Wyoming Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in WY

Wyoming name change forms exist so that citizens of the State may petition for a legal name change through their county’s district court. Individuals who are intent on changing their name after marriage or reverting to their maiden name after a divorce are not required to complete these forms. Name change petitions are often executed for political, religious, or other personal reasons, and it is up to the court to decide whether or not those reasons are in the public’s best interests. A parent can petition for the name change of their child (anyone under the age of eighteen is considered a minor) through a similar process. In cases where an individual (minor or parent) is a victim of harassment or violence, the name change process can be excluded from the public record. In order to be eligible to petition for a name change, the petitioner (or child, in the case of minor name changes) must have resided in their county for a minimum of two (2) years.

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Name Change After Marriage

When you apply for a marriage license in the State of Wyoming, both you and your spouse must present yourselves at the county clerk’s office. You will be required to provide your current name as well as your mother’s maiden name, but you can express your intent to take your spouse’s name after you are married. After the ceremony, the officiator will provide you with a marriage certificate, which will include your new name on it. Your marriage certificate is proof of your legal name change.

Name Change After Divorce

Reverting to your maiden, or former name after a divorce is one of the most common types of name changes. The process is simple and requires minimal effort. During the divorce proceedings, you must make it very clear that you intend to go back to using your name prior to marriage. A statement of clause will be included in the divorce decree. Once the divorce is finalized, the decree can be used as proof that you legally changed your name. Make sure to inform banks, licensing bureaus, and state and federal agencies of your name change.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

State law outlines the general requirements and proceedings of a name change court case, however, it fails to define who is prohibited from petitioning for a name change. The only explicit condition is that the petitioner must have resided in their county for a minimum of two (2) years before submitting a petition for a name change. The judge presiding over a name change case will undoubtedly deny any petitioner who attempts to defraud another person or avoid legal obligations with their proposed name change.

Step 1 – Petition

To begin the adult name change process, download the Petition for Adult Change of Name Form and complete all the necessary fields. You can leave the case number field blank as well as the signature fields. Make an appointment to see a notary public and sign the document in front of them.

Step 2 – Cover Sheet

A civil case sheet is required for name change proceedings as it helps the case move through the district court with ease. Download the Civil Cover Sheet and fill it out. If you’re having problems filling it out properly, there are instructions on the second page of the form.

Step 3 – Public Notice

By law, it is mandatory for you, the petitioner, to notify the public of your proposed name change. The Notice of Publication states that you have filed a petition and provides a time limit for any individual to come forth and object to your name change. Download the Notice of Publication Form and enter your personal information. Leave the date, case number, and clerk’s signature fields blank. Those who seek to keep their name change petition out of public may not have to complete this form if they file a motion for confidentiality.

Step 4 – Motion For Confidentiality (If Applicable)

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or believe having your name change petition made public would put you in danger, you can file a Motion for Entry of an Order Providing for Confidentiality. Attached to this form should be a copy of the protection or restraining order you have against any individual. If you do not have one, you must also complete an Affidavit in Support of Motion for Confidentiality and sign it in front of a notary public. Download the Order Providing for Confidentiality Form and complete the top section of the document. The rest will be filled out by the judge if they approve your motion.

Step 5 – File Forms

You would be wise to make copies of all the forms you have filled out thus far and keep a copy for your records. The original copies must be filed with the court clerk in your county’s district court. You will be asked to pay a filing fee (typically between $70 – $100) and you will be given a case number. Enter the case number on all the forms.

Step 6 – Publish Notice (If Applicable)

If you filed a Motion for Confidentiality and the judge approved it, you are not required to publish a notice of your name change petition. However, if the motion was not approved, or you didn’t file one in the first place, you must submit a copy of your Petition and Notice to a local newspaper. According to State law, name change publications are to be carried out the same manner as recorded in Wyoming’s Rules of Civil Procedure (Rule 4-m). This means you, or the court clerk, must contact a newspaper in your county and have them publish the Notice once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks. The newspaper will send you an Affidavit of Publication after the last week of publication.

