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Name Change

Legal Name Change

Who may apply?
To apply for a name change, each applicant must:

  • Have resided in the State of Minnesota for six months;
  • File the application for name change in the county in which they presently live;
  • Be at least 18 years of age.  (A parent, legal guardian or next of kin may file on behalf of a minor);
  • Pay the civil filing fee or proceed in forma pauperis.

How do I apply?
Complete the following forms:
    a.  Application for Name Change
    b.  Order Granting Name Change (Not available on website)
    c.  Criminal History Record Check Release 

Forms are available at your local court administrator's office or on the court forms website www.mncourts.gov.

If you have any difficulty completing the forms, you should consult an attorney.

Hearing:

  1. Upon filing, the court administrator's office will provide you with a hearing date and time.
  2. Two witnesses who are over the age of 18 years that know you must appear with you in court and testify as to your identity.
  3. If your application is approved at the time of the hearing, the judge will sign the order granting name change.
  4. After the order is signed, you can obtain certified copies of the Order from the court administrator's office for a fee.  Certified copies of this order will be needed to change your personal records.  (See "Notice to Persons Who have Had Their Name Changed.)

Corrections on Birth Certificates:
If the information on a birth certificate is wrong because a mistake was made when the birth certificate was created, DO NOT file an Application for Name Change to have the birth record changed.  Mistakes can be corrected through Kandiyohi County Recorder's office or the Minnesota Department of Health, 717 Delaware Street SE, PO Box 9441, Minneapolis, MN  55440-9441.  Contact them for procedures to amend the birth record.  Please refer to Minnesota State Agency Rules 4601.1000 and 4601.1100 for further information.

Exceptional Circumstances Requiring the Court to Order a Change on a Birth Certificate:
If you think there are exceptional circumstances that make changing the birth certificate necessary, you may specifically ask the judge on your Application for Name Change to order the birth certificate changed.  You may use the "Other" category on the Application to explain these exceptional circumstances.  You should consult an attorney for further information on when changing a birth certificate is appropriate and what information you should include in your Application for Name Change.  If a judge determines a change on the birth record is warranted the judge will include that provision in the final name change order that would direct the Department of Health to amend a birth certificate.

Legal Name Change of a Minor

Who may apply?
To apply for a name change, each applicant must:

  • File the Application for Name Change of a Minor in the county in which the minor presently lives;
  • Be at least 18 years of age to proceed on behalf of the minor;
  • Be the minor's guardian or next of kin; and
  • Pay the civil filing fee or proceed in forma pauperisif the applicant meets established indigency standards.

How do I apply?
Obtain the following forms from the court administrator's office or www.mncourts.gov

    a.  Application for Name Change of a Minor
    b.  Order Granting Name Change (Not available on website)
    c.  Criminal History Record Check Release 

If you have any difficulty completing the forms, you should consult an attorney.

Hearing:

  1. Upon filing, the court administrator's office will provide you with a hearing date and time.
  2. All minor(s) seeking to have their names changed must be present at the court hearing.
  3. Two witnesses who are over the age of 18 years that know the minor(s) must appear in court and testify as to the minors identity.
  4. If your application is approved at the time of the hearing, the judge will sign the order granting name change.
  5. After the Order is signed, you can obtain certified copies of the Order from the court administrator's office for a fee.  Certified copies of this order will be needed to change your personal records.  (See "Notice to Persons Who Have Had Their Name Changed.")

Corrections on Birth Certificates:
If the information on a birth certificate is wrong because a mistake was made when the birth certificate was created, DO NOT file an Application for Name Change to have the birth record changed.  Mistakes can be corrected through Kandiyohi County Recorder's office or the Minnesota Department of Health, 717 Delaware Street SE, PO Box 9441, Minneapolis, MN  55440-9441.  Contact either office for procedures to amend the birth record.  Please refer to Minnesota State Agency Rules 4601.1000 and 4601.1100 for further information.

Exceptional Circumstances Requiring the Court to Order a Change on a Birth Certificate:
If you think there are exceptional circumstances that make changing the birth certificate necessary, you may specifically ask the judge on your Application for Name Change to order the birth certificate changed.  You may use the "Other" category on the Application to explain these exceptional circumstances.  You should consult an attorney for further information on when changing a birth certificate is appropriate and what information you should include in your Application for Name Change.  If a judge determines a change on the birth record is warranted the judge will include that provision in the final name change order that would direct the Department of Health to amend a birth certificate.

Criminal Record Check:
Minn. Stat. §259.13 requires the Court to determine whether any person seeking to change their name has been convicted of a felony in Minnesota or any other state.  To comply, you must complete a Criminal History Check Release form for each party covered by the application.  If you are changing the name of a minor who is 14 years of age or older, both the minor and the applicant must sign the release form.  A criminal history check will be made on any minor over the age of 14 seeking to have their name changed.  If the has been a felony conviction, both the person whose name is changed and the Court shall report the change within 10 days of receiving a copy of the order by mailing a copy of the order to:

        Attention:     CRIS Section
                            Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
                            1246 University Avenue
                            St. Paul, MN  55104

Note:  Any record information placed in name change file will be accessible to the public.

Parental Notice of Name Change of a Minor:
Minn. Stat. §259.10 states that no minor child's name may be changed without both parents having notice of the pending of the application of change of name.  The application must show proof that the non-applicant parent(s) have been notified of the Application for Name Change of a Minor.

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