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Leaders in Family Matters

Steps To Take For A Name Change In Nevada


Step 1: Decide if your reason for a name change will be allowed in Nevada.

Prior to delving into the legal aspects, it is important to reflect on the reasons motivating your desire for a name change. Individuals may seek name changes for various reasons such as marriage, divorce, gender transition, or personal preference. Depending on your reason and whether you are an adult versus a child, the steps will change.

While Nevada law is generally permissive for name changes, there are constraints. Name changes cannot be sought for fraudulent activities, evading debts, or legal obligations, or escaping criminal charges. Applications falling under these categories are likely to be rejected by the court.

Procedures for name changes are outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes NRS 41.270-41.390. Nevada law has different procedures for adults, unemancipated minors not in legal custody of an agency that provides child welfare services, and children in the custody of an agency. By reading the statutes ahead of time, you will decrease the possibility of mistakes, surprises, and ensure you are ready for what the court will ask of you.

Step 2: Compile Necessary Documents for Name Change in Nevada

The initial step in the legal process involves gathering essential documents. The Nevada Courts have self-help forms for this process. You can either visit the website for the individual court that is in the county you live in or go in person. The Nevada self-help forms are found on the self-help page of the Nevada Supreme Court website when you go to their main page for self-help forms it allows you to pick Washoe County, Clark County, or all other counties.

The primary document is the Petition for Change of Name, which requires details such as your current name, your desired new name, and the reason(s) for the change. In addition to the petition, supplementary documentation may be required, such as identification, and occasionally character references. Preparation of these documents expedites the process and mitigates potential delays.

It's important to note that specific requirements might vary depending on individual circumstances, which may require additional paperwork like a divorce decree or a background check. If you are changing your name because of a divorce, please read your Decree of Divorce. If your Decree of Divorce changed your name, you do not have to continue with this process. If your Decree of Divorce is silent then you will need to Petition the Court for your name change.

Once you have the forms prepared you will file them with the Court in the County where you reside.

A note on Name Changes after a Marriage: A marriage will allow a name change without a court process.

Step 3: Filing Your Petition for Name Change

In Nevada, the Petition for Change of Name typically needs to be filed in the District Court of the county of residence. It is advisable to verify specific procedures or requirements with the local court. Upon filing, a filing fee is required, which varies by county but generally ranges from $200 to $300. In cases of financial hardship, a fee waiver may be granted upon filing a separate document asking the Court to waive the fees and demonstrating to the court that you have a financial hardship. It is not a guarantee that the court will waive your fees thus you need to be prepared to pay the filing fee.

Following filing, a case number and hearing date are usually provided. These details are essential for subsequent steps, emphasizing the importance of meticulous record-keeping for a smooth process.

In Washoe County and in Clark County electronic filing may be mandatory. To sign up for free e-filing in Washoe County, go to

Step 4: Publication

If you are an adult and you are changing your name for any reason other than gender conformity, Nevada requires you to take the Notice of Petition to Change Name and publish it in a newspaper, unless exempted by the court. A court may exempt you if you are at risk of domestic violence or stalking.

This notice typically runs weekly for three consecutive weeks, promoting transparency and allowing individuals with objections, such as creditors, to come forward.

Costs associated with this publication vary, and seeking out newspapers offering special rates for legal notices is advisable. Upon completion, the newspaper provides an Affidavit of Publication as evidence of compliance.

The newspaper that you publish in will give you a document that proves you published. It is best to then file that document with the Court, unless you do not have sufficient time before the hearing then bring it with you to the hearing.

For all matters in which a name change is being engaged to have your name conform to your gender identity, you must specifically write that in your petition and then you will not need to publish.

The publication requirement can be waived by the Court, if publishing your name change would put you at a real and substantial risk of harm.

Step 5: The Court Hearing

Court hearings for name changes in Nevada are generally straightforward but require preparation. All prepared and collected paperwork, including the Petition for Change of Name, identification, and Affidavit of Publication, should be brought to the hearing.

During the hearing, the judge may inquire about reasons for the change and any potential issues like outstanding debts or criminal history. Transparent and concise responses are crucial.

Assuming no complications or objections arise, the court typically approves the petition. However, addressing any issues or objections is necessary before finalizing the name change, sometimes requiring additional hearings or documentation.

If you are changing your name for gender identity, you may not be called to a hearing. If you are called to a hearing, do not stress out over it too much. Make sure to come prepared with your filed documents, notes and any other document or thing you think is relevant.

Step 6: Obtaining the Official Court Order

Upon approval, a Court Order for a Name Change is issued, confirming your new legal name. It is essential to retain multiple copies digitally and in hard copy for future reference.

The court order serves as proof of the name change and is crucial for updating other legal documents and records, such as your social security card and birth certificate. Certified copies, often with a small fee, may be required for updating various platforms.

Step 7: Updating Legal Documents

With the certified court order in hand, the final step is updating legal documents to reflect the new name. This includes but is not limited to driver’s license, social security card, passport, bank accounts, your birth certificate and employment records.

For a driver’s license name change in Nevada, a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is necessary, along with presenting the court order and other required identification.

Similarly, updating the Social Security card involves visiting the local Social Security Office with the court order and necessary identification to avoid complications with tax returns and employment.

Updating your birth certificate for your name change and for a gender marker change is also important. To do this, go to ➡️

  • On the right-hand side of the screen at the bottom, there are “Vital Records Forms”.
  • Click here and scroll down to “Correction-Court Ordered Change Only”.
  • Pull up the fill-able PDF, fill it out, and follow the instructions on the last page.
  • Send a copy of the certified order, the fee and copy of identification to the office of vital records in Carson City. It can take up to 4 weeks to complete the process.

Note that the Court may file documents into your case stating that it has mailed the orders to vital records. DO NOT rest on this. Do it yourself. Send the certified order into vital records, with the fee, correction document and copy of I.D.

Updating less-obvious records like voter registration, memberships, and online accounts ensures comprehensive completion of the name change process.