Name Change – General – District of Columbia
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in the District of Columbia, but does include basic and other provisions.
Name Change Action Allowed: In the District of Columbia,a person may change their name by filing an application in the Superior Court with appropriate forms.
Who is an adult? In the District of Columbia, an individual that has attained the age of eighteen (18) is considered an adult.
Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the Application must satisfy the statutory requirements for the name change and the court must be satisfied with the reasons for the request. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.
Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.
Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The General Public through publication of a notice of the filing of the application containing the substance of the Applicant’s request and specifying the full name of the Applicant and the full name the Applicant wishes to assume.
Procedures: A resident of the District of Columbia begins the name change process by filing an Application for Change of Name with the Superior Court setting forth the reasons for the requested name change, the full name of the Applicant and the full name the Applicant wishes to assume. Prior to a hearing on the Application, the Applicant must publish notice of the filing of the Application containing the the full name of the Applicant and the full name he or she wishes to assume. The notice is published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper within the District of Columbia.
When proof of the notice has been filed with the court, the court may order the name change if it is satisfied with the basis for the name change request.
Application; persons who may file:
Whoever, being a resident of the District and desiring a change of name, may file an application in the Superior Court setting forth the reasons therefor and also the name desired to be assumed. If the applicant is an infant, the application shall be filed by his parent, guardian, or next friend. [D.C. Code, Title 16 – Particular Actions, Proceedings and Matters, Chapter 25 – Change of Name, § 16-2501]
Notice; contents: [Repealed]
On proof of the notice prescribed by section 16-2502, and upon a showing that the court deems satisfactory, the court may change the name of the applicant according to the prayer of the application. [D.C. Code, Title 16 – Particular Actions, Proceedings and Matters, Chapter 25 – Change of Name, § 16-2503]
Other Name Change References:
Notwithstanding any rule of common or other law to the contrary in effect on July 22, 1976, the age of majority in the District of Columbia shall be 18 years of age, except that this chapter shall not affect any common-law or statutory right to child support. [Title 46 – Domestic Relations, Chap. 1 – Age of Majority, § 46-101]
Notice of address and name change:
(a) All parties with an interest in a particular real property (including owners of the real property, mortgagees, secured parties under a deed of trust, trustees, or lienholders) shall notify the Recorder of Deeds in writing in the event of a name change or address change. The notice shall identify the real property and specify the interest held in the property. A person to whom an interest in a particular real property has been transferred shall provide their full name and address when recording the interest.
(b) The Recorder of Deeds shall enter into its land records all updated information received according to subsection (a) of this section.
(c) The District shall assess a fee not to exceed $300 against an interested party if the District is unable to locate the interested party using all available information in the land records at the Office of the Recorder of Deeds or other information available at the Department of Finance and Revenue.
(d) The Mayor shall issue rules to implement this section. [Title 45 – Real Property, Chapter 8 – Effective Date and Recordation of Deeds, § 45-801.4]