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Name Change, Gender Change in Hamilton County: Name Change

This guide walks you through the steps to change your name as well as your gender in Hamilton County.

About This Guide

This guide is intended to walk you through the process of changing your name on official documents in Hamilton County.

DisclaimerHamilton County Law Library staff, as a service to its patrons, provides reference services and information, including these research guides. To protect the public interest, Ohio law requires that legal advice and services be rendered only by qualified attorneys who are subject to the guidelines of the courts. Library staff members do not interpret the law, provide legal advice, or explain court procedures. The information provided is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney.  None of our services shall be construed as giving legal advice.

Note on Marriage and Divorce: If you are changing your name due to marriage or divorce, you may present your marriage license or divorce decree to the SSA, BMV and other organizations are proof of name change. It is not required to obtain a court order to change your name because of marriage or divorce

Step 1: Obtain a Court Order from Probate Court

The Hamilton County Probate Court  has all of the pertinent forms and information, but a summary is below.

What you will need:

  • Forms (below)
  • Valid, unexpired identification like a driver’s license, state-issued ID or passport
  • Proof of residency for the past year. You MUST have been a resident of Hamilton County for the past 12 months in order to file for a change of name in Hamilton County. Proof of this residency can be in the form of a lease, renter’s agreement, ID or utility bill Call the Probate Court with any questions.
  • Filing fee as of 8/29/18, $170.00 with $30 going toward the publication (see below). Probate Court fees for a name change cannot be waived.

Fill out these forms:

Use this form to publish notice of your name change in a newspaper of general circulation pursuant to ORC 2717.01. You must publish notice 30 days prior to your hearing. Failing to do so will delay your hearing. If publishing notice of your intended name change would threaten your safety, you may waive this requirement using the Application to Waive Publication Requirement and Seal File (Form 21.6).

If you choose to publish with the Cincinnati Court Index Press (CCIP), leave form 21.50 with the Probate Court Cashier and CCIP will run the notice and be paid be the Court from your initial filing fee. CCIP will then send the Proof of Publication and Entry Approving Publication forms to the Court. If you choose to publish in another newspaper, you must pay the costs and bring the Proof and Entry to your hearing.

 

Present all completed forms to the Magistrates’ Assistant on the 9th floor of Probate Court. File the forms with the Cashier to get a case number and pay the filing fee.

What to Bring On the day of the Hearing:

  • Judgment Entry – Change of Name of Adult (Form 21.10) (fill out everything above the signature line for the Probate Judge)
  • Valid ID
  • Proof of Publication and Entry Approving Publication if you did not use CCIP as a publisher of Notice. These forms are not available online and would have to be created from scratch.

At the date and time of the hearing, you should report to the 9th floor of the Probate Court to the Information Desk. It is always advisable to arrive at least 15 minutes early. The Clerk will inform you of the courtroom number. Give the Magistrate the Judgment Entry – Change of Name of Adult. The Magistrate will ask you questions regarding the application and will decide whether to grant the name change. Assuming the application is granted, you must then file the Judgment Entry – Change of Name of Adult. You can obtain certified copies of the Judgment from the Cashier for a fee.

You must send a certified copy of the JUDGMENT ENTRY- CHANGE OF NAME OF ADULT to the Bureau of Vital Statistics of the State that maintains your birth record.

Step 2: Update your name with the Social Security Administration

You must update your name with the SSA before you can obtain a new ID from the BMV. You can update your name either in person or by mail. It cannot be done online. Check for updated information here. 

You will need:

Step 4: Update U.S. Passport

Passport forms can be found here.

If you have a valid passport prior to your name change, you can fill out form DS-82 and submit by mail if you meet these requirements*:

  • I can submit my most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card with this application.
  • I was at least 16 years old when my most recent U.S. passport book and/or passport card was issued.
  • I was issued my most recent U.S. passport book and/or passport card less than 15 years ago.
  • The U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card that I am renewing has not been mutilated, damaged, lost, stolen or subsequently found.
  • My U.S. passport has not been limited from the normal ten year validity period due to passport damage/mutilation, multiple passport thefts/losses, or non-compliance with 22 C.F.R. 51.41. (Please refer to the back pages of your U.S. passport book for endorsement information).
  • I use the same name as on my most recent U.S. passport book and/or U.S. passport card. OR I have had my name changed by marriage or court order and can submit proper certified documentation to reflect my name change.

 

Otherwise you will fill out form DS-11 and must apply in person.

For the DS-11, you will need*:

  • PROOF OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP: Evidence of U.S. citizenship AND a photocopy of the front (and back, if there is printed information) must be submitted with your application. The photocopy must be on 8 ½ inch by 11 inch paper, black and white ink, legible, and clear. Evidence that is not damaged, altered, or forged will be returned to you. Note: Lawful permanent resident cards submitted with this application will be forwarded to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if we determine that you are a U.S. citizen.
  • PROOF OF IDENTITY: You must present your original identification AND submit a photocopy of the front and back with your passport application.
  • RECENT COLOR PHOTOGRAPH: Photograph must meet passport requirements – full front view of the face and 2x2 inches in size.
  • FEES: Please visit our website at travel.state.gov for current fees.

*Requirements may have changed. Visit travel.state.gov for updated requirements.

Step 3: Update your name with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Due to new TSA requirements, Ohio now offers two forms of identification – a standard ID and a “compliant” ID. A compliant ID is needed in order to fly commercially or enter federal facilities or military bases. If your ID is not compliant, you will be required to show your U.S. Passport in order to fly commercially (even domestic flights), enter a federal facility (including the federal building downtown) or a military base. For more information, visit the BMV Website.

For a Standard ID you must provide proof of:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Legal presence in the US
  • Social Security number
  • Ohio street address

 

For a Compliant ID you must provide proof of:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Legal presence in the US
  • Social Security number
  • Ohio street address
  • Proof of Name Change

 

Find a complete list of acceptable documents here. Be aware that your proof of name change must either be an original or a certified copy. If your proof is your marriage license, it must have an embossed, signed clerk’s seal. It cannot be your commemorative license. If you have had multiple marriages and/or divorces, you may need to bring documentation from each marriage and/or divorce to connect your birth certificate to your current legal name.

Step 5: Birth Certificate

Present a certified copy of the court order recognizing your name change to the Ohio Department of Health’s Office of Vital Statistics, and request a new birth certificate.