Name Change - Adult

Name Change - Adult

Generally, under Nebraska law, people can change their legal name through marriage, divorce/legal separation, or by filing a name change action in court. Changing a legal name through any of those processes requires that you do specific things. The process of filing a name change action involves filling out court forms, appearing before a judge, and it may also involve notifying third-parties. If you do not understand how to fill out the forms and follow the court procedures, you should talk to a lawyer. There may also be Self Help Centers in the courts where you could get help with the forms and court procedures.


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Getting Started
Getting Started

Information icon About My Name Change

I can file for a name change without an attorney. If I do not have an attorney, I must file all the needed forms/legal paperwork myself.

Eligibility for a Name Change:

  • I am at least 19 years old, have a court order saying I am emancipated (liberated or independent of my family) or am married; and
  • I have lived in the county where I want to file the petition for the past one (1) year.
  • I will be asked to pay the filing fee.  Nebraska Law determines filing fees.

About the Process:

  • I can change my first, middle and/or last name.
  • When I file the petition, I will be given my case number.  The case number must be used on all documents I file with the court.  I will be asked for my case number when I speak with the court staff about my case.
  • Courts may have additional local rules. The court staff will be able to clarify any extra steps that are required.

Publication of Notice of Name Change

  • Note, these steps are further explained in the "Step-by-Step" tab on this page. This is just an overview.
  • After filing my case, the law requires a Legal Notice of the Petition for Name Change be published.  A judge may waive the requirement to publish the Legal Notice of the Petition for a Name Change if the petitioner can provide proof the notice would cause danger to a petitioner.   
  • I must take my case information to the newspaper in the town where I live.
  • I will need to ask the newspaper to publish the legal notice one (1) time per week for four (4) straight weeks.
  • I will pay the newspaper to publish the notice.  The fee is different at different newspapers – each newspaper determines their own publication fee.  Finding out any costs for publication is up to me.
  • If required to publish and I do not file the legal notice, the court cannot go forward with the scheduled court date.
What I Need to Know
What I Need to Know

checklist icon For me to complete the forms and participate in the court hearing, I will need:


  • My identification (not required, but helpful).
  • My full name.
  • My email address.
  • My phone numbers.
  • My complete address, (house or apartment number, street name, city, state, and zip code).
  • My Social Security Number.
  • My date of birth.
  • The new name I want to use.  
  • The filing fee.  
How To File
How To File

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Use of forms without the assistance of an attorney could harm your legal rights. You may want to have an attorney review your completed forms before you file them with the court. These are basic forms and may not cover every situation.


Start here First Steps:


  1. Read the instructions for, and complete the Petition for Name Change (DC 6:9.1).
  2. Read the instructions for, and complete the Confidential Party Information (DC 6:9.4)
  3. Complete the Registration of Email Address for Self-Represented Litigant (DC 3:01).
  4. Read the instructions for, and complete the Legal Notice for Publication (DC 6:9.2)


If publishing the Legal Notice for Publication (DC 6:9.2) would put you or the party/parties for whom you have filed the name change in danger, you may complete and file these forms:


File icon Filing for your Name Change 


  1. Take completed forms (from steps 1-4) and filing fees to the Clerk of the District Court in your county.
    • The clerk will give you a receipt.  Your case number will be at the top of your receipt.
    • The clerk may give you a date for your hearing. If not, you'll need to call the judge's bailiff at the phone number given to you by the clerk to get a hearing date.
    • The hearing will be scheduled at least six (6) weeks from the date when you filed your Petition. This time is necessary to publish the Legal Notice once a week for four (4) weeks prior to the hearing.


Publication icon Publication of Legal Notice


  1. Complete the Legal Notice for Publication (DC 6:9.2). (If the judge waived publishing skip to #9)
    • Take the Legal Notice for Publication (DC 6:9.2) to the newspaper for publication in the “Legal Notices” section of the newspaper.
    •  The newspaper will give a proof of notice of publication to the court, or will provide it to you.
      • If you receive the proof, you must file it with the Clerk of the District Court's Office yourself. 
  2. You are required to mail a copy of the legal notice printed in the newspaper to all interested parties. These mailings must be done within five (5) days after the notice is published in the newspaper for the first time.

    (Interested Partya person or entity whose interests will be affected by the outcome of a case.  (Interested Party examples:  family member, creditors, governmental services, etc.)  
  3. You must let the court know you have mailed a copy of the legal notice printed in the newspaper to all interested parties. To do this, read the instructions and fill out and file the Affidavit of Mailing Published Notice (DC6:6.8)

    After you mail a copy of the legal notice to all interested parties, you must file the Affidavit of Mailing Published Notice (DC6:6.8) with the court within ten (10) days.
    • The Affidavit of Mailing Published Notice (DC6:6.8) must be notarized.  (Must sign the form in front of a notary.)
    • The Affidavit of Mailing Published Notice (DC6:6.8) must be filed with Clerk of the District Court's Office prior to your court hearing. 


checkmark calendar icon Before Your Hearing


  1. Prepare for the Hearing:
    • Read the instructions for, and complete (but do not sign) the Decree for Name Change Form (DC 6:9.3). Print at least one form - some courts may require a duplicate. Check with the District Court Clerk's Office prior to your hearing date.
    • Be prepared to tell the judge why you want a name change through testimony. Complete the Instructions for Adult Name Change Hearing (DC 6:9) to prepare for this testimony.
    • If you have not received proof the newspaper published your notice, you must call the clerk and ask if the newspaper has filed an affidavit stating Legal Notice was published.
  2. If you cannot attend your hearing and need the hearing continued, you must file a Continuance.  


Gavel icon On Your Court Day


  1. On the date of the scheduled hearing:
    • You must be present at the hearing.
    • You must give the bring at least one Decree for Name Change Form (DC 6:9.3) from Step 9 (above). Make sure you bring duplicates if you were told to.
    • During the Name Change Hearing, you will tell the judge why you want a name change. Use the Instructions for Adult Name Change Hearing (DC 6:9) from Step 9 to help you testify.
    • The judge will grant or deny the name change.
    • The judge will give the Decree for Name Change (DC 6:9.3) to a court staff member, or to you to file with the Clerk of the District Court's Office. If it is given to you, you must deliver the form immediately after the hearing.
    • If the Decree is not filed, the name change will not be complete. 
    • Note on copies of your decree: Many government agencies and businesses will require a certified copy of your name change decree for their records.  Once stamped and filed, the Clerk of the District Court's Office can provide you with certified copies. There may be a charge for additional copies.


Laws & Rules
Laws & Rules

Nebraska Laws and Nebraska Supreme Court Rules that apply:

To All Persons Representing Themselves:

  • You are responsible for all steps.
  • You are responsible for all information provided.
  • Court staff cannot give legal advice. If legal advice is needed: click Legal Self-Help Center.
  • Court staff cannot complete the forms for me or on my behalf.
  • Court staff cannot correct any of the information I include on the forms.
  • Write clearly. Check spelling. Forms that cannot be read or are incomplete may result in the court denying your name change or additional court hearings and possibly added expense.            
  • Courts may have additional local rules. The court staff will guide you through those extra steps.  You will be required to complete them.