Name Change – General – Hawaii
Note: This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in Hawaii, but does include basic and other provisions.
Name Change Action Allowed: In Hawaii, a person may change their name by filing an action in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor with appropriate forms.
Who is an adult? In Hawaii, a person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.
Who is a minor? In Hawaii, a person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.
Must the child agree to the name change? Yes, the petition must be accompanied by a consent form signed by the minor if the minor is ten years or older at the time the petition is filed.
Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change? Yes, the petition must be accompanied by a consent form signed by both parents of the minor whether or not the minor is currently in the custody of their parent(s).
Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes. The Office of the Lieutenant Governor must find that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest and that the person has fully complied with the requirements of the law and administrative rules applying to name changes in Hawaii. 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.
Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor must find compliance with the filing requirments and also that it is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, adoption, legitimation, or divorce meets these requirements.
Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes, after the petition has been approved, a notice of name change will be sent to the Petitioner. The petitioner then has 60 days from the date of the notice to publish the notice in a newspaper of general circulation and submit proof of publication to the office of the lieutenant governor. The change of name is only affective after the publication of the notice of change of name.
Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The General Public is provided notice of the name change by way of publication.
Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes. Any objections made to the office of the lieutenant governor that the information in the petition is not truthful and accurate or that the name change is being sought for improper purposes could furnish the basis for a decision to deny the petition.
Procedures: In Hawaii, an individual’s name can be changed by marriage, legitimation, family court order, decree, or judgment, by a court order of any court of competent jurisdiction, or by petition to the lieutenant governor. The petition to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor is the primary way of changing one’s name outside marriage, divorce, or legitimation proceedings.
A petitioner seeking a change of name from the lieutenant governor must complete and submit a notarized petition, a notice, and a proposed order of name change to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. An accompanying fact sheet is attached to the petition to verify information contained in the petition.
Once the petitioner has completed the required forms in a timely manner, the required fee has been paid, and the peition has been accepted as filed by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the petition will be reviewed and either approved or rejected. If approved, a notice of change of name will be sent to the petitioner. The petitioner then has a period of 60 days from the signing of the notive of change of name to publish the notice in a newspaper of general circulation within the State and furnish proof of publication to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor on the specified form.
The name change is effective on the day the notice of change of name is published.
Married persons: Upon marriage each of the parties to a marriage shall declare the middle and last names each will use as a married person. The last name or names chosen may be any middle or last name legally used at any time, past or present, by either spouse, or any combination of such names, which may, but need not, be separated by a hyphen. The middle name or names chosen may be any middle or last name legally used at any time, past or present, by either spouse, or any combination of such names, which may, but need not, be separated by a hyphen. Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 574 Names, §574-1.
Change of name; procedure:
(a) It shall be unlawful to change any name adopted or conferred under this chapter, except:
(1) Upon an order of the lieutenant governor;
(2) By a final order, decree, or judgment of the family court issued as follows:
(A) When in an adoption proceeding a change of name of the person to be adopted is requested and the court includes the change of name in the adoption decree;
(B) When in a divorce proceeding either party to the proceeding requests to resume the middle name or names and the last name used by the party prior to the marriage or a middle name or names and last name declared and used during any prior marriage and the court includes the change of names in the divorce decree; or
(C) When in a proceeding for a change of name of a legitimate or legitimated minor initiated by one parent, the family court, upon proof that the parent initiating the name change has made all reasonable efforts to locate and notify the other parent of the name change proceeding but has not been able to locate, notify, or elicit a response from the other parent, and after an appropriate hearing, orders a change of name determined to be in the best interests of the minor; provided that the family court may waive the notice requirement to the non initiating, non custodial parent where the court finds that the waiver is necessary for the protection of the minor;
(3) Upon marriage pursuant to section 574-1;
(4) Upon legitimation pursuant to section 338-21; or
(5) By an order or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction within any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States, changing the name of a person born in this State.
(b) The order of change of name by the lieutenant governor shall be founded upon a notarized petition. The petition shall be executed by the person desirous of making the change of name. In the case of a minor, the petition shall be executed:
(1) By the parents;
(2) By the parent who has custody of the minor with the notarized consent of the non custodial parent; or
(3) By the guardian of the person of the minor.
