Name Change

Patrons seek name changes for a wide variety of reasons. Although Californians have the right to simply use any name they wish, obtaining a driver’s license, Social Security card, or other government-issued document with a new name now requires a court-ordered name change. California law provides a fairly simple procedure for adults to obtain a court-ordered name change for themselves or their children.

Victims or survivors of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault may be eligible to obtain a confidential name change through California’s Safe at Home Program. If you require a confidential name change, please visit California’s Safe at Home program at www.sos.ca.gov/registries/safe-home before filing any documents with the court. You may also contact the program by calling (877) 322-5227 or by via email.

Restoring Former Name After a Divorce

If you are restoring your name after a dissolution of marriage, you may complete an Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name after Entry of Judgment and Order (FL-395), and file it at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse at 3341 Power Inn Road, Sacramento, CA 95826.

Community Resources

Document review. Name Change Workshop
Name Change Workshop – Civil Self-Help Center
Name & Gender Changes
Gender Health Center

Research Guides

The Law Librarians have created these research guides as an aid for those starting a legal research project. These guides recommend print and electronic resources that will help you find answers to your law-related questions.  Many guides provide step-by-step information, as well as sample forms, for common legal procedures.

Videos

Name Change Workshop Explains how to complete the legal forms to change your name.

Related Websites

After you obtain a court order changing your name, you will need to notify government agencies and businesses of your new name. You will need to contact each individually to have your new name put into their records.  Each agency and business will have their own requirements before issuing new documents or formally modifying their records. Below are links to information about changing your name with some of the most common government agencies you will need to contact.