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Nevada Name Change: Easy Explanations For Your Nevada Name Change

Obtaining a name change can feel overwhelming. 

There are a number of steps that must be followed and lots of paperwork before you can make your name change is official

But don't worry...

Our attorneys have handled hundreds of name changes and we can help you

Here, you will get answers to your most frequently asked questions about getting a name change in Nevada.

​What is a legal name change?

Who can get a name change in Nevada?

What is the process for getting a legal Nevada name change?

Can I change my name if I have a criminal conviction?

Can I change my child's name my entire family's name, or my name after divorce?

What is the process for changing my name and gender marker?

What do I do once I receive my name change order?

How much does a name change cost in Nevada?

How do I find an attorney to help me with my name change?

What Is A Legal Name Change (and other information)

Maybe you have a nickname you have been known by your whole life.

Maybe you have been spelling your name differently than the name listed on your birth certificate.

Or...

Maybe you just want to change your first, middle and/or last name because you like a new name better.

Generally, unless you undergo a formal name change, your name is not legal and won't be recognized by most government entities such as DMV, Social Security or even TSA.

What is a legal name change? 

A legal name change is the formal changing of an individual’s name, by court order, from the name stated on his or her birth certificate, to another name of his or her choosing.

A legal name change is different from an assumed name. Generally an assumed name, is defined as the "open and notorious" use of a name. In some jurisdictions, an assumed name can be registered with a county clerk, secretary of state, or other similar government authority. Assumed names are generally used for business related purposes like "a doing business as" or "DBA."

A common law name, a name used for non-fraudulent purposes is a legal name. While a common law names may not be an official name in many jurisdiction, most people can sue under a common law name. In some jurisdictions like California, changing a name at will under common law, is sufficient to change the name. You will need to check with your jurisdiction to see if common law names are legal names.

A preferred name is exactly like the examples we used above. A preferred name may be recognized by a college, hospital or other institution but it is not a legal name. Preferred names provide a "transitional" name change for those who have yet to, or cannot, receive a court-ordered name change.

What are the top reasons people change their name?

People change their name for lots of different reasons. The most popular reasons for a name change include:

Dislike of birth name
Divorce
Marriage
Taking on a parent's or family member's surname
Transgender name changes
Changing the spelling a name from a birth certificate to an easier or more common spelling
Changing the name for purposes of obtaining a Real ID
Being known by a nickname and making the nickname the legal name

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Who can get a name change in Nevada?

A person can change their name for any reason they want.

In Nevada, if you want a legal name change you MUST file a petition with the Court. 


You must be a Nevada resident to file your name change in Nevada. This means you must have lived in Nevada for a period of time and intend to continue living in Nevada once your name change is final.

And depending on whether the person changing their name is an adult, a child, has a criminal history and/or wants to change their gender marker, the requirements to make a name change official may be different.

For the purposes of this section, the Nevada name change laws can be found in the Nevada Revised Statutes at NRS 41.270 through NRS 41.298.

The basic requirements for filing a name change in Nevada are:


  • You must list your current name, your new name and why you want to change your name

  • If you have any felony convictions you must disclose them, be fingerprinted and submit a copy of your name change to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History

  • In some cases, you must publish notice of the name change

  • Your name change must be filed in the District Court in the district where the person changing their name resides

  • You must declare you are not changing your name for fraudulent purposes


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What is the process for getting a legal name change in Nevada? 

 
This is the question that usually causes most people the most heartburn.

As family law attorneys, for the us, the process is fairly straight forward.

However, if you are trying to do a name change on your own, the process can seem overwhelming.

But don't worry.  .  .


We've laid out the process for a simple adult name change step by step here.
What paperwork do I need to complete the name change in Nevada?


Since we are lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada much of the information we include in this section will relate to name changes being completed in Clark County, Nevada. 

While there may be some differences for your specific jurisdiction, if you live outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, the general idea is the same. 

Before you begin filing paperwork, you will need the following documents to complete your name change if you are filing in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Family Court Cover Sheet
Petition for Name Change
Notice of Petition for Name Change
Request for Summary Disposition and Declaration
Order for Name Change

If you decide not to hire a lawyer to help you with your name change, you can get the name change paperwork from the Clark County Self Help Center.


What Do I Do Once I Have Filled Out All Of The Paperwork? 


Once you have filled out all of the paperwork above, you will take your Family Court Cover Sheet, Petition for Name Change, Notice of Petition for Name Change and the Declaration and file it with the clerk at the Eighth Judicial District Court, Family Division. 

Don't forget that there is a filing fee of $270 in Clark County for name changes. 

You will take your filed Notice of Petition for Name Change and send it to either the Las Vegas Review Journal or Nevada Legal News for publication. The publication period lasts for ten (10) days. 

Once the publication period is over, the newspaper will send you an Affidavit of Publication. You will need to file the Affidavit of Publication with the Court before the judge will sign the name change order. 

File your Request for Summary Disposition and submit your Order for Name Change to the judge assigned to your case. 

The judge will review all of the paperwork you have filed and decide whether or not to grant the name change. 

