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Name Change
Self Help

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 instructional 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 forms below are available in Word and PDF format.

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SECTION 1-Fingerprinting for Criminal Background Check

Court Approved Fingerprint Card
Go to the State Police or your local Municipal Police Department in Northampton 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:

  • Form 1- Petition for Name Change
  • Form 2- Scheduling Order (caption only)
A packet containing these forms is available here in both Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word formats:
Name Change Form Packet
Name Change Form Packet
Step 2. Signature

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

Step 3. Request for hearing date

Take the following items to Motion's Court, Courtroom # 4(Mon. thru Fri. 9:00 a.m.) located on the first floor of the Northampton County Courthouse:

  • Completed Petition for Name Change (Form 1) and
  • Scheduling Order (Form 2)
  • Completed Court Approved Fingerprint Card

Give the Petition for Name Change (Form 2) to the Motion’s Court Judge along with the scheduling Order. They will schedule your hearing and return your paperwork to you for filing.

SECTION 3-Filing

Take the following items to the Clerk of Courts-Civil Division (Prothonotary’s Office) located on the lower level of the Northampton County Courthouse:

  • All paperwork and the completed Court Approved Fingerprint Card.
  • Filing fees. Cash, money order, or certified bank check. No personal checks will be accepted.

Give all paperwork to the clerk. The clerk will date and time stamp the original and all copies. The Clerk will keep the original documents and the copies will be returned to you.

  • Keep one (1) copy for your records
  • One (1) copy for the Recorder of Deeds Office (see Section 6)
  • If the petitioner seeks to change the name of a minor child and only one parent joins in the petition and you can not obtain a notarized written consent from the other parent, you will need two (2) additional copies, (one (1) to send by certified mail and one (1) to sent by regular mail.
Minor Child

If the Petition 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 form from the other parent (A sample consent form is available)
A packet containing these forms is available here in both Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word formats:
Name Change Form Packet
Name Change Form Packet
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 Northampton County Reporter and the Express-Times immediately after filing. The Northampton County Reporter is published weekly.

Step 1. Northampton County Reporter

Take or mail the following items to the Northampton County Bar Association located at
155 South Ninth Street
Easton, PA 18042-4399

  • One typed Notice, use the following samples
    Adult Notice
    Minor Child(ren) Notice
  • Payment, contact the Bar Association at (610)-258-6333
  • Please ask for proof publication (Affidavit) verifying the notice has been published, there may be an additional charge for this.
Step 1. Express-Times

Please contact the Express-Times at:

  • Express-Times
    30 North 4th Street
    Easton, PA 18042
    (610)258-7171
  • Please ask for proof publication (Affidavit) verifying the notice has been published, there may be an additional charge for this.
SECTION 5-Name Change Certification

You need a Name Change Certification documenting the existence of any recorded mortgages from the Recorder Deeds Office, lower level, Northampton County Courthouse.

  • Take one date and time-stamped photocopy of the Name Change paperwork to the Recorder of Deeds Office and request a Name Change Certification.
  • Pick up the completed name change certification the day of your hearing at the Recorder of Deeds Office. There is a filing fee for the Name Change Certification. Take this completed document to your hearing.
SECTION 6-Hearing

Dress appropriately.

Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled hearing.

Take the following items with you to the courthouse:

  • One Affidavit proving publication in the Northampton County Reporter
  • One Affidavit proving publication in the Express-Times
  • Name Change Certification from the Recorder of Deeds (Section 6)(Remember to pick the document up the day of your hearing, and that there is a filing fee for this document).

If the petitioner seeks to change the name of a minor child(ren) 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.

  • (See Minor Child of Section 4)

Check in with court staff at assigned courtroom

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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 Northampton County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service website.

Tracking address: Tracking code - do not email: crt20-bhaica@shom.nccpa.org (do not email this address - tracking purposes only)