Iowa Name Change Law

Name Change – General – Iowa

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

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

Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.

Who is an minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered an minor.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes. If a minor is 14 years of age, or older, their consent to the name change is required. If a parent refuses to consent and the court does not waive the requirement of parental consent, the change of name will be refused. Also, 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.

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. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? No.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? In the case of a married Petitioner, the spouse must be given notice in the manner of an original notice.

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.  Your birth certificate will be “amended”.  The clerk of the court will forward an abstract of the decree to the state registrar of vital statistics of the Iowa department of public health.  The “Amended” certificate will be issued and will reflect the former name.

Procedures:

The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Iowa begins with the filing of a verified Petition with the District Court in the jurisdiction in which Petitioner resides.  The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, personal information pertaining to the Petitioner, and the reasons for the requested change of name.  The verified petition must be accompanied by a certified copy of the birth certificate.  If one is not available, this should be noted in the Petiton and a substitute form of identification provided such as Immigration and Naturalization papers.

After the Petition is filed, any required notice accomplished and verified to the court, and the required fee $100.00 is paid, the Court may grant to petition at anytime following a period of thrity (30) days from the filing of the Petition.

Additional Information and Instructions

Statutes:

Authorization:
A person who has attained the age of majority and who does not have any civil disabilities may apply to the court to change the person’s name by filing a verified petition as provided in this chapter. The verified petition may request a name change for minor children of the petitioner as well as the petitioner or a parent may file a verified petition requesting a name change on behalf of a minor child of the parent. Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.1.

Petition to court:
The verified petition shall be addressed to the district court of the county where the applicant resides and shall state and provide for each person seeking a name change:

1.  The name at the time the petition is filed of the person whose name is to be changed and the person’s county of residence. If the person whose name is to be changed is a minor child, the petition shall state the name of the petitioner and the petitioner’s relationship to the minor child.
2.  A description including height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes, race, sex, and date and place of birth.
3.  Residence at time of petition and any prior residences for the past five years.
4.  Reason for change of name, briefly and concisely stated.
5.  A legal description of all real property in this state owned by the petitioner.
6.  The name the petitioner proposes to take.
7. A certified copy of the birth certificate to be attached to the petition. If a certified copy of the birth certificate is not available, the reason for the unavailability shall be stated and another form of identification, which may include documents provided by the United States department of immigration and naturalization service, shall be attached in lieu of the certified copy of the birth certificate. Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.2.

Petition copy:
A copy of the petition shall be filed by the clerk of court with the division for records and statistics of the Iowa department of public health.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.3.

When granted:
A decree of change of name may be granted any time after thirty days of the filing of the petition.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.4.

Contents of decree:
The decree shall describe the petitioner, giving the petitioner’s name and former name, height, weight, color of hair, color of eyes, race, sex, date and place of birth and the given name of the spouse and any minor children affected by the change. The decree shall also give a legal description of all real property owned by the petitioner.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.5.

Notice–consent:
If the petitioner is married, the petitioner must give legal notice to the spouse, in the manner of an original notice, of the filing of the petition.

If the petition includes or is filed on behalf of a minor child fourteen years of age or older, the child’s written consent to the change of name of that child is required.

If the petition includes or is filed on behalf of a minor child under fourteen, both parents as stated on the birth certificate of the minor child shall file their written consent to the name change. If one of the parents does not consent to the name change, a hearing shall be set on the petition on twenty days’ notice to the nonconsenting parent pursuant to the rules of civil procedure. At the hearing the court may waive the requirement of consent as to one of the parents if it finds:

1.  That the parent has abandoned the child;
2.  That the parent has been ordered to contribute to the support of the child or to financially aid in the child’s birth and has failed to do so without good cause; or
3.  That the parent does not object to the name change after having been given due and proper notice.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.6.

Copy to Iowa department of public health:
When the court grants a decree of change of name, the clerk of the court shall furnish the petitioner with a certified copy of the decree and mail an abstract of a decree requiring a name change to be reflected on a birth certificate to the state registrar of vital statistics of the Iowa department of public health on a form provided by the state registrar.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.7.

Copy to counties:
The clerk of the court shall send a certified copy of the decree to the recorder’s office in every county in this state where real property is owned by the petitioner.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.8.

Former name indicated:
Any new birth certificate issued to a person granted a change of name shall reflect the former name of the person issued the new birth certificate.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec.674.9.

Fee:
For filing a petition for change of name, the clerk shall collect a fee in the amount collected for filing and docketing a petition under section 602.8105, subsection 1, paragraph “a”.  Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec. 674.10.

Further Change Barred:
A person shall not change the person’s name more than once under this chapter unless just cause is shown. However, in a decree dissolving a person’s marriage, the person’s name may be changed back to the name appearing on the person’s original birth certificate or to a legal name previously acquired in a former marriage. Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec. 674.13.

Indexing in Real Property Record
The county recorder and county auditor of each county in which the petitioner owns real property shall collect fees in the amounts specified in sections 331.604 and 331.507, subsection 2, paragraph “b”, for indexing a change of name for each parcel of real estate. Iowa Code, Title XV Judicial Branch and Judicial Procedures, Subtitle 5 Special Actions, Chapter 674 Changing Names, Sec. 674.14

Other Name Change References:

Definitions:
As used in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:

5. “Child” means a person under eighteen years of age.

Title VI Human Services, Chap. 232 Juvenile Justice, Division I Construction and  Definitions, §232.2


Inside Iowa Name Change Law