Vermont Name Change Law

Name Change – General – Vermont

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 Vermont, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Vermont, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the Probate 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 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. Also, a non-consenting parent(s) may present objections which could persuade the Court not to grant the requested name change.

Must the child agree to the name change? Yes, if the minor is fourteen (14) years of age or older. The court may consider the wishes of a child under age fourteen (14) if the Court considers the child old enough to express their wishes regarding the Petition.

Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change? The parents, and legal guardian, if any, must 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.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must find compliance with the statutory requirements 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? Yes, after the Petition is filed Notice must be taken by Petitioner to a newspaper in the county and published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks.

Who must be provided notice of the Petition? The general public by way of published Notice of the Order of Name Change.

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 Vermont begins with the filing of the Petition in the Probate Court in which the Petitioner resides. The Petitioner must attach a copy of their birth certificate and, if married, a copy of their marriage license.

The Petitioner must then publish a Notice of the requested name change. The Notice is published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the County in which the Petitioner resides.

When proof of publication has been filed with the Court, the Court may grant the Petition. Once the Petition is granted, the Order of Name Change is filed with the Probate Court in the county in which the Petitioner resides.

The register of probate with whom the change of name is filed and recorded then send the certificates and a certified copy of the Order of Name Change to the supervisor of vital records registration. The supervisor of vital records registration then forwards the Order to the town clerk in the town where the person was born within the state, or wherein the original certificate is filed, with instructions to amend the original certificate and all copies thereof in accordance with the provisions of Title 18, chapter 101 of the Vermont Statutes. Such amended certificates shall have the words “Court Amended” stamped, written or typed at the top and shall show that the change of name was made pursuant to this chapter

Additional Information and Instructions:

Statutes:

Procedure; form:
A person of age and sound mind may change his or her name by making, signing, sealing and acknowledging before the judge of the probate court of the district in which the person resides, an instrument in the following form: (Form Omitted) [Vermont Statutes, Title 15 Domestic Relations, Chapter 13. Change of Name, § 811.]

Minor:
A minor may change his or her name by some person who, under chapter 111 of Title 14, may act for him or her, making, signing, sealing and acknowledging before the judge of the probate division of the superior court of the district in which such minor resides, an instrument in substantially the form provided in section 811 of this title. Such instrument shall be signed by the person so acting for such minor. However, the name of the minor, if over 14 years of age, shall not be changed without his or her consent given in court. [Vermont Statutes, Title 15 Domestic Relations, Chapter 13. Change of Name, § 812.]

Filing of instrument:
An instrument changing the name, by virtue of sections 811 and 812 of this title, shall be filed in the probate court of the district in which such person or minor resides. (Amended 1971, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.) [Vermont Statutes, Title 15 Domestic Relations, Chapter 13. Change of Name, § 813.]

Advertisement of change of name:
The court wherein an instrument changing the name is filed under this chapter shall cause notice thereof to be published for three weeks successively in a newspaper published in the county or in an adjoining county. However, such notice shall not be published when the change of name is in connection with the adoption of a minor under the age of eighteen years. The expense of a change of name and publication shall be borne by the person whose name is changed. [Vermont Statutes, Title 15 Domestic Relations, Chapter 13. Change of Name, § 815.]

Certificate of change; correction of birth and marriage records:
Whenever a person changes his or her name, as provided in this chapter, he or she shall provide the probate division of the superior court with a copy of his or her birth certificate and, if married, a copy of his or her civil marriage certificate, and a copy of the birth certificate of each minor child, if any. The register of probate with whom the change of name is filed and recorded shall transmit the certificates and a certified copy of such instrument of change of name to the supervisor of vital records registration. The supervisor of vital records registration shall forward such instrument of change of name to the town clerk in the town where the person was born within the state, or wherein the original certificate is filed, with instructions to amend the original certificate and all copies thereof in accordance with the provisions of chapter 101 of Title 18. Such amended certificates shall have the words “Court Amended” stamped, written, or typed at the top and shall show that the change of name was made pursuant to this chapter. (Amended 1979, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 22, 26.)  [Vermont Statutes, Title 15 Domestic Relations, Chapter 13. Change of Name, § 816.]

Other Name Change References:

Minors:
Persons of the age of 18 years shall be considered of age and until they attain that age, shall be minors. Whenever referred to in the laws of this state, a person who is an adult or who has attained majority shall be a resident or nonresident person of 18 years of age or more.[Vermont Statutes, Title 01 General Provisions, Subchapter III Rules of Construction, § 173.]


Inside Vermont Name Change Law