Alabama Name Change Law


Name Change – General – Alabama

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in Alabama, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Alabama, a person may change their name by filing an action in the Probate Court with appropriate forms.

Who is an adult? In Alabama, a person who has attained the age of 19 years is considered an adult.

Who is a minor? In Alabama, a person who has not attained the age of 19 years is considered a minor.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes.  The court must find that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.  A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations.  A person can not change their name to defraud any person. A timely objection by a parent presenting sufficient reason to consider the name change not in the best interest of the child may result in the court denying the Petition.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must finds sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? No.

Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes.  Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

After the court grants my Petition for Change of Name, may I obtain a new birth certificate? Yes.  Contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Montgomery, AL for information on the procedure to follow.

Procedures:

The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Alabama begins with the filing of a Petition and Declaration for Change of Name with the Probate Court in the jurisdiction in which Petitioner resides.  The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name and the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt.

After the Petition is filed and the required fee is paid, the Court may or may not set the Petition for a hearing.  If a Hearing is scheduled, the Court may inquire into the circumstances surrounding the Petition and the reasons for the name change request.  If, from the Petition and Declaration, with or without a hearing, it appears to the court that the Petitioner is entitled to the requested relief, the court will issue a Decree Confirming Declaration as to Change of Name.  Thereafter the Petitioner is entitled to use the new name.

Additonal Information and instructions

Statutes:

Procedure for change of name of child upon petition by father generally; notification of mother and child; filing of response; appointment of guardian ad litem; hearing; issuance of order by court; certification of minutes of court to Bureau of Vital Statistics, etc.

(a) The father may petition at the time of filing the declaration of legitimation or at any time subsequent to the determination of legitimation to change the name of such child, stating in his declaration the name it is then known by and the name he wishes it afterwards to have. Such petition shall be filed in the office of the judge of probate of the father’s residence or the child’s residence.

(b) Upon the filing of the petition for name change, notice shall be given to the child’s mother and to the child as provided by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. Notice may be waived as provided by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. The child’s mother shall, within 30 days after receiving notice, file her objection or consent to the name change with the probate court. The probate court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child if the mother files a timely objection or if the court determines such appointment to be in the best interest of the child. Following receipt of the mother’s response or upon expiration of the time for her response, the probate court shall conduct an informal hearing at which all interested parties may present evidence for determination of whether the name change is in the best interest of the child. The court shall issue an order of name change or denial of name change. Upon change of the name of the child, a certified copy of the minutes of the court shall be sent by the judge of probate to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health and to the Registrar of Vital Statistics of the county where the petition was filed within 30 days after the minutes are recorded.  [Title 26 Infants and Incompetents, Chapter 11 Legitimation of Children, Section 26-11-3.]

Other Name Change References:

Age of majority designated as 19 years.

(a) Any person in this state, at the arrival at the age of 19 years, shall be relieved of his disabilities of minority and thereafter shall have the same legal rights and abilities as persons over 21 years of age. No law of this state shall discriminate for or against any person between and including the ages of 19 and 21 years solely on the basis of age.

(b) This section shall also apply to any person who arrived at the age of 19 and 20 years before July 22, 1975, but shall not abrogate any defense or abridge any remedy available to him prior to such date.

(c) All laws or parts of laws which read “under the age of 21 years” hereafter shall read “under the age of 19 years.” Wherever the words “under the age of 21 years” appear in any law limiting the legal rights and abilities of persons under such age, such words shall be construed to mean under the age of 19 years.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, nothing in this section shall be deemed to repeal any provision of Chapter 19 of Title 15 of this Code.  [Title 26 Infants and Incompetents, Chapter 1 General Provisions, Section Section 26-1-1]