Name Change Information
WHAT AND WHERE TO FILE
You must file a document called a “Petition for Change of Name” with the Civil Department of the Grant County District Court, which is located on the bottom floor of the Grant County Courthouse at 35 C Street NW, Ephrata, WA 98823. The Civil Department is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
You can obtain the Petition from the Court or you may download it from the Court’s website. When you file the Petition, you will be required to provide photo identification if you are petitioning for yourself, and if you are seeking to change the name of your child you must provide a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate.
You will be required to pay a filing fee of $80.00 (cash or money order). If the Court grants your Petition, you will be required to the Grant County Auditor a recording fee of $203.50. Pursuant to GR 34, indigent individuals may seek a waiver of all filing, administrative, and recording fees by filing a request with the Court.
MINOR CHILD NAME CHANGE
A person who seeks to change the name of a minor (a person under 18 years of age) must establish that both parents consent to the change or must establish the non-petitioning parent has been given sufficient notice of the hearing. If the non-petitioning birth parent does not consent to the name change, you must personally serve on them a copy of the notice of hearing and the Petition. Personal service must be accomplished by a process server or other adult who is not a party to the action. The person who serves the documents must file proof of service with the Court.
If you cannot locate the non-petitioning parent, you may ask the Court for an order authorizing you to serve the non-petitioning parent by publication in a newspaper in the county of the other parent’s last known address. If the order is granted, you must publish the contents of the petition and notice of hearing one time at least ten (10) days before the hearing. The newspaper must file with the Court an Affidavit of Publication.
Minor children age 12 and older are required to be present at the hearing.
An offender under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections (DOC) who applies to change his or her name shall submit a copy of the application to DOC not fewer than five days before the entry of an order granting the name change. No offender under the jurisdiction of DOC at the time of application shall be granted an order changing his or her name if the court finds that doing so will interfere with legitimate penological interests. The following documents must be submitted to the court for consideration: Petition for Change of Name, proof that DOC has received a copy of the Petition and has no objection to the name being changed, and copies of your birth certificate, photo identification and social security card. An offender under the jurisdiction of DOC who receives an order changing his or her name shall submit a copy of the order to the DOC within five days of the entry of the order. A sex offender subject to registration under RCW 9A.44.130 who applies to have his or her name changed shall follow the procedures set forth in RCW 9A.44.130.
This Court provides five certified copies of the Order Changing Name. Additional certified copies are $5.00 each. Regular copies are $1.00 for the first page, $.50 for every page thereafter.
REQUIRED NOTIFICATION TO OTHER AGENCIES
If your Petition is granted, you will need to record the Order Changing Name with the Grant County Auditor, and you will be required to pay the recording fee unless the Court has waived the recording fee. If you or your minor child were born in Washington State, the Department of Vital Records requires a certified copy of the name change. You must mail the certified copy to the State Department of Vital Records, P.O. Box 9709 ET-14, Olympia, WA 98504-9709. Approximately four (4) weeks after you have sent the certified copy of the Name Change Order to the Department of Vital Records, you may request a copy of the birth certificate reflecting the name change from the local office. The charge for this is $20.00 cash, credit card, or certified check. You should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The local office for vital records is the Grant County Health District, located at 1038 W. Ivy Ave., Moses Lake, WA 98837. The phone number is 509-766-7960.
The Social Security Department requests a certified copy of the name change. The local office is 301 Yakima Street, Suite 212, Wenatchee, WA 98801.
You must change the name on your driver's license. The Department of Licensing requires a copy, not certified, to issue a new license.
If you are in the military service, you will need an additional certified copy for your military records.