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Wisconsin Name Change Forms | Petition CV-450

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Wisconsin Name Change Forms | Petition CV-450

Updated August 17, 2023

Wisconsin name change forms can be used to petition for a legal name change in the petitioner’s county. The court will likely grant a name change petition as long as the proposed name is appropriate and in accordance with state law. These forms are not required if a person intends to take their spouse’s name after marriage, or if they desire to revert to their maiden name after a divorce.

Name Change After Marriage

Marriage is the most common reason people change their name, and it is also the simplest of the name change processes. To take a spouse’s name after marriage, include the new name when filling out the marriage license. After the ceremony, the license will be signed and sent in to be recorded by the officiant.

The couple will then receive an official marriage certificate, which can be used to update a name on various documents and licenses. To obtain an additional copy of the marriage certificate, order online, by mail, or in person. The fee is $20.

Name Change After Divorce

To revert to the name you had before marriage during divorce proceedings, notify the court of an intent to revert to the name you had previously. The divorce order, or decree, will reflect the change.

Once the divorce is finalized, the State Vital Records Office will issue a certificate of divorce. This can be used to notify any agencies or institutions of the change. To obtain an additional copy of the divorce certificate, order using the links in the previous section. The fee is $20.

How to Change Your Name (6 steps)

  1. Download Petition Form
  2. Download Notice of Hearing and Order Form
  3. File Forms
  4. Publish Notice
  5. Attend Hearing
  6. File Order Form

1. Download Petition Form

Registered sex offenders are prohibited from using the name change petition process. So are those in a profession for which a license is required by the state, such as doctors or lawyers, with the exception of teachers.[1] If you are outside of these categories, download the Petition for Name Change for Adult or Minor 14 or Older and fill in all the appropriate fields.

Wisconsin also has a confidential name change process. To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate that publishing notice of your name change would endanger your safety, and that you are not seeking to change your name to avoid a debt or conceal a criminal record.[2] If you meet these qualifications, you can submit a Petition for Confidential Name Change for Adult or Minor 14 or Older.

2. Download Notice of Hearing and Order Form

The second form of the Wisconsin name change packet is the Notice and Order for Name Change Hearing. Download this form and enter your personal information. Leave the judge’s fields blank.

If you are pursuing a confidential name change, use the Notice and Order for Confidential Name Change Hearing.

3. File Forms

Make copies of all your forms and take the originals to your local circuit court. File the forms with the clerk and pay the filing fee, which in Wisconsin circuit courts is $164.50.[3] To file for a fee waiver, complete and submit a Petition for Waiver of Fees and Costs/Affidavit of Indigency; the indigency petition can also be filed online with the court’s eFile service.

Once you have filed the needed documents, the clerk will give you the time and date of your hearing.

4. Publish Notice

Wisconsin requires that name change applicants publish a notice of their application in a newspaper in order to alert people who may be impacted by your decision.[4] At the bottom of the Notice and Order for Name Change Hearing form you completed, is a place for you to indicate which newspaper you will publish in. You can provide this to a local newspaper to have them publish it.

The paper must be one of general circulation in the county where you reside. State law requires what is known as a Class 3 notice, meaning that the notice must appear in a newspaper that publishes at least once a week, and appear three times over the course of three weeks.[5] Ask the newspaper for an Affidavit of Publication and file this document with the court clerk, or bring it to the hearing.

5. Attend Hearing

On the date of your hearing, visit the courthouse and bring your birth certificate and any other necessary documents/forms. At the hearing, the judge will ensure that your name change is not being sought for fraudulent purposes.

As long as your name change meets the requirements of state law, and no one objects to the name change, the judge will approve your petition and sign the Order. If the judge does not grant the name change, they will complete an Order Denying Name Change Form.

6. File Order Form

The Order for Name Change must be filed with the clerk of court. Have them make certified copies so you can file one in the Register of Deeds office for the county where you reside, and use the other(s) to update your name with the appropriate state and federal agencies.

Driver’s License

In Wisconsin, it’s mandatory that you update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before the DMV. The SSA name update process requires you to download and complete the Application for a Social Security Card Form. Submit this form to the SSA by mail or in person along with proof of your name change, proof of identity, and proof of lawful presence in the U.S.

Your new Social Security card should arrive in the mail 14 business days after your application is processed. Once you receive your new card, you can visit your local DMV office. Make sure to bring proof of identity, proof of name change, your old driver’s license, and the appropriate fee ($14 for DL, $16 for ID Card).[6]

Voter Registration

Updating your name with Wisconsin’s Elections Commission requires that you complete new voter registration. You can complete this process online by going to MyVote Wisconsin. Alternatively, download and complete the Wisconsin Voter Registration Application (also available in Hmong and Spanish). Submit this form by mail or in person to your municipal clerk.


  1. Wisconsin Courts: Basic Steps to Handling a Name Change
  2. Wis. Stat. § 786.37(4)
  3. Wisconsin Court Fees
  4. Wis. Stat. § 786.37(1)
  5. Wis. Stat. § 985.07
  6. Wisconsin Department of Transportation: Driver Licensing Fees