Name Change Process Guide
Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab
- How you can change your name If you need more information about another issue related to name change Louisiana Name Change Laws This is the legal process to change your name in Louisiana Update Your Documents with Your Name By Document Type If your case has not moved forward in a while The court has set a hearing for your case
How you can change your name
In general, to have your new chosen name reflected on official records, your first step is to file a petition with the Clerk of Court. In Louisiana, every name change is processed through the parish in which the petitioner resides.
There are basic qualifications, which determine your eligibility to apply for a name change with the court.
You must be 18 years old to apply for an adult name change.
If you have a felony conviction, you can apply for a name change after finishing your sentence, probation, or parole.
If you have a felony conviction for a crime of violence, you may not be able to change your name
Note: Crimes of violence are non-expungable offenses.
Louisiana Name Change Laws
To get a legal name change in Louisiana you must submit a petition to the court. If you have a felony conviction you can change your name once the sentence has been completed unless you have a felony for a violence crime. (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 13:4751 to 13:4755).
Update Your Documents with Your Name
You can update your various identity documents after you receive your court order which reflects your new chosen name.
If your case has not moved forward in a while
The District Attorney (DA) must run a background check on everyone the asks the court for a name change. This could take a while depending on how busy your court and DA are. Try to be patient and know that most name change requests are approved unless the applicant: (1) has a violent felony conviction, (2) has not completed probation or parole, or (3) has a warrant out for their arrest.
The court has set a hearing for your case
Once the District Attorney has filed their answer regarding the individual’s name change petition, the judge assigned to the case will make their final decision.
This is usually the end of your petition process. However, at the time you present your completed name change form to the Clerk of Court ask the clerk if a hearing is necessary for you. Though it is unlikely, a judge can decide to hold a hearing to discuss your reason for a name change. Most judges will grant a name change, based on this paperwork and without a meeting, so long as they are convinced that the petitioner is not trying to evade debts or the police or commit fraud. If a hearing is necessary the clerk will provide you with a date and time that your hearing will take place. This hearing can take place in court or in the judge’s chambers. (In rare cases, judges have required a petitioner to prove that they have undergone medical procedures that show an intention to live permanently in the gender associated with the name desired.)
- If a hearing with a judge is required and you would like an advocate to go with you, please contact the Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity at 504-314-2183.