

By Mail

Download Form UJS-32A (Admission of Service of Verified Petition & Notice of Hearing by Hand Delivery). Complete all appropriate fields on page (1) and (2), leaving page (3) for the other parent to complete. Complete page (4), the Affidavit of Mailing, but wait until you are in the presence of a notary public to sign it. Send two (2) copies of Form UJS-32A, a copy of the Petition, a copy of the Notice of Hearing (if applicable), and a self-addressed envelope by certified mail to the other parent. (Keep the mailing receipt in case the court wants to see it.) The other parent must return the original document to you, signed and dated. File all appropriate documents with the court clerk before the hearing.

Hand-Delivered

Download Form UJS-32B (Admission of Service of Verified Petition & Notice of Hearing By Mail) and serve it, along with copies of the Verified Petition and Notice of Hearing Forms, to the minor’s other parent. The other parent must sign Form UJS-32B in front of a notary public. This action states that the parent admits to receiving these documents on the date mentioned on the form. The other parent must return the original to you so you can file it with the court clerk before the hearing.

Sheriff’s Office or Private Processor

If the first two servicing options fail, you should contact the Sheriff’s Office or a private process server and have them serve the Petition and Notice of Hearing. You are not required to download/provide a service form since the sheriff’s department or process server will provide one and send it to you once the documents have been served. File the original notice of service form with the court clerk before the hearing date.

Step 7 – Complete Consent Form(s)

You, the Petitioner, must have the consenting parent complete the Consent Form (Form UJS-033). Make sure they sign the form in the presence of a notary. Make a copy of the Consent Form and file the original with the court clerk. Furthermore, if the minor is twelve (12) years of age or older, they must complete their own consent form. Download the Child’s Consent For Name Change of a Minor Child Form (Form UJS-034) and have the minor enter all the appropriate information, including their signature. This consent form must be filed with the court clerk before the hearing. If both of these conditions apply to this petition, publishing the Notice of Hearing and attending a court hearing may not be required.

Step 8 – Download Order and Notice of Entry 

Before the hearing date, download the Order for Name Change of a Minor Child Form. Enter all the necessary information onto the Order Form, leaving the date and judge’s signature fields blank on the last page of the form; the judge will fill these fields out if they approve the name change. Download the Notice of Entry of Order for Name Change of a Minor Child Form. This form should only be partially filled in; the rest can be completed if the judge signs the Order.

Step 9 – Attend Hearing

Arrive at the courthouse where the hearing is to take place at the appointed time. Some court rules will prohibit the minor from actually being in the courtroom during the hearing, whereas other counties require the minor be in attendance; ask a member of the court staff to determine the requirement for your county. The judge will have in front of him/her all the documents that you previously filed with the court clerk. They will review the case and decide whether or not the name change would be in the child’s best interest. If they deem it an appropriate change, they will sign and date the Order. Have the court clerk make certified copies of the signed Order Form.

Step 10 – Complete and Mail Order and Notice of Entry

After the judge signs the Order, you can finish filling out the Notice of Entry Form. This document is used to notify the other parent that the judge has ordered the name change. Make copies of the Notice of Entry Form and file the original with the court clerk. Send a copy of the Notice of Entry Form and a copy of the Order Form to the other parent.

Step 11 – Affidavit of Service

This affidavit confirms that you served the other parent with the Order Form and the Notice of Entry Form. Download the Affidavit of Service Form (Form UJS-036) and provide all the appropriate information. Sign the document in front of a notary public. Make a copy of the Affidavit and file the original copy with the court clerk.