Step 7 – Order For Name Change

Thirty (30) days must pass between publishing your notice and finalizing your name change. After thirty (30) days have passed, download the Order Granting Change of Name and fill out the necessary fields except for the date and judge’s signature. File this form along with the Affidavit of Publication with the court clerk. (If your case was granted confidentiality, you can file the Order at any point in time.) The judge will look over your petition and will decide whether the name change is appropriate. They will also consider any objections that have been made and, if there are none, they will sign the Order.

Step 8 – Name Change Hearing (If Applicable)

There are two reasons why you may have to appear before the judge; the judge feels it is necessary, or someone objects to your proposed name change. In these situations, you will be made to complete the Request to Set Name Change Hearing Form and the Notice of Name Change Hearing Form. Ask the court clerk for the date and time of your hearing and any other pertinent information. The judge or clerk may instruct you to send the Notice of Hearing to an interested party, specifically someone who objected to the name change in the first place. On the day of your hearing, bring your Order Granting Change of Name (filled out except for date and judge’s signature) and the Affidavit of Publication (if applicable). The judge will ask you a few questions under oath and will hear testimony from anyone present in the courtroom. If the judge approves your name change, they will sign the Order and either present it to you that day or mail it to you at a later date.

Driver’s License

The Wyoming DOT demands that you notify them of your name change ten (10) days after the process has been finalized. However, you are required to update your Social Security card before updating your driver’s license. To update your SS card, submit Form SS-5 along with proof of identity, proof of lawful presence in U.S., and proof of name change to the SSA. You will receive a new card in the mail within fourteen (14) business days. Once you have received your card, you can make a trip to your local Wyoming DOT office. Bring your current driver’s license, proof of your name change, and the appropriate fee ($30 for license, $10 for ID Card). Your new driver’s license should arrive in the mail in approximately four (4) weeks.

Voter Registration

Another important update to make after legally changing your name is your voter information. In order to notify Wyoming Elections Office of your name change, you are required to fill out another Voter Registration Application Form. Complete all the necessary fields (except signature field) on the form and make sure to select the check-box at the top of the form marked “Name Change.” Print out the form and deliver it to your county clerk’s office; a registry agent will witness your signature. Alternatively, you can print out the form, sign it in front of a notary public, and mail it to your county clerk along with copies of the appropriate identification documents.

Minor (Child) Name Change

A parent can petition for the name change of their child (person under eighteen years of age) as long as the minor has resided in their county for at least two (2) years. Both parents must agree to the name change unless one (1) of the parents is deceased or has had their parental rights terminated. A minor’s name cannot be changed to avoid legal obligations or for fraudulent purposes. Minor name change petitions go through district court in the State of Wyoming, and it is up to a judge to determine whether or not the name change is in both the public’s and the minor’s best interests.

Step 1 – Petition

Download the Petition for Name Change of Minor Child and fill out all the fields except for the case number, the signature field, and the ‘Verification’ section. This form must be signed in front of a notary public. If a Consent Form is needed in your case, you may want to wait so you only need to make one trip to the notary’s office. (Consent forms are required if only one (1) of the minor’s parents is filing the Petition.)

Step 2 – Cover Sheet

A cover sheet is used for organizational purposes, allowing cases to move smoothly through the district court. Download the Civil Cover Sheet and enter all the appropriate information.

Step 3 – Parental Consent (If Applicable)

If the name change is being petitioned by both of the minor’s parents, a consent form is not required. However, if one parent is not involved in the process and they agree to the name change, you must download the Parental Consent to Name Change of Minor Child Form and have them sign it in front of a notary public. (If the parent is unreachable or has not signed a consent form, ‘Step 7’ will apply.)

Step 4 – Public Notice

Wyoming statutes state that you, the petitioner, are required to publish a notice of your minor’s name change petition in a local newspaper. To accomplish this step, download and complete the Public Notice by Publication Form. Have the court clerk sign and date it when you file all of your name change forms (‘Step 6’). After the Notice has been signed, contact a newspaper with a weekly publication in your county. Provide them with a copy of the Notice and Petition. The Notice must be published once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks. The newspaper will send you an Affidavit of Publication after the four weeks have passed.

