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What to Expect when You're Expecting a New Name

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

An outline of an Adult Name Change hearing.

You’ve submitted your petition to change your name, and your court date has been set. What should you expect at your hearing?

The Wait

Plan to arrive to court at least ten minutes early because you have things to do when you get there. Court staff will collect your ID when you arrive, so have it handy. The judge uses your ID to verify your current legal name when she addresses you during the hearing.

At 9 AM the judge will take the bench and all participants of the hearing (anyone there to change their name) must stand and swear under oath to be truthful during the hearing. And then the fun begins.

The Change

The judge will call everyone up to the podium one by one. At the podium you will state your current legal name (this is the one you are changing) for the record. The judge will confirm the spelling of your new name (the one listed on your petition), and ask you a few questions to confirm that you do actually want to change your name. The judge will also ask why you want to change your name. You don’t have to explain your reason at length—just a few sentences will do.

The New You

If all goes according to plan, the judge will sign your order. After the judge has signed the order your legal name is officially changed. Now you will collect your ID from the court staff and pop in to the clerk’s office to get a certified copy of your name change order (you will need this to change your name with other organizations).

Now you’re done … with your hearing. Don’t forget to notify the appropriate institutions of the new you.

Learn more about the name change process in Spokane County.

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