If you have been a Franklin County resident for the past twelve (12) months you may apply for an adult name change for yourself, or a minor name change for your minor child. Applicants must appear in Court with picture identification. If a minor is involved; a certified copy of the child's birth certificate is required. Once the application is made and Court costs are paid, the Court will set the application for hearing. The court will publish the application in a local newspaper of general circulation thirty (30) days prior to the hearing on the application.
All Name Change documents must be e-Filed through the Franklin County e-Filing System.
Frequently Asked Questions About Name Changes
How Do I Apply For A Minor Name Change?
The applicant for the name change of a minor must obtain the consent of the minor's parents, or notice of the hearing must be given to the non-consenting parent(s). Notice is usually given by Certified U.S. Mail (service available at any local post office) with the green card filed with the Court. Consent must be obtained or notice given to anyone who could be considered a parent of the child.
What Is The Hearing Process?
Approximately forty-five (45) days after the Application For Name Change has been filed with the Court, a hearing before a Court magistrate will be held. You will need to arrive at the Court fifteen (15) minutes prior to your hearing time. The magistrate will determine if all of the statutory requirements have been met and that there is reasonable and proper cause to grant the requested name change. The magistrate will make this determination based on the testimony at the hearing and the information submitted to the Court's file.
If the name change is for a minor, the magistrate will also determine whether both parents have consented to the name change and whether the name change is in the best interest of the child. The consent of both parents is not always necessary for the approval of a name change for a minor but a magistrate must decide, after reviewing all of the facts, that the name change is in the minor's best interest and it is reasonable and proper to change the minor's name.
Once the application is approved, the Court will provide the applicant with four (4) certified copies of the Journal Entry Changing Name. The applicant should make a list of all the creditors, agencies, schools, financial institutions, employers, and government offices that need to be informed of the new name. Making a list then notifying everyone on the list helps insure that every one is informed of the name change. If the approved name change is substantially different from the name that is on the applicant's birth certificate or is for a minor, notice should be given to the Ohio Department of Health, Vital Statistics Division, if the person was born in Ohio, or the equivalent agency in the state where the person was born. The Name Change Entry does not change an Ohio birth certificate, but appends to it and becomes a part of the person's birth records if they were born in Ohio.
Two good avenues for publication are:
The Daily Reporter
580 S. High Street 3rd Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
The Columbus Dispatch
34 South Third Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
How Much Does A Name Change Cost?
Current cost: $128.00 (Cash or Credit/Debit Card)
+ publication costs
Publication Costs are additional and dependent upon publication utilized.
Legal Practice in the Probate Court
Legal practice in the Probate Court is restricted by law to attorneys who are licensed by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Due to the complexity of the law and desire to avoid costly errors, most individuals who have filings before the Court are represented by an attorney. Court employees are prohibited by statute from practicing law and cannot give legal advice.