How Do I Legally Change My Daughter's Last Name?

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There are many reasons why you might want to have your child's last name legally changed, and it is not a difficult process.Very few states require you to retain an attorney for the process, unless there are legal questions regarding agreement of both parents listed on the birth certificate.

Paperwork Requirements

You must file for a name change in the county of your residence. You can get the forms needed at the county civil court's office, or you can download them for free from If you are under the age of 18, your guardian must agree, and both of you should complete the "Petition for Name Change for a Minor" (Form DR 62), and "Consent of Name Change" (Form DR 63)

If you are the parents, filing on behalf of the minor because the name of the father on the birth certificate is not the biological father, the father listed on the birth certificate must fill out a "Consent to Name Change for a Minor" (DR 62).

You must also provide proof of your identity, such as a birth certificate or a driver's license when the papers are filed with the clerk's office.


There are generally fees involved whenever you petition the court, and it varies by State. You can find the fees for your state by visiting

State Requirements/Judgments

Some states require that the notice for petition of name change be publicly posted in one way or another; the clerk will take care of that, if necessary.

The paperwork will go to a judge for consideration. They may ask a few questions of all parties before making a decision. Times vary as to how long it takes from the time you file until you see the judge or get a decision. As long as the reasons for changing the name are not criminal in nature, the judgment should happen soon.



About the Author

Linda Batey has been working as a freelance writer for more than two years, specializing in travel, gardening, and herbal and home remedies. She has been published in "Gardening Inspirations" magazine and various online sites. Batey holds an associate degree in paralegal from Beal College. She also is knowledgeable is

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