Name Change – General – Oregon
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 Oregon, but does include basic and other provisions.
Name Change Action Allowed: In Oregon, an adult and a number of related adults and their minor children may change their names by filing an action in the Probate or Circuit 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 the names of members of his or her family? 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.
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? The parents, and legal guardian, if any, must be given notice of the Petition file written consent to the name change or proof of service must be filed with the court showing that the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian were served with summons and a copy of the petition at least 30 days prior to the date set for the hearing. The summons must advise the parent or legal guardian of the date and time set for the hearing.
Following receipt of the parent’s response or upon expiration of the time for their response, the probate court will 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. But, even if a parent or legal guardian object to the name change, the court may still grant the petition if it finds that the name change is in the best interest of the minor.
Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find compliance with the requirements of the statute and that the requested change of name is consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.
Is Publication of a Notice Required? No. Notice of the filing of the petition with a statement of the relief requested and the date of hearing must be posted in the courthouse as a way of giving public notice of the requested name change. Also, the decree granting the name change must be posted in like manner.
Who must be provided notice of the Petition and Decree? The general public by way of posting in the courthouse.
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.
The process for obtaining a name change in the State of Oregon begins with the filing of a Petition with the Probate or 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, and the reasons for the requested change of name.
After the Petition is filed and the required fee is paid, the Petitioner selects a date not less than 14 days from the date the Petition is filed and this date is used in the public notice to establish when objections based on the public posting of the Notice must be received by the Court. The Notice is then posted in the Courthouse – generally on a bulletin available for that purpose. If objections are filed, the Court may set the matter for a hearing.
If no objections are filed, the Court will grant the requested change of name unless the Court finds that the requested relief is not in the interest ofd the public. The Petitioner is then required to publicly post the decree granting the name change. The Petitioner is NOT authorized to assume the new name until this last posting is accomplished.
Additional Information and Instructions:
Jurisdiction; grounds: Application for change of name of a person may be heard and determined by the probate court or, if the circuit court is not the probate court, the circuit court if its jurisdiction has been extended to include this section pursuant to ORS 3.275 of the county in which the person resides. The change of name shall be granted by the court unless the court finds that the change is not consistent with the public interest. [Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 33 Special Proceedings – Change of Name. Section 33.410.]
Notice of application and decree; Notice for change of name of minor children:
(1) Before entering a judgment for a change of name, except as provided in ORS 109.360, the court shall require public notice of the application to be given, that all persons may show cause why the same should not be granted. The court shall also require public notice to be given of the change after the entry of the judgment.
(2) Before entering a judgment for a change of name in the case of a minor child the court shall require that, in addition to the notice required under subsection (1) of this section, written notice be given to the parents of the child, both custodial and noncustodial, and to any legal guardian of the child.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, notice of an application for the change of name of a minor child need not be given to a parent of the child if the other parent of the child files a verified statement in the change of name proceeding that asserts that the minor child has not resided with the other parent and that the other parent has not contributed or tried to contribute to the support of the child.
[Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 33 Special Proceedings – Change of Name. Section 33.420.]
Name of child on birth certificate, how changed; court conference with child;
(1) In the case of a change, by court order, of the name of the parents of any minor child, if the child’s record of live birth is on file in this state, the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics, upon receipt of a certified copy of the court order changing the name, together with the information required to locate the original record of live birth, shall prepare a new record of live birth for the child in the new name of the parents of the child. The name of the parents as so changed shall be set forth in a new certified copy of the record of live birth, in place of their original name.
(2) The evidence upon which the new record of live birth was made, and the original record of live birth, shall be sealed and filed by the State Registrar of the Center for Health Statistics, and may be opened only upon demand of the person whose name was changed, if of legal age, or by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(3) When a change of name by parents will affect the name of their child under subsection (1) of this section, the court, on its own motion or on request of a child of the parents, may take testimony from or confer with the child and may exclude from the conference the parents and other persons if the court finds that such action would be in the best interests of the child. However, the court shall permit an attorney for the parents to attend the conference, and the conference shall be reported. If the court finds that a change of name would not be in the best interests of the child, the court may provide in the order changing the name of the parents that such change of name shall not affect the child, and a new record of live birth shall not be prepared for the child. [Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 33 Special Proceedings – Change of Name. Section 33.430.]
Application by minor child; court conference: When a minor child applies for a change of name under ORS 33.410, the court may, upon its own motion, confer with the child and may exclude from the conference the parents and other persons if the court finds that such action would be in the best interests of the child. However, the court shall permit an attorney for the child to attend the conference, and the conference shall be reported. [Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 33 Special Proceedings – Change of Name. Section 33.440.]
Other Name Change References:
Age of majority:
Except as provided in ORS 109.520, in this state any person shall be deemed to have arrived at majority at the age of 18 years, and thereafter shall have control of their own actions and business of the person, have all the rights and be subject to all the liabilities of a citizen of full age. [Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 33 Special Proceedings – Change of Name. Section 109.510.]