Name Change Information


General information about the name change process is contained in Wisconsin Statutes 786.36 and 786.37.  There is a $164.50 filing fee to file a Name Change action.

Forms for a name change, as well as Basic Steps to Handling a Name Change, can be found on the State of Wisconsin website.  

Washington County local procedures: You are now representing yourself in the Courts of Washington County, State of Wisconsin. The Clerk of Courts cannot give you legal advice. If you need further help, you may consult the Wisconsin Statutes, Sections 786.36 and 786.37.

In a Washington County name change packet you will find the following State forms and instructions:

1. Petition for Name Change (Adult or Minor 14 or Older). CV-450.

Before you begin, carefully read all the documents so that errors can be avoided. Complete all documents that apply to you. YOU MUST USE BLACK INK. Print or type the information, except for signatures, which must be notarized. A notary is available in the Clerk of Courts office.

After you have completed all documents, you must come to the Clerk of Courts office to open your file. Have photocopies of all completed documents made for your records before opening your file, or you may obtain copies in the Clerk of Courts office for $1.25 per page. After paying the statutory filing fee of $164.50, the Clerk of Courts will assign a case number and a court date.

Contact your local newspaper and make the necessary arrangements to publish your Notice of Hearing for one day for three consecutive weeks (a Class 3 notice).  Following publication, the newspaper will issue you a Proof of Publication. File this Proof of Publication with the Clerk of Courts prior to your hearing date, if possible, or bring it with you at the time of your hearing.

In some cases, additional information may be needed by the Court, especially in name changes for minor children under the age of 14 years. If this applies to your case please read the instructions on the appropriate form and the area on the Basic Steps to Handling a Name Change.

It is your responsibility to file the necessary affidavits along with your petition when needed.

If you were not born in the State of Wisconsin, it is your responsibility to contact the office of Vital Statistics in the state of your birth to find out what is required to amend your vital records there. The Clerk of Courts has a listing of the address and phone number for the vital records office in every state.

If your name change is granted, your new name is effective immediately.

Return to the Clerk of Courts office immediately after the court hearing. A clerk will collect the additional, necessary fees and costs from you. No cash can be accepted for the Bureau of Vital Statistics fees, payment must be by check or money order. The fees include the following:

          1. $10.00 fee for filing the Bureau of Vital Statistics form, if this applies to you. You may also obtain a certified copy of your new birth certificate for a cost of $20.00, for a total of $30.00. Additional copies of the same record ordered at the same time are $3.00 each. Check should be made payable to State of Wis. Vital Records.

          2. If you were born in the State of Wisconsinthere is a fee for filing a certified copy of your Order for Change of Name in the office of the Register of Deeds. You will need to check with the Register of Deeds office as to the amount of their fee. If you were born in a State other than Wisconsin, it is your responsibility to contact the office of Vital Statistics in the state of your birth to find out what is required to amend your vital records there.

          3. The clerk will certify all needed documents for a cost of $5.00 per document, plus $1.25 per page. Check should be made payable to Clerk of Courts.

          4. Additional filing fees may be required if other vital records, such as marriage certificate, need to be amended.