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Adult Name Change for Illinois Residents

Adult Name Change in Illinois is done in the Circuit Court. It’s available for anyone over 18 who has lived in Illinois for at least the past 6 months. EZ Name Change specializes in Legal Name Change. And, although everyone’s situation is unique, chances are that we’ve helped with similar ones many times before. Every single Adult Name Change is important, and personal. Get the information and assistance you deserve to get it done right.

Some types of Adult Name Changes are to fix ID name variations, getting a person’s name to be spelled uniformly, for Real ID, Social Security, Passport, Employment, or Insurance purposes. Other people want to get their name exactly right after marriage or divorce. Many Adults, young and old, have us help them get the name they always wanted and may have been using already in real life. Still others want to get rid of a name with bad associations, or they want to honor someone important in their life or family history. There are thousands of  reasons why Adults want to get a Legal Name Change. We help with every one.

Some types of Adult Name Changes are to fix ID name variations, getting a person’s name to be spelled uniformly, for Real ID, Social Security, Passport, Employment, or Insurance purposes. Other people want to get their name exactly right after marriage or divorce. Many Adults, young and old, have us help them get the name they always wanted and may have been using already in real life. Still others want to get rid of a name with bad associations, or they want to honor someone important in their life or family history. There are thousands of  reasons why Adults want to get a Legal Name Change. We help with every one.

Read up, gather information until you feel comfortable getting started. Then do it! Putting it off is why some people never get around to getting their name the way they really want it to be. The best time to start it was long ago. The second best time is right now. We’re Name Change Specialists. If you take 5 minutes to Start, we’ll get you the rest of the way through the process.

Adult Name Change in Illinois Information & Help

For Adult Name Change, prepare, and have notarized, a collection of Forms, called a Request for Name Change. File all that with the Civil filing clerk in the County Superior Court where you live. You must have the designated newspaper run a legal notice of the Name Change once a week, for 4 consecutive weeks. Once the proper Affidavit proving publication is filed with the court, a Hearing Date can be scheduled.

With EZ Name Change FULL SERVICE, we’ll take care of preparing and filing the Petition, and arranging your Advertising and Approval Hearing.  When things are done correctly, unless an objection is raised, the judge can approve Your Name Change at your Hearing. When the judge signs Your Final Order, you can start using your newly approved name, for every legal purpose.

You can get your Certified Copy(s) after your copy of the signed Court Order is sent to you. It’s effective immediately. As soon as you have your Certified Copies, you can start updating your ID and Official Records everywhere.  For more details about how to do a name change in Georgia, click here.

Social Security, DMV, Passports and other government and financial entities want you to show them a Certified Copy of your Final Order Changing Name of Adult when you go to update Your Name to get new ID and Official Records with Your New Legal Name.

It will take you 5-15 minutes to complete our Questionnaire. EZ Name Change takes 1 business day to review your information, properly prepare a complete Petition customized to Your Court’s local requirements and your particular Name Change. Adult Name Change in Illinois takes about 2-3 months to get your Court Order, from the day you start to the day you have your Court Order, upon approval. Technically, there’s between 6 and 12 weeks from the day your Petition is fully Filed to your Hearing date. That time frame can be a little longer, depending on the court’s schedule and yours.

Some courts are backed up due to budget cuts and crowded case loads. Your Hearing and decision can be delayed if your paperwork is incomplete, inaccurate or your background raises questions that haven’t been resolved by the Hearing date.

Adult Name Change court costs are $388, ranging down to $175 depending on the County where you live now. Total costs for Full Service Legal Name Change are $668 for Cook County (other Counties are less). That total includes all court, advertising, and EZ Full Service costs. Legal Name Change costs vary some, based on the Court and Newspaper charges for where you live now. 

If you do everything yourself, the total out-of-pocket cost is about $468. EZ Name Change is a Legal Name Change Specialist and charges a flat fee of $190, regardless of which County or State.  So, the Total Cost, including Full Service Name Change help, is typically $658.

Full Service includes preparation of all your court documents (completed correctly), all Advertising arranged and Proof of Publication provided, Court Filing and Advertising costs paid. Once everything is arranged, we provide you with a full REPORT, including copies of your Filed Petition. The REPORT also details the arrangements made and how you get your Certified Copies of the Final Order, upon approval.

Court filing fees are the biggest part of these costs ($175-$388), depending on the county where you live now).  Court Costs can be waived if you can’t afford to pay the Court fees (ask us about court fee waiver forms if you think you may qualify).

Required Advertising usually costs between $70-$176. The prices are charged by private newspapers, authorized through the court.  EZ Full Service uses the authorized newspaper and the most cost-effective process.

Certified Copies usually cost between $6 and $9 apiece, depending on your Court. They can only be gotten from the Circuit Court AFTER your judge has GRANTED the Petition and signed the Order For Name Change (Adult).

All Illinois Name Change Courts allow Adult Name Change Fee Waiver Requests. These Requests are for you if you can’t afford to pay the court fees and also be able to pay your regular monthly household living expenses. The court makes that decision, if you submit all the right Fee Waiver Court forms along with a properly completed set of Name Change Petition forms. You can’t get an Order for Waiver of Court Fees first, then file your Petition if your Application for Waiver of Court Fees is Approved.

EZ Name Change will complete all your Application for Waiver of Court Fee Form without any extra charges, if we are helping you with your Petition. You just need to let us know you want to apply for Court Fee Waivers after you complete the Questionnaire.

For Adult Name Change, any truthful reason that doesn’t cause deceit, harm or fraudulently deprive anyone of any right under the law is likely to be an acceptable one. See the Top 5 Reasons to Change Your Name.

To give you some relative perspective:

In 2004, a Missouri man succeeded in changing his name to “They”. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a name change to “1069” could be denied, but that “Ten Sixty-Nine” was acceptable (Application of Dengler, 1979); the North Dakota Supreme Court had denied the same request several years before (Petition of Dengler, 1976).

Courts won’t likely allow you to get a name that is intended to mislead (such as adopting a celebrity’s name to share that name with the celebrity), that is intentionally confusing, or that incites violence. Nor can one likely expect approval for requesting, as a name, a racial slur, a threat, or an obscenity. You get the picture.

The Illinois Request for Name Change documents don’t require that you state a written Reason for your Request.

Yes, but it’s relatively rare.

To give you some relative perspective:

If your documents are incomplete or substantially incorrect, or if you don’t file in the correct court, don’t expect approval. If you have not lived continuously in Illinois for 6 months. For those of you who have been convicted of or placed on probation for a crime which requires you to register as a sex offender In Illinois or any other state or for identity theft or aggravated identity theft in Illinois or any other state and you have not been pardoned, the Court cannot give you a name change.  If you have been convicted of a felony and have not been pardoned or you finished your sentence less than 10 years ago. If the judge thinks your name change will cause harm or injury, you will likely be denied.. The Court will dismiss your case if you are required to attend, but don’t go.

The Illinois Name Change laws (ILCS 5/21-101) will tell you all the rules. ILCS 21-101 (a) is especially important to anyone with unresolved criminal history problems. For more information about the possibility of getting turned down, see “Can My Name Change Be Denied?”

Your Petition approval should happen if you follow all the Name Change rules, use all the right forms and the correct court, and if you aren’t trying to get away with something or cause harm . Of course, your judge will always be the one to make that decision. And, you do actually have to Start Yours…to make your Name Change a reality!


If you want a new ID or Official Records updated to get your name right, you will probably need a court order to do it. For a small change to Your Name with Social Security, School, Driver’s License, or Passport, just ask them to do it and see if they will. If they tell you to get a court order, then you need a “Legal Name Change”. At the end of the court order process, you’ll get an Order for Name Change, upon approval. A Certified Copy of your Order is a Name Change Document honored everywhere, including for Real ID, Passports and Professional Licenses.

Even if you want just one letter changed, or even if you just want your first name changed around with your middle name…those are all Legal Name Changes. When you Request a Change of Name, you can propose changing your name just a little, or completely. The Reason that requires a Court Order is not how much of a change you want. It’s whether you want to require someone to honor the change you want. Some places won’t do it unless you bring them a properly Certified order from an Illinois Circuit Court.

With a Court Order, or Order for Name Change (which is a type of court order), all the primary government agencies will issue you a new ID when you give them an Order for Name Change. They will ask you to hand them a Certified Copy, which you will get at the end of this process upon approval of a judge. All 50 states honor the Certified, Illinois Order for Name Change. The Federal Government, and all other governments honor it too.


A LOT of people are born with one name, but grow up using another name. Since 9/11, that situation has become a problem Licensing, Registration, Security, Employment and other considerations. Clean up, and clear up those problems with a Request for Name Change. The successful end of that process puts a Certified Court Order in your hands. You must do it correctly. Then just take your Order for Name Change  to whomever is flagging you…and the problem will end.

This kind of problem didn’t start with 9/11. Americans have always been having name changes or variations when growing up. The 38th President of the United States was born Leslie Lynch King. You’ve never heard of President King though. That’s because he legally changed his name to Gerald Ford as an adult. President Gerald Ford was born as Leslie Lynch King Jr, grew up as Gerald Ford, and then legally changed his name to Gerald Ford before he entered politics. The rest is history.

With Full Service, your legal name change will take about 2-3 months and about $658 (more in some counties). The Order For Name Change fixes the problem. Legally and permanently.

Can I take my Maiden Name back if I’m still married?

Yes. Many women and some men want to retake their Maiden Name without divorce. People commonly Restore a Maiden Name for Professional Purposes. If your spouse has died, you may want your birth name back. You may prefer the independence of having your own (not a shared) last name. There are many good reasons for taking your maiden name back. Divorce IS NOT a requirement to retake a Maiden, or any other formerly held legal name.

A Request for Name Change will accomplish your desired Maiden Name Change, upon approval by a judge, and without a divorce. You don’t need spousal approval in Illinois. Just correctly prepare your Petition, process it properly, comply with the Illinois Name Change laws and you should be fine.

After divorce, are Name Change costs and time frames the same as any other Name Change?

If your divorce was done in Illinois Court, and it’s final, then you can retake your Maiden Name with a new Order from your divorce court. That process is shorter and costs less than the regular Name Change Petition process requires. Check out this additional information to get yours Started, or for more specific information about Maiden Name Change After Divorce

After I get married, can I Change My Name if I change my mind about my Married Name?

Yes! You may have taken your spouse’s last name and now want your maiden last name back. Or, you may have kept your maiden name and now want to take your spouse’s last name or a combination of your name. Those situations happen all the time and can be fixed exactly the way you want through the Request for Name Change process. Bottom line….you can absolutely Change Your Name After Marriage, legally, to exactly the one you want it to be, regardless of the choice you made at the time you filled out the marriage license.

This is a common problem. Getting a Name Change Document is the solution.

Unfortunately it can cause delays, aggravation, and other trouble in different financial, travel, security, employment and other situations. Fortunately, Legal Name Change can clear all that up fully.

If you gather up all the different variations, and correctly include them within a Request for Name Change, you can get an Order for Name Change to the 1 Name you want on everything. An Order for Name Change is an official Name Change Document.

It should be your goal to have one single Legal Name. You can have pet names, nicknames, stage names, or any sort of informal names you want. But, in the 21st Century, you should choose one name you want officially. Then, get a Court Order and change over your ID and other Official Records. That’s the way to minimize any potential for disruption or delay, due to your Name, as you go about your life. Some Official Records don’t need to be changed, such as Citizenship Certificates or Birth Certificates, Diplomas, etc. Those things can remain in your “old or former” name without confusion. But your Social Security, Driver’s License, Passport, Main Bank and Professional Licensing should all be in your one, legal name.

Take your Certified Order for Name Change and go change all your important records. Take it promptly to each government, financial and every other office where your ID and Official Records are kept, and have your chosen Legal Name uniformly reflected in all those places. Be sure to have your Order done correctly. Then, it works. It won’t be long until that name is properly reflected on your bills, tax filings, memberships, credit cards, and so on. That’s when your name will make everyone frown less and smile more.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

There are many pages, with information about different types of Name Change and answers to different frequently asked questions. Look around. For specific personalized answers, give us a call!

EZ Name Change Illinois

Providing Services in All 102 Illinois Counties

Only EZ Name Change Specializes in Legal Name Change for Illinois residents of 6 months or longer. We are Name Change Specialists. We have Full Service Name Change help available in all of Illinois’ 102 Counties.