This guide is intended to walk you through the process of changing your name on official documents in Hamilton County.
Disclaimer: Hamilton 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
The Hamilton County Probate Court has all of the pertinent forms and information, but a summary is below.
What you will need:
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:
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.
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:
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*:
Otherwise you will fill out form DS-11 and must apply in person.
For the DS-11, you will need*:
*Requirements may have changed. Visit travel.state.gov for updated requirements.
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:
For a Compliant ID you must provide proof of:
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.