(c) The filing fee of $100 shall accompany the petition when submitted and shall not be refundable.
(d) A notice of change of name signed by the lieutenant governor shall be published once in a newspaper of general circulation in the State as mentioned in the order for change of name, and the petitioner within sixty days of the signing of the notice of change of name shall deposit at the office of the lieutenant governor an affidavit executed by an officer of the newspaper publishing the notice showing that the notice has been published therein. The affidavit shall have attached to it a clipping showing the notice as published. Failure to deposit the affidavit of publication as required shall void that petition for a change of name by that petitioner.
(e) When the petition is accompanied by an affidavit executed by a prosecuting attorney of this State, the affidavit shall show that for the protection of the person desirous of making a change of name, the following actions shall not be necessary:
(1) Publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the State; and
(2) Recordation in the bureau of conveyances. The petition, affidavit, and order shall be kept confidential. Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 574 Names, §574-5.
Effect of change:
(a) The change of name provided for by order of the lieutenant governor shall be effective upon the date of publication of the notice of change of name.
(b) In all cases of change of name by order of the lieutenant governor, except as otherwise provided by law, the order shall be recorded in the bureau of conveyances within sixty days after the signing of the order.
(c) All changes of names made by decree of any governor, or by the president of the Republic of Hawaii, or by the president of the Provisional Government of Hawaii, or by any king or queen of the Hawaiian Islands, are ratified and confirmed.
(d) The Lieutenant governor shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this chapter. Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 574 Names, §574-6.
Definitions: As used in this chapter, unless otherwise specifically indicated:
“Affidavit” means the affidavit of publication executed by the officer of the newspaper stating that the notice has been published.
“Lieutenant governor” means the lieutenant governor of the State of Hawaii.
“Office” means the office of the lieutenant governor.
“Person” means any individual.
“Petitioner” means any person desiring to change the person’s name, or, in the case of a minor, the parents or such parent who has custody of the minor, or the guardian of the minor, who submits to the office a petition for a change of name. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-1.
Petition for change of name:
(a) To change a person’s name, a petition on the form prescribed shall be submitted to the office containing at least the following information describing the person whose name is to be changed:
(1) The person’s present name and if a prior name change(s) had been granted, the date, place, name changed from and to, and the granting authority;
(2) Date and place of birth;
(3) Name of any past or present husband or wife, the date and place of the present marriage, the date and place of any divorces and the name of the court granting the divorce;
(4) Name of father and married and maiden name of mother, names of step-parents, names of legal parents, and names of adoptive parents;
(5) Names of any minor and adult children and their dates and places of birth or statement that the person has no children;
(6) State of residency and residence address. Post office boxes are not acceptable except on those islands and in those areas where no street addresses exist, and in that case the petitioner shall so state in the petition. A mailing address, if different from residence, shall be required;
(7) Whether or not the person is a convicted felon and if so, the date and place of the conviction and the type of felony. The petitioner shall fully explain the charges, the sentence, the terms of parole or probation, the date af final discharge of the sentence, whether there was a delayed acceptance of a guilty plea and, if there was a pardon, by whom the pardon was granted;
(8) A statement to the effect that the person is not changing the person’s name to defraud creditors;
(9) The reason or reasons for the change of name; and
(10) Any other information as may be required by the office to substantiate or verify information contained in the petition.
(b) In addition to complying with subsection (a) the petition shall conform to the following:
(1) The petition may be dated, but if so, the date of the petition shall be prior to the date of the earliest acknowledgment;
(2) The petition shall be notarized in the form prescribed by the office. The Petitioner shall proceed in person and a power of attorney will not be accepted;
(3) The petition shall be accompanied by an original birth certificate, original naturalization certificate, or if petitioner is an alien, a photocopy of the petitioner’s passport and birth certificate, family register, or alien registration card. All persons shall submit an original birth certificate obtained from the appropriate agency no earlier than three months prior to submission of the petition;
(4) The petition shall be free of clerical errors. Any changes in the petition subsequent to any acknowledgment shall be initialed by the notary making the change and all parties to the petition;
(5) The name petitioner is requesting as the petitioner’s new name shall meet the requirements of the department of health for names on a birth certificate; and
(6) The petition must be signed in the petitioner’s full legal name without initials or nicknames.
