1. Fill out a Petition for Change of Name. It must state all of these:
Your current legal name and the name you want.
Your birthdate and place of birth.
The county you live in.
That you are not a registered sex offender.
Whether you are not an offender under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections (see “What if I am a Convicted Felon?” section).
That you are not changing your name for fraudulent purposes.
That changing your name will not hurt anyone else’s interests.
*Call your local county District Court or look online for forms specific to your location.
If you have a low income, prepare a Motion and Declaration for Fee Waiver. If you are under 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (familiesusa.org/product/federal-poverty-guidelines) use our Ask a Court to Waive Your Filing Fee packet to ask the court to waive (forgive) the fee. Or use our do-it-yourself interview program, Washington Forms Online, to complete the forms at WashingtonLawHelp.org.
*Even if you submit a Motion and Declaration for Fee Waiver, the clerk may still ask you to pay a “recording fee.” You can ask the judge to waive the recording fee. Only a judge can decide if you must pay that fee. If a clerk asks you to pay it, but you believe you are eligible for a fee waiver, say, “I would like to take that issue in front of the judge.” If the clerk still will not let you file, contact a lawyer.
2. File a Petition in the district court of the county where you live. You must show photo ID when you file. If you expect to pay the full filing fee, you must pay it to the clerk when you file. Call the clerk ahead of time to ask what the fees will be. They vary by county.
*A listing of courts, including district court, is at www.courts.wa.gov/court_dir/.
*Each court may require you to use their forms. Ask the district court clerk in your county for their forms if available.
The court assigns a case number when you file.
3. Schedule a hearing date. The clerk will schedule a date for you to appear before a judge. Each court has its own schedule and procedure for hearing these cases. You might be able to have a hearing on the same day you file your petition. You might have to come back another day.