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Name Changes

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Name Changes

The following information is provided as a convenience to those interested in name changes pursuant to state law, but it should not be construed as legal advice.

Notes:
  • Changing a name upon marriage does not require a court order.
  • Reverting to a maiden name after a divorce requires a court order if the name change was not part of the original divorce order.
Who may apply to have a name changed?
  • If you are an adult and regularly reside in a city or county, you may apply to the circuit court in the city or county in which you reside.
  • If you are an adult and do not have a regular residence, you may apply to any circuit court in Virginia.
  • If you are incarcerated in Virginia, you may apply to the circuit court in the city or county in which you are incarcerated.
  • If you are applying on behalf of your child, reasonable notice must be served to the other parent. If the other parent objects, a hearing must be held to determine if the name change is in the best interests of the child. If a circuit court judge finds that notice to the other parent may endanger the child, the judge may waive the requirement for notice.

How is application made for a name change?

Guidelines are available from the Roanoke City Law Library. Each application must be made under oath or affirmation, and will require the following information:
  • Address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Felony conviction record, if any
  • Whether you are presently incarcerated or a probationer with any court
  • Former name or names, if any
  • Names of both parents, including mother's maiden name
  • Fee to apply for adult name change and a child name change is $41.00, payable by cash, check or a VISA or MASTER CARD credit/debit card. Effective July 1, 2012, the following service fees apply if using a VISA or MASTERCARD credit/debit card. The service fee for charges $50.00 and under will be $2.00. The service fee for charges over $50.00 will be assessed at 4%..

What should I do if my request for a name change is granted?
If your request for a name change is granted, begin using the new name immediately.