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Name Change
Self Help - Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

Name change in Pennsylvania is a judicial procedure which allows an individual to assume a name other than the name given at birth or adoption. If granted, the court will issue an order so the individual may prove the adoption of the new name in order to change other documents such as driver's licenses, bank accounts, and identification cards.

This informational section is for reference and research purposes. This section explains the basic forms and steps needed to legally change your name and/or the name(s) of your minor child(ren). A person must petition the court for a name change, and the court can then decide whether or not to grant it.

NOTE: If you plan to E-file your documents from your own PC, your browser’s default PDF reader may prevent the PDF self-help forms from being fully operational when opened and completed in the browser.

  • If Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat is not your default PDF reader, make it your default PDF Reader.
  • If you do not have Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader is available for download free at:
  • To be able to electronically sign Self-help PDF forms
    1. Download the form to your PC,
    2. Open form in Adobe Reader* or Adobe Acrobat,
    3. Complete and electronically sign,
    4. Save completed form to PC and rename before uploading through E-filing system (OFS Odyssey File & Serve).
  • Some self help forms may need to be printed and scanned to pdf before E-filing. If you do not have access to a scanner you will have to E-file in person at the Lehigh County Courthouse.

We recommend that you use the Name Change printable checklist.

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General Instructions To Parties With No Lawyer

There are complex rules of law that everyone who comes to court must follow. You must follow these rules even though you are not a lawyer because the rules exist to provide an orderly process to reach a fair conclusion. Click here

Section 1 - Fingerprinting for Criminal Background Check
Step 1. Court Approved Fingerprint Card
  • You need a COURT APPROVED FINGERPRINT CARD to get fingerprinted for a criminal background check. (Not required for Minor child age 12 and under proceed to section 2)
    • Obtain the Court Approved Fingerprint Card by either going to the Office of Court Administration located in room 614 of the Lehigh County Courthouse, or by calling (610) 782-3014 and requesting that a fingerprint card be mailed to you.
Step 2. Get Fingerprinted
  • Take the Court Approved Fingerprint Card to a State Police Station and request to be fingerprinted.
  • Be prepared to pay a fee; there may be a charge for this service depending on the Police Department.
  • The Police Department will complete the fingerprint card, fingerprint you and return the card to you.
Step 3. Submit Fingerprint Card
  • Mail your completed fingerprint card by United States Postal Service to:
  • Clerk of Judicial Records
    455 West Hamilton Street
    Room 122
    Allentown, PA 18101-1614
Section 2 - Form Preparation
  • Complete the following forms in order and print one (1) copy of each form:
Section 3 - E-Filing the Documents (OFS Odyssey File & Serve)

For full registration and filing instructions, please review the Independent Filer Instructions and OFS Family Guidelines documents under the Self-Help section of

Filing a New Action
  • Go to
    • Select the Civil category and select your case type
    • Enter the party names and addresses
    • Select each filing code.  After selecting the filing code, you will be able to upload your documents
    • Confirm your payment information
    • Submit the filing to the review queue
  • Once your filings have been accepted through the OFS Odyssey File & Serve, you will receive an email at the email address that you used to register with, stating if your filing has been approved or denied. Once you have received the email stating that your filing has been approved, there will be a link to view the approved document(s).
    • Print out two (2) time-stamped copies of the completed Petition for Name Change and Order for Publication.
      • One (1) copy for your records.
      • Send One (1) copy to the Clerk of Judicial Records - Deeds Division, Lehigh County Courthouse, 455 W. Hamilton Street, Room 122, Allentown, PA 18101
    • Print two (2) additional copies If the petitioner seeks to change the name of a minor child and only one parent joins in the petition and you cannot obtain a notarized written consent from the other parent,
      • One (1) to send by certified mail
      • One (1) to send by regular mail.
Minor Child

If the petitioner seeks to change the name of a minor child and only one parent joins in the petition, then the petitioning parent must do one of the following:

  • Go to the post office and send the date and time stamped photocopy of the Petition for Name Change and Order for Publication to the other parent at their last known address by both regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested
  • Obtain a written, notarized consent from the other parent.
    Here is a sample consent form: pdf | MS Word

Section 4 - Notice of Publication

Notice of publication must be in typewritten form and must be published at least thirty (30) days before your scheduled hearing date. Publish your notice in the Lehigh County Law Journal and the Morning Call immediately after filing.

  • Use the following sample notice.
Step 1. Lehigh County Law Journal
  • Lehigh County Bar Association located at 1114 Walnut Street, Allentown, PA 18102
Step 1. The Morning Call
  • The Morning Call is located at 101 North Sixth Street, Allentown, PA 18101. Phone (610) 820-6565 Press Option 1 then Option 2.
    • Requests for publication must be typewritten and emailed to
    • Request an Affidavit (proof of publication)
    • The Morning Call will contact you to setup payment arrangements.
Section 5 - Hearing
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled hearing.
  • Take the following items with you to the Courthouse:
    • One Affidavit proving publication in the Lehigh County Law Journal
    • One Affidavit proving publication in the Morning Call
    • Name Change Certification from the Clerk of Judicial Records - Deeds Division
    • If the petitioner seeks to change the name of a minor child and only one parent joins in the petition, then the petitioning parent must bring the following to court:
      • A written, notarized consent from the other parent, or
      • The returned green post card (Domestic Return Receipt Form 3811), or
      • The returned envelope, unopened with green card attached.
  • Check in with Court Staff at assigned Courtroom.

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We recommend that you use the Name Change printable checklist.

The forms and instructions that are available from this website are not a substitute for professional legal advice. Court employees cannot give you legal advice or help you fill out /complete the forms. It is your responsibility to read and complete the forms and to take required steps to file and serve the documents. If you decide to use these forms in an actual action, be prepared to spend appropriate time gathering information, completing forms and following the Rules of Court. The Court assumes no responsibility for the use of these forms and accepts no liability for actions taken by using these documents, including reliance on the instructions and/or contents. To obtain legal advice and to insure the proper use of this material, you should contact a lawyer.

If you want to obtain the service of an attorney, but do not know whom to contact, you should visit the Lehigh Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service website.

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Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas, 455 West Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA 18101-1614 • (610) 782-3000