Oklahoma Name Change Law

Name Change – General – Oklahoma

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 State of Oklahoma, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Oklahoma, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the District Court with appropriate forms. A parent, guardian or next friend may change the name of a minor 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 a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 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 Petition is free of false material allegations and that the requested name change is not sought for an illegal or fraudulent purpose.  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 find (1) that the Petition is free of false material allegations; and (2)  that the requested name change is not sought for an illegal or fraudulent purpose. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Must the child agree to the name change? No, but the court may consider the wishes of a child old enough to express their wishes in considering whether to grant the Petition.

Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change? There is no specific requirement that the parent(s) agree to the name change. Their objections could be considered by the court in determining whether the Petition should be granted.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? Yes.  Notice of the filing of the petition with a statement of the relief requested and the date of hearing must be published in a newspaper authorized by law to publish legal notices once at least ten (10) days prior to to the date set for hearing.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The general public by publication in a newspaper chosen by the court for the publication of legal notices.

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.

Procedures: The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Oklahoma begins with the filing of a 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, the reasons for the requested change of name, etc.

After the Petition is filed and the required fee is paid, the Court will set the Petition for a hearing.

The Petitioner is required to give public notice of the relief requested and the date of the hearing in a local newspaper one time at least 10 days prior to the hearing on the Petition.

After publication is complete, the Petitioner must submit proof of publication to the Clerk of the Court.  This is accomplished by filing an affidavit provided by the newspaper verifying the publication.  The affidavit is attached to a copy of the published notice and filed with the Clerk.

The prayer of the petition shall be granted unless the court or judge finds that the change is sought for an illegal or fraudulent purpose, or that a material allegation in the petition is false.

Additional Information and Instructions:

Statutes:

§ 12-1631. Right to Petition for Change of Name:
Any natural person, who has been domiciled in this state or who has been residing upon any military reservation located in said state, for more than thirty (30) days, and has been an actual resident of the county or such military reservation situated in said county, or county in which the military reservation is situated, for more than thirty (30) days, next preceding the filing of the action, may petition for a change of name in a civil action in the district court; provided, no person who is required to register as a sex offender pursuant to the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act may petition for a change of name. If the person be a minor, the action may be brought by guardian or next friend as in other actions.

§ 12-1632. Required Context of Petition: The petition shall be verified and shall state:

(a) The name and address of the petitioner;
(b) The facts as to domicile and residence;
(c) The date and place of birth;
(d) The birth certificate number, and place where the birth is registered, if registered;
(e) The name desired by petitioner;
(f) A clear and concise statement of the reasons for the desired change;
(g) A positive statement that the change is not sought for any illegal or fraudulent purpose, or to delay or hinder creditors.

§ 12-1633. Notice – Protest – Hearing Date – Continuance:

A. Notice of filing of the petition shall be given, in the manner provided for publication notice in civil cases, by publishing the same one time at least ten (10) days prior to the date set for hearing in some newspaper authorized by law to publish legal notices printed in the county where the petition is filed if there be any printed in such county, and if there be none, then in some such newspaper printed in this state of general circulation in that county. The notice shall contain the style and number of the case, the time, date and place where the same is to be heard, and that any person may file a written protest in the case prior to the date set for the hearing. The hearing date may be any day after completion of the publication. The court or judge, for cause, may continue the matter to a later date.

B. The court may waive the publication requirements of this section for good cause which includes, but is not limited to, cases of domestic violence in which the court proceedings are sealed.

§ 12-1634. Proof of Petition by Sworn Evidence:
The material allegations of the petition shall be sustained by sworn evidence, and the prayer of the petition shall be granted unless the court or judge finds that the change is sought for an illegal or fraudulent purpose, or that a material allegation in the petition is false.

§ 12-1635. Judgment – Authenticated Copy:
The judgment shall recite generally the material facts and the change granted, or if denied, the reasons for the denial. A certified or authenticated copy of such judgment may be filed in any office, where proper to do so, and shall be regarded as a judgment in a civil action.

§ 12-1636. Fraudulent Use of Judgment a Misdemeanor:
Any person who obtains a judgment under this act, willfully intending to use the same for any illegal or fraudulent purpose, or who thereafter willfully and intentionally uses such judgment, or a copy thereof, for any illegal or fraudulent

§ 12-1637. Exclusiveness of statutory remedy:
After May 19, 1953, no natural person in this state may change his or her name except as provided in Sections 1631 through 1635 of this title and Section 90.4[10-90.4] of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes and Section 1-321[63-1-321] of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, other than by marriage, as prescribed in Sections 5, 6, and 8 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or by decree of divorce, as prescribed in Section 121[43-121] of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or by adoption, as prescribed in Section 7505-3.1[10-7505-3.1] of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes. (Above effective June 8, 2006)

§ 12-1638 – 12-1640 repealed

Statues: Title 12 Civil Procedure, Chapter 39 Oklahoma Pleading Code

§ 12-2004. Process. Service by Publication

Service of summons upon a named defendant may be made by publication when it is stated in the petition, verified by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney, or in a separate affidavit by the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney filed with the court, that with due diligence service cannot be made upon the defendant by any other method.

Service pursuant to this paragraph shall be made by publication of a notice, signed by the court clerk, one (1) day a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper authorized by law to publish legal notices which is published in the county where the petition is filed. If no newspaper authorized by law to publish legal notices is published in such county, the notice shall be published in some such newspaper of general circulation which is published in an adjoining county. All named parties and their unknown successors who may be served by publication may be included in one notice. The notice shall state the court in which the petition is filed and the names of the plaintiff and the parties served by publication, and shall designate the parties whose unknown successors are being served. The notice shall also state that the named defendants and their unknown successors have been sued and must answer the petition on or before a time to be stated (which shall not be less than forty-one (41) days from the date of the first publication), or judgment, the nature of which shall be stated, will be rendered accordingly. If jurisdiction of the court is based on property, any real property subject to the jurisdiction of the court and any property or debts to be attached or garnished must be described in the notice.

Service by publication is complete when made in the manner and for the time prescribed in subparagraph c of this paragraph. Service by publication shall be proved by the affidavit of any person having knowledge of the publication. No default judgment may be entered on such service until proof of service by publication is filed with and approved by the court.

§ 12-1637 Changes of Name to be Effected by this Act – Exceptions

Other Name Change References:
No natural person in this state may change his or her name except as provided in Sections 1631 through 1635 of this title and Section 90.4 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes and Section 1-321 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, other than by marriage, as prescribed in Sections 5, 6, and 8 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or by decree of divorce, as prescribed in Section 121 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or by adoption, as prescribed in Section 7505-3.1 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Definitions of “Minors” – Calculation of Period of Minority:

Minors, except as otherwise provided by law, are persons under eighteen (18) years of age.

The period thus specified must be calculated from the first minute of the day on which a person is born to the same minute of the corresponding day completing the period of minority.  [Oklahoma Statutes, Title 15 Contracts, Chapter 1, §13.]


Inside Oklahoma Name Change Law