Name changes for an adult in Ohio are made in the probate court of the county the person lives in. You must file an application to have the case heard by the court. Ohio state laws require a hearing be held on the matter, and the court can deny your name change if you don't give an acceptable reason. Name changes that are for fraudulent purposes, such as to evade legal authorities, are not permitted in Ohio.
Visit the Ohio probate court of the county you live in. Bring photo identification, such as your driver's license or a valid U.S. passport. Ask the court clerk for the name change forms. Forms vary by Ohio county, but you typically need an application. Some counties require you fill out an information form that gives additional personal details not requested on the application, including the names of your spouse and children.
Read More: How to Change a Minor's Last Name in Ohio
Fill out the application. You must enter your current name, the name you want and the reason you're changing your name. Sign and date the petition, and enter your address and telephone number in the spaces provided. Complete and file any other form required by the court, such as the information form.
File the application in the court. Ask the clerk for a copy. Keep one copy with your important papers. The clerk will give you the hearing date. Pay any associated fees.
Contact a newspaper of general circulation in the Ohio county you're filling the application in. Schedule a legal notice of the name change to run in the paper one time at least 30 days before your hearing. Newspapers typically have a form for legal notices. Use your petition copy as a guide when filling out the form. Your notice must include the court location, hearing date and time, and your case number, as well as the purpose of the application, your current name and the name you're seeking. The newspaper will charge a fee for running the notice, but the amount depends on the newspaper's rates. Ask for proof of publication. The newspaper will send you the proof after the notice is run.
Attend your hearing. You must bring the original proof of publication with you.
Don't use middle initials instead of your full middle name on any court forms. You can't use a PO box for your address.
Some counties require you file the proof of publication before the hearing. Check the court's rules to confirm when you should submit the proof of publication.
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images