Illinois Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of an application for change of name is discretionary with the Court. For an order/decree/judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the application. The Court must also find good and sufficient reason for the change, find the change consistent with the public interest and if the change of name is for a minor child, find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

You cannot change your/one's name for a fraudulent purpose, such as to avoid debts, you cannot change to a name that could affect the rights of another person, such as a celebrity, you cannot use a curse word, racial slur, obscene and/or an offensive word as part of your/one's name and you cannot change to a name that would cause deliberate confusion (for example, a name with punctuation and/or a number in it).

IMPORTANT NOTE: For name change actions, which involve a minor, our materials are strictly for use if both parents consent to the name change. If one parent does not consent, our materials are not appropriate. The applicant may wish to contact a local lawyer, bar association, etc.

Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY.

Overview of Process in Illinois for an Adult

NOTE: The procedure for changing an adult's name in Illinois varies from County to County, sometimes, even courthouse to courthouse. Below is a SAMPLE overview only. Our County specific materials include County specific data, requirements, etc.

In the state of Illinois, an adult who wishes to change his or her name must be a resident of Illinois for at least six (6) months and must file an application in the Circuit Court of the County where he or she resides (as noted elsewhere your County may have a six (6) months residency requirements as well). The Petition must be verified by the Affidavit of some credible person. After filing your paperwork, the Petitioner must publish a notice in a specified newspaper for three (3) consecutive weeks (one (1) day each week).

After publication is complete, the newspaper will typically mail the court OR the Petitioner a Certificate of Publication. If the newspaper mails the Petitioner the Certificate, (s)he should keep the Certificate of Publication with his/her copies of the Petition for a Change of Name, the Judgment for a Change of Name and a copy of the published notice and bring it with them on the date they return to court for their hearing (typically at least eight (8) weeks from the date of filing). On that date, the Petitioner should go to the courtroom (s)he was assigned, upon their initial filing. When your case is called you will appear before the Judge.

If everything is in order (the statutory requirements have been satisfied) and the Court agrees to the intent and nature of the Petition, the Court will sign a Judgment making the name change official. For a Judgment of name change to be granted, the Court must find sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with public interest.

Again, the processes vary from County to County (sometimes even courthouse to courthouse) in Illinois. The above information is only a SAMPLE overview. Our County specific materials include County specific data, requirements, etc.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for an Adult in Illinois

Illinois law requires certain things before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in Illinois. These requirements include:

  • You must have lived in Illinois, for at least six (6) months, before you file the Petition and you must plan to live in Illinois, for the foreseeable future, after the Petition is filed.
  • You must file in the county where you live. Typically, there is a six (6) months County residency requirements as well.
  • You must be an adult. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 755 Estates, Art. XI Minors, Sec. 11-1, "A minor is a person who has not attained the age of 18 years. A person who has attained the age of 18 years is of legal age for all purposes except as otherwise provided in the Illinois Uniform Transfers to Minors Act."
  • Further, if you are required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act, you may not file a Petition for a name change until you are no longer under a duty to register under the Act. Regardless, our product is not for such situations.
  • Further, persons convicted of a felony or certain sex or solicitation crimes, listed below, may not change their name using this product. If you have been convicted in Illinois or any other state of any of the following crimes or misdemeanors, you cannot file a name-change Petition in Illinois unless ten (10) years have passed since completion and discharge from your sentence, or if you have been pardoned:

    **any felony, misdemeanor criminal sexual abuse when the victim at the time of the commission is under eighteen (18),

    **misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a child,

    **misdemeanor indecent solicitation of a child, or

    **misdemeanor indecent solicitation of an adult.

    Regardless, as indicated elsewhere, our materials should not be used in such situations.
  • You are not changing your name to avoid creditors/debts, to defraud someone and/or to infringe upon the rights of another.
  • Again, please remember, our name change materials are designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes ONLY.

Illinois Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95

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