(c) The original petition shall be filed with the office within thirty days of the date of the earliest acknowledgment, unless for good cause shown petitioner requests in writing and is granted an extension by the office, but in no case shall such extension be longer than 30 days. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-2.
Consent to change name of minor and form of consent:
(a) The petition for the change of name of any minor shall be accompanied by a consent to the change signed by:
(1) The parents of the minor whether custodial or non custodial; and
(2) The minor if the minor is ten years or older at the time the petition is filed;
(b) The consent to the change of name shall be notarized and on the form prescribed by the office.
(c) In any petition for the change of name of any minor the petition shall not be accepted for processing by the office unless all documents are in the form prescribed by the office, and the petition and all documents comply with any and all statutory provisions related to the change of name of a minor. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-3.
Order of change of name:
The petition for the change of name shall contain an order of the change of name in the form prescribed by the lieutenant governor. The order shall be in two original forms with copies thereof, but more copies of the order may be submitted if desired. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-4.
Procedure following approval by the lieutenant governor:
(a) Once the petition has been approved a notice of change of name signed by the lieutenant governor shall be mailed to the petitioner.
(b) The petitioner shall have published the notice of change of name in a newspaper of general circulation in the State within sixty days of the signing of the notice by the lieutenant governor and shall deposit the original affidavit in the prescribed form with the office. If mailed, the date of the postmark shall be used in determining date of receipt. In any case where the affidavit is not in proper form as determined by the office, it shall not be considered received until it is in the proper form. The petitioner has the responsibility for ensuring that the affidavit is in the proper form and that it is received by the office by the deadline.
(c) The petition shall be void at the end of sixty days from the date of signing of the notice of change of name if the affidavit is not properly received by the office as set forth in subsections (a) and (b). In the case of a voided petition the filing fee shall not be transferred to any subsequent petition.
(d) The petitioner shall forward an original order to the bureau of conveyances of the department of land and natural resources. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-5.
Non acceptance of petition for processing:
(a) The petition for change of name shall not be accepted for processing by the office unless it meets all the requirements specified by these rules.
(b) Where the petition is not accepted for processing, the petitioner shall be notified of the reasons for such non acceptance. If petitioner subsequently submits a petition which is accepted, the filing fee paid for the non accepted petition shall be applied to the second, accepted petition.
(c) Where petitioner resubmits a petition which had previously not been accepted for processing and which has not been corrected, the petition shall be processed but final approval of the petition and the granting of the order shall be within the discretion of the lieutenant governor. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-5.1.
Procedure following denial by the lieutenant governor:
If the lieutenant governor decides to deny the petition, a notice of intent to deny shall be sent by certified or registered mail to the petitioner. The notice of intent to deny shall state that the lieutenant governor intends to deny the petition and shall include the reasons for the denial. If the petitioner desires a hearing on the intent to deny, the petitioner shall, not later than 4:30 p.m. on the tenth day after receipt of the denial notice, file a statement with the lieutenant governor setting forth facts and arguments showing the reasons why the petition should not be denied. The lieutenant governor shall call a hearing not later than twenty days following receipt of the filed statement and notify the petitioner of the date, time and, place of the hearing. The decision of the lieutenant governor shall be final and rendered not later than 4:30 p.m., on the seventh day following the hearing. If the petitioner does not file a statement within the time specified, the notice of intent to deny shall constitute final denial. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-6.
Confidentiality of records and hearing:
Petitions on file with the office are confidential and not a matter of public record. The hearing on the denial of a petition shall be confidential and not open to the public. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-6.1.
The filing fee for a change of name under this chapter shall be the amount set forth in section 574-5, HRS, and is nonrefundable. Hawaii Administrative Rules, Title 2 Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Chapter 2 Name Change, Section 2-2-7.
Other Name Change References:
Age of majority:
All persons residing in the State, who have attained the age of eighteen years, shall be regarded as of legal age and their period of minority to have ceased. Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chap. 577, §577-1.