How to Change Your Last Name in Illinois

By David Carnes

Changing your last name due to marriage or divorce is relatively simple in Illinois: you need only present your marriage or divorce certificate to the authorities that issued your identity documents in your old name, and obtain replacement documents reflecting your new name. Changing your last name for other reasons is a bit more complex, but is still quite manageable: you will have to complete several forms and pay filing fees and petition a court for a name change order.

Step 1

Establish legal residence in Illinois. You must have been an Illinois resident for at least six months to petition for a name change. If you have moved to Illinois and obtained an Illinois driver's license or personal ID card, you are likely to be considered an Illinois resident.

Step 2

Publish a public notice in your local newspaper that states your intent to change your last name. You must list your full current name and your proposed new last name, and the notice must run every day for three consecutive weeks. The publication fee varies depending on which newspaper you use.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 3

Obtain a Certificate of Publication from the newspaper you used, proving that you published the notice.

Step 4

Obtain a name change petition and a draft court order from the Circuit Clerk's Office of the Illinois Circuit Court with jurisdiction over your residence. The exact names for these forms differ according to which court issues them, but their content is is essentially the same.

Step 5

Complete the draft court order and the name change petition. The draft court order requires you to list your name and your proposed new last name. The name change petition requires you to list your current name, your address, your proposed new last name, the length of time you have resided in Illinois and the state or country of your birth. File these forms and the Certificate of Publication with the Circuit Clerk's Office, together with the appropriate filing fee. The filing fee varies by court, but can be up to several hundred dollars. The Circuit Court will schedule a name change hearing at least five weeks after the date of your last notice appeared in the newspaper.

Step 6

Attend your court hearing and present your petition and draft court order to the judge. The judge may ask you the reason for your name change, and may hear adversarial testimony if anyone has filed an objection to your name change. If the judge approves your petition, you may obtain copies of the judgment by paying a small fee for each copy (this fee varies according to the court that issues the judgment).

Step 7

Use your court judgment as evidence to replace identity documents such as your driver's license and Social Security card.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Change Names Legally in Illinois


Related articles

How to Legally Change Your Name in San Diego County

If you are an adult residing in San Diego, California, you can legally change your name, but you’ll need to follow specific procedures to obtain a court order authorizing the name change. Once approved, you must report your name change to the Social Security Administration and the DMV as well as your banks, creditors and other interested parties. Some secondary schools and colleges may require a copy of the court decree to update your transcripts and other school records. You can obtain the required forms and file them on your own, use the services of an online legal document provider or seek the assistance of a local attorney.

How to Change Your Last Name in Maryland

People seek to change their last names for a variety of reasons. You may have gotten married or divorced, or simply found a new name you like better than your old one. Although Maryland allows you to legally change your last name simply by using it, you will not be able to change your name on your identity documents without either a marriage certificate or a court order, depending on the reason you changed your name.

How to Change a Legal Name in Oregon

You can change your legal name in Oregon for various reasons, as long as you're not doing so to commit fraud or hide from court actions or financial obligations. Name change proceedings are conducted in the probate or county circuit court of the Oregon county where you reside. Oregon has numerous filing requirements for a legal name change, and you must submit all the forms in order to change your name.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Change Your Legal Name in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, anyone has the right to informally change his name. Changing your name informally, however, will not ...

How to Change a Legal Name in Oklahoma

Oklahoma recognizes three procedures for changing a name. If you want to change your name due to marriage or divorce, ...

Name Change Requirements in the State of Illinois

In Illinois, you can change your name when getting married or divorced, but you can also change your name for other ...

What if I Didn't Request a Name Change in Divorce Papers in Maryland?

In a divorce, you may want to change your last name back to your maiden name. However, if you forgot to request a name ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED