People often change their names when they get married or divorced. Some people wish to change their names for a variety of other reasons as well. If you are a Massachusetts resident and wish to change your name, you will need to fill out a minimal amount of paperwork, submit documentation through the court system, and pay a filing fee to officially change your name.
Locate your birth certificate, marriage license or other court-approved name change documents. If you are changing your name for the first time for a reason other than marriage, you must provide your birth certificate with your name change petition. If you are changing your name due to marriage, you must provide your birth certificate and a copy of your marriage license. If you have previously changed your name for any reason, you must provide court-issued documentation of the name change with your current name change petition.
Obtain and complete a Massachusetts “Change of Name” form. You can obtain this form by visiting your local courthouse or downloading the form on the Massachusetts Court System website. Provide the requested personal information on the form, and state the new name that you wish to use. If you have changed you name in the past, you will need to explain the nature of the prior name change on the form.
File the completed “Change of Name” form with your county’s Probate and Family Court Department by providing a copy of the form and your supporting documentation to the clerk of courts at your county’s courthouse. The filing fee for the name change petition is $150.00 plus a $15.00 surcharge. Your petition will either be approved and signed by a justice of the Probate and Family Court or denied if the court finds that your name change is not in the best interest of the public.