An application for name change is handled in the
Civil Division of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. You can check on the
status of an application for name change after it is filed by visiting
Virginia’s Judicial System case information.
Remember that staff in the clerk’s office cannot provide legal advice. If
you represent yourself, you will be expected to follow the same procedures as
an attorney. There are different requirements for changing the name of an
adult or a child that are too varied to be addressed in this web page.
Virginia’s Judicial System civil forms have
the following forms and instructions to help people petition the circuit court
for a name change:
Print the Supreme Court’s revisable PDF forms
using the "Print for Submission to Court" button at the top of the
form rather than using the print feature of your browser. The clerk’s
office cannot accept forms that have gray bars over printed material.
The clerk’s office will assign a case number and
receive the filing and service fees. Depending
upon the type of name change application, there may be additional procedural
steps that have to be taken before the court will consider the application.
If the court enters an order granting the name
change, the clerk’s office will send a certified copy to you or your
attorney. VA Code Section 8.01-217 requires the clerk
to record the order in the current deed book in the clerk’s office, index it in
both the old and new names, and transmit a certified copy of the order and the
application to the State Registrar of Vital Records and the Central Criminal
State Bar pamphlet Marriage
in Virginia is among the sources that address this topic.
Name changes are also granted in divorce suits.
Consult the attorney handling your divorce suit, if you have questions about
resuming your former name. VA Code Section 20-121.4
When you request a copy in person or online, you
will need identifying information such as the person’s old or new names, case
number, deed book and page number, or the instrument number. Clerk’s
staff can help you find documents when you visit the clerk’s office. For
name change orders entered after 1974, we may be able to help you find
identifying information by phone.