Minnesota 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 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 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, courts typically seek written consent from every adult who retains legal rights over the minor. As such, the applicant must directly notify each of these parties (Service of Process).

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY. Our products/services should not be used if you have been convicted of a felony, have claimed bankruptcy and/or have judgments/liens against you. Instead, you should consider contacting an attorney in your area. These circumstances could cause complications, which may result in your action being denied and/or contested.

Summary of Name Change Law and Procedures in Minnesota for an Adult

In Minnesota, an adult, who wishes, for good cause shown, to change his/her name and the name of a spouse, IF ANY and if the spouse joins in the application, and/or the name(s) of the applicant's minor child(ren), IF ANY, must file their application in the District Court in the jurisdiction in which (s)he (the Petitioner) resides. As indicated above, the Petitioner must have lived within the State of Minnesota for at least six months and must file in the county where (s)he lives.

The Petitioner's application must state the Petitioner's name and age, as well as the name and age of their (the Petitioner's) spouse, if any, and indicate the name(s) and date(s) of birth of the minor child(ren), and whether your application does or does not include the minor children, if any.

The application shall also detail all lands in the state in or upon which the person and the spouse if his/her name is also to be changed by the application, and/or the minor children if their name(s) is/are also to be changed by the application, claim any interest or lien.

The application also includes other personal information required by statute. In addition to the application (Petition), the Petitioner must also complete a Criminal History Check Release form (for each party covered by the application). The Petitioner and if applicable his/her spouse and/or minor child(ren) shall appear personally before the court and prove identity by at least two witnesses.

The Petitioner is also required to notify other interested parties (if applicable). After notification is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof that the appropriate parties have been notified of the intent to change name.

After proof of notification has been received and reviewed (again, if applicable), the Court shall proceed at chambers at such date as the Court shall fix to hear and determine all matters raised by the application and to render final Judgment or Decree thereon. If the court finds good and sufficient reasons for the change and also finds it consistent with the public interest, it shall enter an Order changing the name of all applicable parties.

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

Minnesota law requires certain things before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in Minnesota. These requirements include:

  • You (the Petitioner/Applicant) must be an adult. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from the Minnesota Statutes, 645.451, Subd. 3, "Adult means an individual 18 years of age or older.".
  • You must file in the county where you live. Remember, a separate set of documents is available for Hennepin County.
  • You must have lived within the State of Minnesota for at least six months.
  • At the hearing you must bring two adult witnesses who have known you for not less than one year. Your witnesses may be relatives. If you are married, one of your witnesses should be your spouse.
  • If you own your home or other real estate, you need to have the legal description when you file your documents (it will not be your address). This information is available on your Property Tax Statement.
  • The Petitioner must prove to the court by "clear and convincing evidence" that their application for change of name is: (a) made in good faith, (b) will not cause injury to any person(s), (c) will not compromise public safety, and (d) is not based on the intent to defraud.

Summary of Name Change Law and Procedures in Minnesota for a Minor

In Minnesota, the process for obtaining a name change by court order for a minor child whose parent(s), guardian(s) or next of kin is/are acting as the Petitioner(s), begins with the filing of an Application and other appropriate forms, in the District Court in the jurisdiction in which the Petitioner and the minor child reside. As indicated above, the Petitioner and the minor child must have lived within the State of Minnesota for six (6) months and must file in the County where the minor child resides.

The Application includes personal information as required by statute, such as the Petitioner's name, the minor child's name, the new name requested for the minor child, the name and address of the non-applicant parent (if applicable), etc. The Application shall also detail all lands in the state in or upon which the minor child has any claim, interest or lien. In addition to the application (Petition), a Criminal History Check Release form must be completed for minors ten (10) years of age or older.

After filing an Application (and other appropriate forms) and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court will provide you with a hearing date and time. This date is the day the Petitioner and the minor child will appear before the Court/Judge to get the final Order signed. You must bring two (2) adult witnesses who have known the minor not less than one (1) year prior to the hearing. If both parents come to the hearing you only need to bring one (1) witness.

The Petitioner is also required to notify other interested parties. After notification is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof that the appropriate parties have been notified of the intent to change the minor child's name.

After proof of notification has been received and reviewed, the Court shall proceed at chambers at such date as the Court shall fix to hear and determine all matters raised by the application and to render final Judgment or Decree thereon. If the court finds good and sufficient reasons for the change and also finds it consistent with the public interest, it shall enter an Order changing the name of the minor child from his/her true name to the name sought to be adopted.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for a Minor in Minnesota

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

  • You (the Petitioner/Applicant) and the minor child must have lived within the State of Minnesota for six (6) months.
  • You must file in the County where the minor child resides. Remember, our minor materials are not for use in Hennepin County.
  • To file a Petition for a change of name for a minor child in Minnesota, the minor child must be seventeen (17) years of age or younger. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from the Minnesota Statutes, 645.451, Subd. 3, "Adult means an individual 18 years of age or older.". The Petitioner (who files on behalf of the minor) must be an adult, eighteen (18) years of age or older. Typically the Petitioner is a parent(s), legal guardian(s) or next of kin. You should bring proof of your relationship to the minor with you to the hearing (example, birth certificate, court order appointing you guardian, etc.).
  • The Petitioner must prove to the court by "clear and convincing evidence" that the application for change of name is: (a) made in good faith, (b) will not cause injury to any person(s), (c) will not compromise public safety, and (d) is not based on the intent to defraud.
  • The Petitioner and the minor should not have a criminal history and/or felony convictions.
  • If the minor has a claim, interest or lien on any property, you need to detail the nature of the interest in the property and have the legal description when you file your documents (it will not be the address). This information is typically available from the Deed, Contract for Deed or Certificate of Title at the office of the County Recorder or Registrar of Titles in the County where the property is located.
  • Only one (1) parent is required to be at the hearing. However, the Petitioner is required to show proof that both parents have been notified of the Application.
  • In addition to the one (1) parent, you must bring two (2) adult witnesses who have known the minor not less than one (1) year prior to the hearing. If both parents come to the hearing you only need to bring one (1) witness. Witnesses may be relatives.
  • The minor MUST be present at the hearing.

Minnesota Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95
Minor Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95
Minor Name Change $119.95

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