New Hampshire Name Change Requirements

General Summary of Name Change Laws

The Courts are often willing to accept name changes for almost any legitimate reason. However, the granting of a Petition for change of name is discretionary with the court, and the court may deny a Petition on grounds, which would not constitute lawful objection. For an Order of name change to be granted, the court must find compliance with the requirements of notice and the requirements for the allegations in the Petition. The court must find also find good and sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. Lastly, when the change of name is for a minor, the Court must find that the change is in the best interests of the minor child.

One cannot change his/her/the minor's name for a fraudulent reason, change to a name that could affect the rights of another person (such as a celebrity) nor change to a name which involves vulgarity.

Overview of Process in New Hampshire for an Adult

REMEMBER: If the name change relates to a Family Division case type (open or closed), the applicant must file a Petition with the Family Division (opposed to Probate Court). Our forms services are only applicable for applications to be filed in Probate Court. Check our web site and/or with your local courthouse for information and resources for filing an application for change of name in Family Division.

In New Hampshire, an adult who wishes, for good cause shown, to change his/her name must present a Petition to that effect, to the Probate Court in the county of the Petitioner's residence. Proof of identity should be submitted along with the Petition.

The Petition includes personal information, including the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt and the reason(s) for the request for change of name. After filing a Petition and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court will set the application for a hearing.

The Petitioner shall appear personally before the court at the date and time set forth for the hearing. Typically the court hearing will be informal and heard in a minimum amount of time by either a Judge or Judicial Officer. At the time of the hearing, the Court will hear any reasonable objections to the requested relief, may question the Petitioner as to the reason(s) for the requested name change and consider any questions raised as to the Petitioner's intent.

At the hearing, if the Court is satisfied that there is no reasonable objection to the name change and that it is consistent with the public interest, the Court will grant an Order changing the Petitioner's name. A Certificate of Change of Name will be issued to the Petitioner.

Overview of Process in New Hampshire for a Minor

REMEMBER: If the name change relates to a Family Division case type (open or closed), the applicant must file a Petition with the Family Division (opposed to Probate Court). Our forms services are only applicable for applications to be filed in Probate Court. Check our web site and/or with your local courthouse for information and resources for filing an application for change of name in Family Division.

In New Hampshire, the parent of the minor, on behalf of the minor, brings an application (Petition) for a minor's name change, to the Probate Court in the county of the Petitioner and minor's residence. The petitioning adult is the Petitioner in said legal action.

The Petition includes personal information, including the name and address of the Petitioner as well as the minor, the relationship of the Petitioner to the minor, the new name the minor wishes to adopt, the reason(s) for the request for change of name, etc. A certified copy of the minor's birth certificate must be submitted along with the Petition. After filing a Petition and paying the required filing fee for such, the Court will set the application for a hearing. Both of the minor's biological parents will receive notice of the hearing via mail.

The Petitioner and if applicable the minor child (ask your local Court Clerk if it is required that your minor child be present at the hearing) shall appear personally before the court at the date and time set forth for the hearing. Typically the court hearing will be informal and heard in a minimum amount of time by either a Judge or Judicial Officer. At the time of the hearing, the Court will hear any reasonable objections to the requested relief, may question the Petitioner as to the reason(s) for the requested name change and consider any questions raised as to the Petitioner's intent.

At the hearing, if the Court is satisfied that there is no reasonable objection to the name change and that it is consistent with the public interest, the Court will grant an Order changing the Petitioner's name. A Certificate of Change of Name will be issued to the Petitioner. Additionally, both of the minor's biological parents will receive a Notice of Decision via mail.

Important Notes

  • If the name change relates to a Family Division case type (open or closed), the applicant must file a Petition with the Family Division (opposed to Probate Court). Our forms services are only applicable for applications to be filed in Probate Court. Check our web site and/or with your local courthouse for information and resources for filing an application for change of name in Family Division.
  • Our forms services are ONLY designed to cover simple, uncontested name changes. Our services should not be used if the applicant or minor has been convicted of a crime, has claimed bankruptcy, has judgments or liens against them, is not a U.S. citizen, or is a registered sex offender. Instead, you should consider contacting an attorney in your area. These circumstances could cause complications, which may result in the action being denied and/or contested.
  • Our New Hampshire Name Change for a Minor services assumes that one of the minor child's biological parent's will Petition the Court (on behalf of the minor) and that the minor child's other biological parent (non-petitioning parent), as well as any other adult with legal rights regarding the minor will consent to the change of name and sign an Assent form indicating such. Thus no legal notice (service/citation) will be needed.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for an Adult in New Hampshire

New Hampshire law requires certain things before you can file for a name change and/or during the name change process in New Hampshire. These requirements include:

  • You (the Petitioner) must be an adult. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from the New Hampshire Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 21, Section, 21-B:1, 'A person who has reached his eighteenth birthday is hereby declared to be of majority for all purposes, except as prohibited by the constitution of New Hampshire and of the United States'.
  • You must file the application for change of name in the county where you reside. At the time of filing, if you have an out-of-state driver's license, you may be required to file proof of New Hampshire residency.
  • You must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name.
  • You are not changing your name to avoid debts, to defraud creditors or to infringe upon the rights of others.
  • Again, please remember, our form services are ONLY designed to cover simple, uncontested name change actions. Our forms services should not be used if you have been convicted of a crime, have claimed bankruptcy, have judgments or liens against you, are not a U.S. citizen, or you are a registered sex offender. Instead, you should consider contacting an attorney in your area. These circumstances could cause complications, which may result in your action being denied and/or contested.

Requirements to File for a Change of Name for a Minor in New Hampshire

Certain requirements exist which must be met before you can file for a name change for a minor and/or during the name change process for a minor in New Hampshire. These requirements include:

  • You (the parent/Petitioner) must be an adult. Following is the age of majority, as taken directly from the New Hampshire Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 21, Section, 21-B:1, 'A person who has reached his eighteenth birthday is hereby declared to be of majority for all purposes, except as prohibited by the constitution of New Hampshire and of the United States'.
  • You must file the application for change of name in the county where you and the minor child reside. At the time of filing, if you have an out-of-state driver's license, you may be required to file proof of New Hampshire residency.
  • You must file a certified copy of the minor child's birth certificate with the Petition.
  • You must have proper and reasonable cause for the requested change of name.
  • You are not changing the minor's name to avoid debts, to defraud creditors or to infringe upon the rights of others.
  • Again, please remember, this form system is also ONLY designed to cover a simple, uncontested name change for a minor. Our forms and services should not be used if you or the minor have been convicted of a crime, have claimed bankruptcy, have judgments or liens against you, are not a U.S. citizen, or you are a registered sex offender.

New Hampshire Name Change Forms

Self-Prepared

Adult Name Change $29.95
Minor Name Change $29.95

Paralegal-Prepared

Adult Name Change $99.95
Minor Name Change $119.95

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