How do I change my name?

Changing your name in the state of Louisiana

If you would like to legally change your name so that your driver’s license and other documents reflect your preferred name, the very first step is to file a petition with the Clerk of Court. In Louisiana, every name change is processed through the parish in which the petitioner resides. The Clerk of Court is located on Loyola Avenue.

After you complete paperwork, show your identification, and pay a petition fee, The Clerk of Court will then send your petition to a district attorney and a judge for review. Most judges will grant a name change, based on this paperwork and without a meeting, so long as they are convinced that the petitioner is not trying to evade debts or the police or commit fraud. In rare cases, judges have required a petitioner to prove that they have undergone medical procedures that show an intention to live permanently in the gender associated with the name desired.

Once you are successfully granted your name change, you can then use that document to get your name changed on your birth certificate, university documents, driver’s license, and other official documents. Be sure to get certified copies of your official name change so that you can submit them to various other administrators. Please review the following requirements and steps to have your name changed before heading to the Orleans Parish Clerk of Court.

  1. In order to have your name changed in Orleans Parish, you will need to be a resident in the state Louisiana for at least six months and be 18 years of age or older. You must also intend to continue living in Louisiana.
  2. If you meet these requirements, you will need $502.00 to be paid to The Clerk of Court for the name change filing fee ($477) and building fund fee ($25). Please call this number to check with the court for any updates on fees: 504-407-0000. This is non-refundable.
  3. You must also have a primary legal document or two secondary legal documents to bring with you to the Clerk of Court. Click here for info on identification requirements.
  4. With the proper identification and money (cash or money order) in hand, you can then go to the Clerk of Court Self-Help Desk at 421 Loyola Avenue (Room 401 on the 4th Floor) to fill out a Name Change Petition. They are open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-3pm.
  5. You will then go to room 402, on the same floor, and receive a file and case number. Your petition will be delivered, by the Clerk of Court, to the attorney district of Orleans Parish. After they conduct a background check (felons are not allowed to change names) they will waive your petition on to a judge who is then able to approve your petition. Depending on your reason for petitioning for a name change a hearing before the judge reviewing your petition may be necessary. This hearing can take place in court or in the judge’s chambers. At the time you present your completed name change form to the Clerk of the Court ask the clerk if a hearing is necessary for you. Though it is unlikely, if a hearing is necessary the clerk will provide you with a date and time that your hearing will take place.
  6. Upon approval from the district attorney and a judge, the parish clerk will notify that your certificate is ready for pick-up. The name change decree is the actual certificate that will allow you to change your name at any private or public institution. The final judgment will be recorded in the records of the parish and your new name will be your true and legal name.
  7. It is very important that you get several certified copies of the final judgment made at this time because you will need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security Administration of your name change.

Orleans Parish Courthouse
Civil Courts Building
421 Loyola Avenue
Clerk of Court Self-Help Desk: Room 401
Clerk of Court: Room 402
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112-1198

Changing Your Name on Your Birth Certificate

To change the name on your birth certificate, you will need to work with the Vital Records Department in the state in which where you were born. If you were born in Louisiana you must first follow the steps listed in the previous section to legally change your name. Once your name is legally changed through the Clerk of Court, you can then petition to have the name changed on your birth certificate. Then, mail the following to the Vital Records Registry:

  1. Certified copy of the Petition for Name Change (Obtained from Clerk of Court)
  2. Certified copy of the Judgment from the proper Louisiana district court (Obtained from Clerk of Court)
  3. Photocopy of the District Attorney’s signed answer (Obtained from Clerk of Court)
  4. Photocopy of your birth certificate
  5. Photocopy of your valid driver’s license
  6. Check or money order for $27.50 (total cost of the amendment)

Vital Records Registry
Attn: Amendments Department
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
Once Vital Records receives the required documents and fees, a case manager will be assigned to review your request. If you have any questions, contact: Robin A. Lewis, Services Manager at the Vital Records Registry: (504) 593-5171

Thank you to the Office of Gender & Sexuality at Tulane University for compiling this information ©2013

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