How to Change Names Legally in Illinois

By Lisa Magloff

Although the process of changing your name in Illinois is straightforward, it involves several steps. Before you begin the process, make sure you qualify to change your name in Illinois. You must be resident in the state for six months before beginning the name change process. If you have been convicted of any felony, identity theft, criminal sex abuse of a child or indecent solicitation, you cannot change your name until 10 years have elapsed from the end of your sentence. You also cannot change your name in Illinois while on the sex offenders' register.

Step 1

Request the necessary name change forms from your local Illinois Circuit Court clerk's office. These forms can also be obtained online from your local circuit court's website.

Step 2

Fill out the petition form, formally requesting a name change. You also need to fill out the judgment form and cover sheet.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More

Step 3

Have the affidavit portion of your petition signed by a witness. This must be someone who knows you but is not related to you. The affidavit attests that you are who you say you are. The witness must sign the affidavit in front of a notary and the entire affidavit must be notarized.

Step 4

Publish a notice of your name change in any Illinois newspaper with a circulation over 100,000, or in an Illinois law bulletin. Some law bulletins have an office in the county court building. The circuit court clerk's office can advise you where you can publish your notice. The publication must run for six weeks. Obtain a notice of publication from the paper when you place and pay for your notice.

Step 5

Make three copies of the petition and affidavit form, and three copies of the judgment form. File these documents with your local Illinois circuit court clerk's office.

Step 6

Schedule a court hearing with the circuit court clerk. This can be done when you submit your forms and notice of publication. You will be given a date for the hearing, as well as a case number and courtroom number. You also need to pay a fee. This varies from county to county. As of 2011, the fee in Chicago was $319.

Step 7

Attend your court hearing. At the hearing, the judge will issue you with a name change judgment. This is the court's authorization allowing you to change your name. Certify the name change judgment after your court hearing. You can do this at the court clerk's office.

Get help changing your legal name. Learn More
How to Legally Change Your Name in Wisconsin



Related articles

How to Change Your Last Name in Illinois

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.

How to Place an Advertisement for a Name Change

In most states, before a court will legally change your name, you need to publish notice of your intended change in a newspaper. This allows your creditors and other interested parties to object to the change. At a minimum, it puts them on notice that your name is about to change. The precise process and rules are different in each state, but generally follow the same steps.

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.

Doing the right thing has never been easier.

Related articles

How to Change Your Baby's Last Name in Illinois

Illinois allows you to change a baby's name as long as you're the baby's parent, have custody of the baby and have ...

How to Change Your Legal Name in New Jersey

Some people are lucky enough to love the name they are given at birth. But if you aren't one of them, a name change may ...

How to Change Your First Name Legally

The process for legally changing your first name is the same as for legally changing your last name. It differs ...

How to Change a Legal Name in Kansas

You can get a new name in Kansas legally by petitioning the district court in your county. You must be a resident of ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED