How to Legally Change Your Name
Adults may legally change their first, middle, and/or last name and may proceed pro se (without an attorney) in the process. Please note that the person requesting a name change must be a resident of the county in which he or she files the name change petition for at least one year prior to filing. The entire process takes approximately six weeks to complete. The following is a list of the steps involved in the name change process for pro se petitioners.
The Name Change Process
- Petition for Name Change
- Fill out the Petition, which can be found at the following link: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/DC-6-9-1.pdf.
- Take the completed Petition and filing fee to the clerk of the district court for the county in which you intend to file.
- Set a Hearing Date on the Name Change Petition
- To set a hearing date ask the clerk the name and phone number of the bailiff or other court personnel to contact to schedule the hearing.
- Note that the hearing should be scheduled no sooner than six weeks from the time the Petition is filed, as the “Legal Notice” step (discussed below) requires at least four weeks to complete.
- Legal Notice by Publication
- Once a hearing date is set, fill out the Legal Notice form, which can be found at the following link: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/DC-6-9-2-fillable.pdf.
- Contact a newspaper that is published in the county the Petition is filed or a newspaper that is in general circulation in that county.
- The newspaper must publish the Legal Notice at least once a week for four (4) weeks, and the newspaper must thereafter provide the court with proof of this fact.
- You must also mail a copy of the published notice to the last known address of all people appearing to have an interest in the matter within five (5) days after the notice was published in the newspaper for the first time.
- You must also complete and file an Affidavit of Mailing Published Notice with the court within ten (10) days after mailing copies of the publication to interested parties, this tells the court that you tried finding any person(s) appearing to have a legal interest in the case. This Affidavit must be notarized and can be found here: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/DC-6-6-8.pdf.
- Court Hearing on Name Change
- Prior to the hearing, complete the Decree of Name Change (https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/DC-6-9-3-fillable.pdf), and prepare your testimony for the hearing.
- Bring two copies of the Decree of Name Change to the hearing—one copy for the court file and one copy for your records.
- Attend the hearing and testify under oath about the issues raised in the Petition for Name Change.
- For instructions on attending and testifying at the hearing, see the following link: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/DC-6-9-a.pdf.
- Final Steps
- Once the court has granted your request for a name change and signed the Decree of Name Change, obtain a certified copy of the Decree from the clerk of the district court.
- Use that certified copy to change your records with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration.
 For a complete list of forms and instructions provided by the Nebraska Supreme Court website, see: https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/forms?title&field_form_number_value&field_form_type_tid=All&field_form_category_tid%5B0%5D=233&field_language_tid=288.