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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.

The form links below are available in PDF or Word format. There is no difference in the content of the forms, you may choose your preferred format. Note that when printing forms do not print on both sides.

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 either by going to the Office of Court Administration located in room 614 of 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 or your local Municipal Police Department in Lehigh County 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.
Section 2 - Form Preparation
Step 1. Form preparation
  • Complete the following forms in order and print one (1) copy of each form:
    • Form 1 - Civil Cover Sheet: pdf
    • Form 2 - Petition for Name Change: pdf | MS Word
  • If petitioning to change the name of a minor child also complete and print (1) copy the following form:
    • Form 1 - Confidential Information Form: pdf
Step 2. Signature

Sign and date all printed copies of the completed forms from Step 1 that require your signature

Section 3 - Lehigh County Courthouse
  • Take the following items to the Office of Court Administration located in room 614 of the Lehigh County Courthouse:
    • Completed and signed Civil Cover Sheet (form 1) and Petition for Name Change (form 2)
    • Completed Confidential Information Form if petitioning for a minor child
    • Completed Court Approved Fingerprint Card (not required for child 12 and under)
    • Cash or Credit/Debit Card to cover filling fees; no personal checks will be accepted. For filing fees see Civil fee Schedule
Step 1. Request for Hearing Date - Court Administration
  • Go to the Office of Court Administration located in room 614 of the Lehigh County Courthouse:
    • Give the Petition for Name Change (form 2) to an employee of the Office of Court Administration. They will schedule your hearing, complete and give you an Order for Publication and return your paperwork to you to e-file in the Clerk of Judicial Records.
Step 2 Filing (e-file) Clerk of Judicial Records
  • Go to the Clerk of Judicial Records located in room 122 of Lehigh County Courthouse:
    • Give all paperwork to the Clerk and pay for all filing fees.
    • Proceed to Kiosk to e-file original documents
      • Print two (2) Copies
        • Keep one (1) copy for your records
        • One (1) copy for the Clerk of Judicial Records-Deeds Division
      • 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
Step 3 Name Change Notification-Clerk of Judicial Records-Recorder of Deeds
  • Obtain a Name Change Certification documenting the existence of any recorded mortgages from the Clerk of Judicial Records Recorder of Deeds Division located in room 122
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
     
    Or
     
  • 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) 820-6500
    • Requests for publication must be typewritten and emailed to legalads@mcall.com
    • 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.

Disclaimer
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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