If the name change is granted, you will receive a signed Order for Name Change back from the judge. This document must be filed as this is what makes the name change official. 

If the judge doesn't grant the name change, the judge may instruct you to follow additional steps, file additional paperwork or attend a hearing to ask questions about the name change. 

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Can I Get A Nevada Name Change If I Have A Criminal Record?

Yes. You can get a name change in Nevada even with a criminal record.

Here are the steps for a name change if you have a felony record:

First, fill out the paperwork we identified above including: the cover sheet, petition for name change, notice of name change, request for summary disposition and declaration. 

Follow the steps we identified above to fill out your paperwork except you will need to disclose that you have a felony conviction.

In your petition, you will need to identify the date of your felony conviction, the felony charge you were convicted of, the city and state where you were convicted and a case number if possible.

In addition to all of the paperwork above, you will need to be fingerprinted twice.

Not sure where to get fingerprinted? Most local police substations will allow you to have your fingerprints taken. 

One set of fingerprints must be submitted when you submit your name change petition.

You may need to attend a hearing to explain to the judge why you want your name changed if you have a felony conviction. 

Essentially, the judge may want to be sure you aren't changing your name to avoid warrants or for other nefarious purposes. 

Finally, once your name change is granted, you will need to submit your order granting the name change and your second set of fingerprints to the Central Repository of Nevada Records of Criminal History

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How Can I Change My Child's Name?     

Child name changes in Nevada can be tricky if both parents don't agree to the name change.   

Before you file the paperwork to change your child's name, make sure the other parent is agreeable to the name change or that you have terminated the other parent's rights or the you have sole legal and physical custody  

If both parents agree to the name change, or you are not required by law to notify the other parent of the name change, great!   

Fill out the paperwork including the family court cover sheet, petition for child name change, notice of petition for child name change, request for summary disposition and declaration, and the order.  

If your child is over the age of 14, your child will also need to sign a declaration saying that they agree to the name change.   

It is important to remember that a child cannot change their name on their own. They must have a parent, preferably both parents, petition for the name change.  

If only one parent wants the name change and the other parent does not agree, you will need to personally serve the objecting parent with a copy of the child name change petition. If you are unable to personally serve the objecting parent, you will need to serve the petition through publication  

The objecting parent has 10 days from the time they are served to file a written objection with the Court explaining why they oppose the child's name change.   

If a written objection is filed, the Court will have a hearing. At the hearing, the Court will hear argument and testimony and decide whether or not to grant the name change.   
Can I Change The Name For My Entire Family? If So How? 


Family name changes are routinely done in our office. 

It is not unusual that a family will want to change their entire last name. This usually occurs for religious or ethnicity reasons. 

Regardless of the reason, you may change your entire family's name in one petition

The family members must be residents of Nevada in order to qualify for a Nevada name change. Although our office has been able to secure family name changes when not all of the family members live in Nevada. 

If everyone is a resident and all family members are adults, you can simply prepare your cover sheet, petition, notice of name change petition, request for summary disposition and order. Each family member included in the petition must sign a declaration consenting to the name change. 

If you have minor child and you want to do a family name change, both parents have to agree to the name change. If the child is over the age of 14, the child will also need to sign a consent to the name change. If the parents don't agree, you will need to follow the steps above for serving the objecting parent and having a hearing for the name change. 

How Can I Change My Name After A Divorce?

Changing your name after a divorce doesn't have to be complicated. 

In fact, if you are the divorced wife, you have two options for a name change after a divorce.

First, if you are the ex-wife and you requested a name change in your original paperwork but forgot to include the name change in the Divorce Decree, you can simply submit an amended decree of divorce or a Decree of Divorce Nunc Pro Tunc.  

BEWARE: In divorce decrees, Nevada law only allows a wife to revert to a maiden name or the name by which the wife was previously known. If you are the husband you cannot change your name through a divorce decree. If you are wife and want to change anything other than your last name, you will need to file a formal name change petition.  

In your amended divorce decree, you will need to re-type your entire decree of divorce and add a paragraph that allows you to change back to your maiden name or a former name. Make sure to bold this paragraph so that the judge knows you are only adding the name change and not changing anything else. 

Submit your decree of divorce to your judge along with a letter explaining that you requested the name change in the original divorce paperwork but forgot to include it in the Divorce Decree. 

The judge will review your paperwork and if the judge agrees, the judge will sign your amended decree of divorce. 

If the judge does not agree, the judge may ask for additional information or hold a hearing to ask questions about the name change. 

Your other option is to file a new case for a formal name change as we described above. 
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How Can I Change My Name And Gender Marker?

Changing your name and gender marker is not very different from doing an adult name change.  

You will need to file the same paperwork as you would for an Adult Name Change. This includes filing your Family Court Cover Sheet, Petition for Name Change, Notice of Petition for Name Change, Request for Summary Disposition, Declaration and Order For Name Change.

In your Petition for Name Change be sure to include that you want to change your gender marker

If you are changing your name and gender marker you DO NOT need to publish the Notice of Petition For Name Change. 

