Missouri Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of an application for change of name is discretionary with the Court. For an order/decree/judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the application. The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

You cannot change your/one's name for a fraudulent purpose, such as to avoid debts, you cannot change to a name that could affect the rights of another person, such as a celebrity, you cannot use a curse word, racial slur, obscene and/or an offensive word as part of your/one's name and you cannot change to a name that would cause deliberate confusion (for example, a name with punctuation and/or a number in it).

IMPORTANT NOTE: For name change actions, which involve a minor, our materials are strictly for use if both parents consent to the name change. If one parent does not consent, our materials are not appropriate. The applicant may wish to contact a local lawyer, bar association, etc.

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for an Adult in Missouri

Certain requirements exist which must be met before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in Missouri. These requirements include:

  • You must have lived within the State of Missouri and the County in which you will be filing your application in for at least ninety (90) days.
  • You must file in the Circuit Court in your county of residence.
  • You must be an adult. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from Chapter 211, Sec. 211.442 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, As used in sections 211.442 to 211.487, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following terms mean:
    1. "Child", an individual under eighteen years of age;
    2. "Minor", any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.
  • You must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name.
  • You are not changing your name to avoid debts or to defraud creditors or anyone else.
  • General Summary of Name Change Laws in Missouri for an Adult

    In Missouri, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the Circuit Court with appropriate forms. The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in Missouri begins with the filing of a Verified Petition with the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction in which the Petitioner resides. As indicated above, the Petitioner (the person who initiates the suit/application) must have lived within the State of Missouri and the County in which they will be filing their application in for at least ninety (90) days.

    The Verified Petition includes personal information as required by statute, such as the Petitioner's name, the new name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, the reasons for the request for change of name, etc.

    After filing the Verified Petition and other appropriate forms and paying the required filing fee, the Court will schedule a hearing date for the Petitioner. At the hearing, the Court may take evidence from all interested parties and may examine, upon oath, the Petitioner or any other persons concerning the Petition. In the event that anyone files an objection to your request, your case will become contested and you are strongly urged to hire an attorney. If you do not retain an attorney you will have to represent yourself in a contested hearing.

    The Court may grant or refuse the requested change of name. If the Judge is satisfied that the Petitioner has met the statutory requirements, and that the requested name change would be proper and not detrimental to the interests of any other person, the Judge will sign an Order allowing the Petitioner to take the new name after a specified period of time, which will be at least after the publication requirements (discussed below) have been met.

    The Order requires the Petitioner to publish a notice of the name change (Public Notice form), within twenty (20) days after the Order of the Court is made. After publication is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof of publication to the clerk of the Court. This is accomplished by filing an Affidavit of Publication, which is typically provided by the newspaper and verifies the publication. The Affidavit is attached to a copy of the published Public Notice form and filed with the clerk no later than ten (10) days after the last date of publication.

    After proof has been filed with the Court, the clerk will finalize the Order allowing the Petitioner to begin using his/her new name. If any additional timeframe must expire before the Petitioner can begin using his/her new name, the clerk of the Court will advise the Petitioner of such.

    Missouri Name Change Forms

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    Adult Name Change $29.95

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