Step 5 – Motion for Confidentiality (If Applicable)

Should you feel that making the name change public would put either you or your child in danger, you can file a Motion of Confidentiality. This form is most commonly used when a parent or minor has been a victim of domestic abuse. If this situation applies to you, do not complete a Public Notice Form. Instead, download and complete a Motion for Entry of an Order Providing Confidentiality Form. Attach a copy of any restraining order you have against an individual or, if you do not have one, download the Affidavit in Support of Motion for Confidentiality and fill in the pertinent fields. Lastly, download the Order Providing for Confidentiality Form and complete only the top section of the document.

Step 6 – File Forms

Once all the appropriate forms have been filled out, it would benefit you to make copies of them. Take the originals with you when you visit the court clerk at your county’s district court. The clerk will make sure everything has been filled out correctly before asking for the filing fee (typically between $70 and $100). A number will be administered to your case, which you may enter into the proper fields on all your name change forms.

Step 7 – Serve Other Parent (If Applicable)

Should the non-petitioning parent be unavailable to provide consent, you must find a way to notify them of the court action. This can be accomplished through one of the following methods:

  • Serve Papers – Download and complete the Summons and Return for Minor Name Change Form and the Acknowledgement and Acceptance of Service Form. Mail these forms along with the Petition to the non-petitioning parent. You can also have someone (over eighteen years of age and not involved in the case) serve the non-petitioning parent with these forms. The other parent must sign the Acknowledgment Form in front of a notary public. However, signing this form does not mean they consent to the name change; they must complete the Parental Consent Form.
  • Sheriff’s Office – You may choose to have the sheriff’s department serve the other parent as these cases can be a sensitive issue. Download and complete the Summons and Return for Minor Name Change Form (sheriff will complete the second page). Submit this form along with the Petition to the sheriff’s office in the county in which the other parent resides. They will serve the papers upon that parent and return the signed forms to you.
  • Notice by Publication – You may be unable to locate the non-petitioning parent, in which case you’re last resort is to publish a Notice of Publication (this is in addition to the mandatory public notice in ‘Step 4’). The notice must be published once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks in a newspaper in the county where the hearing is to be held. Download the Affidavit to Allow Service by Publication and fill it out to prove to the court that you did your best to locate the other parent. Download the Order for Service by Publication Form and complete only the top portion of the document. After the fourth week of publication, the newspaper will provide you with an Affidavit of Publication. Download and complete the Affidavit Following Service by Publication.

Twenty (20) days must have elapsed since the parent was served (thirty days if out-of-state) in order to continue with the name change petition. If the parent was served through notice by publication, thirty (30) days must elapse after the last date of publication before you can proceed.

Step 8 – Default Case (If Applicable)

If the non-petitioning parent fails to respond before the relevant expiration date, you can apply for an Entry of Default and the case will move forward. Download and complete the Affidavit in Support of Default Form, the Application for Entry of Default Form, and the Entry of Default Form (only top section).

Step 9 – Order For Name Change

Download the Order Granting Change of Name for Minor Child and complete the appropriate fields. Visit the clerk’s office at the district courthouse and file the Order Form, the Affidavit(s) of Publication (if applicable), and all three (3) Default Forms. In some cases, particularly where there are no objections, a judge may look over the forms and make a decision without setting a hearing. If they approve of the proposed name change, they will sign the Order and the clerk will give you a certified copy. This is legal proof of the minor’s name change and can be used to notify any interested agencies and companies.

Step 10 – Name Change Hearing (If Applicable)

If someone objects to the name change (usually the non-petitioning parent), the judge will ask that you schedule a hearing. In fact, the judge may demand a hearing even if no objection has been filed. To request a hearing, download and complete the Request to Set Hearing Form, the Notice of Hearing Form, and the Order Setting Hearing Form. Enter the appropriate information onto the forms and file them with the court clerk. The clerk or the judge may ask you to send copies of the Notice Form to any interested parties (mainly whoever has objected to the name change). On the day of the hearing, you and minor must appear before the judge. Bring the Order Granting Change of Name for Minor Child and the Affidavit(s) of Publication. The judge will ask you questions about the name change and will hear testimony from all interested parties present in the courtroom. If the judge deems the name change suitable and in the best interests of the minor and the public, they will sign the Order.