Instead, simply submit your Order for Name Change to the judge for review. Be sure to include in your order that you want Vital Statistics to issue a new birth certificate if you are changing your gender if you were born in Nevada. 

That's it! Once you have your signed Order for Name Change, your name change and gender marker change are complete. 
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What Do I Do Once I Have My Name Change Order?


Once you have your name change order, the name change is official but you aren't done yet! 

The Court DOES NOT send your name change order to government entities, banks, schools or others!   It is your responsibility to change your name with DMV, Social Security and other entities.    

In addition to changing your name with DMV and Social Security you should also consider making your name change official with the following:

Voter Registration. Some states allow you to change voter registration at the DMV. Make sure to bring a certified copy of your name change order with you to DMV.

State Department. Update your US Passport with your new name. Again, you will likely need to have your driver's license or State ID with your new name, a social security card with your new name and a certified copy of your name change order. 


Employers and Unions. Don't forget to provide your employer a copy of your new ID and name change order for your employment file and be sure to give any unions a copy as well. Failing to change your name can affect your union benefits as well as other employment benefits. 

Bank records and other financial institutions.  Be sure your bank knows you have officially changed your name. Again, you may need to provide certified copies of the name change. Also make sure any savings accounts, investment accounts and retirement accounts reflect your new name. Finally, if you are the beneficiary of any accounts, you should also make sure your official name change is registered with these accounts. 

While this is not a definitive list of things to do after your receive your order granting your name change, this is a good place to start. 

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How Much Does It Cost To Do A Nevada Name Change?


If you are filing your name change in Clark County, Nevada, the filing fee alone is $270. Yup! $270 just to file your paperwork with the Court.

In addition to the filing fees, you should expect to pay at least $100 for publishing your name change.

There may be additional fees for notary services and court runner fees if you are doing the name change yourself.

If you hire an attorney, usually the total fees include the costs for filing the paperwork, notary fees and the publication costs.

Beware of anyone telling you they can do a name change for $150. This usually means you are paying a notary or paralegal NOT a lawyer. It is highly likely that this does not include filing fees and publication costs. For $150 you might find yourself do most, if not ALL of the work to get your name changed.
 

Costs for attorneys to handle a name change vary from law firm to law firm but you can expect to spend anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on how complicated your case is. 


At our firm, our fees generally start out relatively low for adult uncontested name changes and will increase for family name changes, contested minor child name changes or name changes involving felony convictions. 

For more information about our fees and costs for a Nevada name change call us at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form.

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How Can I Find An Attorney To Help With My Name Change?

Like we said, filing a name change doesn't have to be complicated.

It is important to find an attorney who can best represent your interests.

But what kind of lawyer should you hire and where do you start?

In this section, we outline how you can find the best family law attorney to help with your name change. 

DECIDE WHERE TO FILE YOUR NAME CHANGE

Our office gets calls and inquiries from all over the world from people who want to change their name.

While we'd love to be able to help everyone, we are only licensed in Nevada. This means we can only help people who qualify for a Nevada name change.

So before you begin calling family law attorneys who will just pass you off because they can't help, you need to figure out where to file your name change.

Typically, name change petitions are filed in the district (city or county) where the person applying for the name change lives.

Even though our office has successfully filed family name change petitions for family members who do not necessarily live in Las Vegas, the majority of the family members did reside in Nevada.

Likewise, if you are filing a child name change, you will need to file in the jurisdiction where your child has resided for the last 6 months.

Once you have decided where to file to your name change your search for an attorney can begin.

RESEARCH PROSPECTIVE LAWYERS

After you've decided on the right venue for your case, begin to research prospective attorneys in your area.

Online research is one place to start


There are many, many websites devoted to identifying lawyers in various specialties including family law and name changes.

Websites like Avvo, Findlaw and even Yelp offer profiles, breakdown lawyer specialties and provide reviews. 


Just remember that like anything else, the internet isn't always 100% accurate in depicting a lawyer's knowledge or capabilities.

This is why, in addition to looking on-line, we suggest that you ask family and friends for recommendations


If you have an attorney for other matters such as a personal injury case or estate planning, you might want to ask them for a referral. Be specific with them and tell them you want a lawyer that specializes in name changes.

Finally, you should always check your state bar's website to ensure that any attorney you find is actively licensed to practice law and has not been the subject of bar discipline.

SET UP INTERVIEWS WITH A FEW LAWYERS
 

Once you've identified a few family law attorneys, call their office and ask questions about your name change.

When you talk to prospective lawyers consider questions like:

Do they have experience with cases that are similar to my situation?
Do they explain things in a way I can understand?
Do I trust this person?
Do I feel better after I have talked to this person?

The answer to all of these questions should be "yes." If it is not, then this lawyer is probably not a good fit for you.

If you think you have found a lawyer that meshes well with you and your needs you will want to be sure the lawyer can work within your budget. 


After all finding a lawyer that's a great fit won't work if you cant afford the legal fees. 

And...most attorneys are accustomed to discussing fees and costs for name changes over the phone. 

If you have the lawyer that fits, that you trust and like and that fits in your budget, move forward and get your name changed!