How To Get A Name Change Court Order

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab

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This is the legal process to change your name in Louisiana

The following information in this guide is not a substitute for legal advice nor does it give advice about a particular legal problem that you may have. This guide provides a non-specific overview of the name change process. While an attorney is not needed to obtain a name change with the court, the help of a lawyer or someone who has experience guiding others through the process may be recommended. Talk to a lawyer if you think you need help. 

Step 1

Gather documents and paperwork

To make a request to change your name, you will need to fill out a Petition for Name Change form.

You can use the state-wide Louisiana Petition for Name Change form. (Orleans Parish residents must also complete this form and have it notarized). It is generally recommended to have your form notarized in name change instances. 

To make a request to change your name, you will need to fill out a Petition for Name Change form.

  • You can use the state-wide Louisiana Petition for Name Change form. (Orleans Parish residents must also complete this form and have it notarized.) It is generally recommended to have your form notarized in name change instances. 

  •  On the form, provide the name of your parish, the district court number, and the name of the district attorney. There are two (2) pages to the document, one is the “Petition” form and the other is the “Judgment” form. You will need three (3) copies of your petition and judgment form.

  • There is no requirement about what the petition needs to say in cases where you are seeking a name change as part of a gender identity. 

  • Print all pages on legal paper. Legal paper is longer than regular printer paper. You can visit a FedEx Office or another printing shop to have these files printed. You will want to make three copies of each document. So now you will have three copies of the petition and three copies of the judgment page. Read it completely and make sure it is correct. DO NOT SIGN yet.

  • You will need to sign on the “By:” line of each of the three copies of the petition in blue ink.

Step 2

Gather your Court Fees

Court fees vary from parish to parish and range from $300 to more than $500. If you do not know what the filing fee is in your parish, contact the Clerk of Court to verify the necessary fee.

  • Find a list of all Louisiana parishes and their Clerks of Court here.

Step 3

File a petition with the District Court

You change your name by filing your Petition for Name Change in the parish you were born in, the parish where you are currently live, or at the Vital Records Registry in Orleans Parish.

The Clerk of Court will ask the individual to identify themselves with ID and pay the required fee before affixing their stamp to the three (3) copies of their Petition for Name Change. The clerk will keep one (1) copy, and the individual will take the other two (2). You will receive a file and case number.

Step 4

Submit a copy of the petition to the District Attorney

When you file your petition with the court, you will also deliver a copy of the petition to the District Attorney (DA). You can choose to deliver or serve the DA by going to the DA's office in person or you can choose to serve the DA through regular service of process.

The DA’s office is usually in the same building as the Clerk of Court in the courthouse. When you arrive the DA will ask for a copy of your driver’s license or ID. Ask the DA how long it will take for them to prepare their answer to your petition. If they don’t know, make sure they have your contact information. The DA’s office will let you know when they prepare and file their answer to your petition with the Court. Sometimes they forget, so be sure to call them after about a week to get an update.

Step 5

Wait for activity or communication about your petition

If necessary, periodically contact the District Attorney's Office and check in to see if there has been any activity on your case. There may be some time between when your District Attorney receives your petition and when the District Attorney files a response. 

In rare cases where there is a hearing including court appearance(s), you should find an attorney for more legal advice. While an attorney is not needed to obtain an expungement, the help of a lawyer or someone who has experience guiding the process is recommended. Talk to a lawyer for individual legal advice. 

Step 6

Judge makes a decision regarding the petition

When the DA receives a copy of your name change petition they will run a background check. The DA will also then file an answer to your petition. There may be some time between when the DA receives your name change documents and the DA files an answer. If the DA objects, contact an attorney.

After the DA files an answer to the court, the judge assigned to your case will make the final decision. If you need to attend a hearing before the judge makes a final decision you will told in advance by the Clerk of Court. Once the judge reaches a decision you can have your "Judgment" form stamped by the Clerk of Court. You will next take the stamped "Judgment" form to the judge to sign. You can either wait to have the judge sign the form while you are at the court. You can have it sent from the Clerk of Court's office.

You can request more copies of your official name change court papers from the Clerk of Court at any time. 

Last Review and Update: Oct 26, 2022
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