To apply for a name change in Alabama, you must file a verified petition in your county of residence; the local probate court holds jurisdiction over name changes. Although the procedure is similar throughout the state, counties have varying requirements as to the documents you need to supply.
Request a "Petition and Declaration for Change of Name" from the clerk of your county's probate court. You can also obtain and file the form through an online document preparation site.
Complete the form, indicating your current legal name as the "Petitioner." This remains your name until the petition is reviewed and approved by the court. Most name change petitions also require your date and place of birth, current residence, and reason for the name change. You must also declare that you are not the subject of any court proceedings, attempting to commit fraud or a convicted sex offender and there are no outstanding warrants for your arrest.
Sign the form using your current name in the presence of a notary public, who is legally authorized to witness and verify your signature. The clerk of court is not authorized to perform this service.
Collect the required documents, which may include your birth certificate, proof of residency, which can be a lease agreement, utility bill, and/or voter registration, mortgage or deed, as well as a driver's license or other current government-issued ID. Some Alabama counties also require a record of any marital name changes, which you may document with a copy of a marriage certificate or divorce decree.
File your completed petition and documents with the clerk of probate court. Pay the required filing fee, which varies from one county to the next. Some courts will not accept personal checks as payment. Attend the scheduled court hearing, if one is required, and answer all inquiries put by the clerk and judge.
Accept the court order, signed by the probate court judge, approving your petition. The court order verifies that you have satisfied the legal requirements and your name has been changed as you requested.
You must be at least 19 years of age to change your legal name in Alabama.
After the approval of your petition, inform the Social Security Administration of your legal change of name, apply for a new driver's license and notify private creditors, banks, your employer, and any other parties with which you transact business.
If you are under age 19, a parent must submit the petition for you. If both your parents' names appear on your birth certificate, they both have to consent to the name change.
Your county may do a background check for any criminal record and also request a list of your creditors.