Legal Name Change Guide & Checklist, Illinois

How do I legally change names in Illinois?
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Illinois legal name change
Illinois legal name change Fees
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fees
Complete your Petition
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Complete your petition
Newspaper publication
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Newspaper publication
Your Hearing
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Your hearing
Update your records - Document preparation
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Updating your records
More information
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More information

How do I legally change names in Illinois?

Please refer to our dedicated sections if your name change is relating to marriage or divorce. Once you have decided to apply for a legal name change, you must complete a petition and file with the Circuit Court in the county where you reside. You need to have lived in Illinois for at least 6 months. Many courts have help-desks where you can receive assistance in completing your petition. It is recommended your petition is reviewed here or by a legal professional before filing. Name changes are restricted for individuals convicted of a felony or sex crime.

Pay the $319 fee* at the court house when filing your petition. The clerk will provide you with a hearing date, often several weeks away to allow sufficient time for you to publish your intent in a newspaper. Attend your hearing and if successful you should be issued a court order granting your name change on the same day. Ensure you order certified copies so you can get your records updated.

* Fees correct at time of writing, subject to change without notice

Illinois legal name change Fees

Illinois has a number of fees relating to legal name change. While these were correct at the time of writing, they are subject to change without notice.

  • Circuit Clerk filing fees, $319 (low income applicants can apply for a fee waiver)
  • Newspaper fee to publish your name change notice. There are no schemes where this can be provided free or subsidized. Fees vary.
  • Certified copy of your legal name change order, once successful. $9 each.
  • Dept. of Health fee for an updated birth certificate (if also born in Illinois). $15

Complete your Petition

The legal name change applicant must complete a document called a ‘petition’. This is available from your clerk of court, or you can download the forms here. You will need to complete the following documents;

  • Request for Name Change (Adult) – Your name change application with the court
  • Notice of Filing Request for Name Change (Adult) – For publishing in a newspaper
  • Order for Name Change (Adult)- for the judge to sign, granting your name change

 

You also need to submit documents relating to your criminal record, if you have one. When filing your petition you should make three extra copies of each form. The clerk will keep the original, ask that your copies are also stamped. Pay the filing fee and you will be told your hearing date and time. Record this information on your Notice of Filing Request for Name Change form. Ensure there is at least 8 weeks before your hearing date so you have time to publish in a newspaper.

 

Build your name change notification kit here

Newspaper publication

You are generally required to publish your name change in a newspaper circulating within your county for three consecutive weeks. The publishing should be no sooner than 6 weeks before your hearing. Keep all copies of the newspapers where you notice appears. The newspaper will send a certificate of publication, either direct to the applicant or onto the Clerk of Court. 

Your Hearing

Arrive at the courthouse at least 45 minutes prior to your hearing. Ensure you take the stamped copy of your petition that was filed with the clerk. Ensure you have your case number written down, plus all the original newspapers where your name change was published. You should also take a completed copy of the Name Change Judgment Order ready for the Judge to sign.

Update your records - Document preparation

Once your name change is granted you are required to update the SSA within 5 days. Use form SS5-Application for a Social Security Card. Allow 2-3 days for the SSA to update your records, then change names with Illinois DMV. Once these name changes are done you can update all your other records.

We recommend saving hours working out what forms you need and which companies require a letter. Easy Name Change can provide ready to send name change notifications to send out to all the necessary companies once your name has been changed. If any of your nominated companies have a different name change process we tell you exactly what to do so you won’t need to spend hours on hold.