Name Change Wisconsin

name change in wiscosin

Whether it is due to personal factors like a marriage or divorce, or just because you don’t like the name your parents gave you at birth, you’ve decided it’s time to get a new one. Name change in Wisconsin through the correct procedures are acknowledged, and each county has its procedure.

This article describes how to:

  • Choose the best procedure for you.
  • Determine which documents need to be filed.
  • Use your new name as of now.

To begin with, to change your name in Wisconsin, you must reside there. Either adolescents or adults may ask to have their names changed, however, the procedure varies a little based on the life change that is involved.

It will be necessary to hold a hearing to petition the court for name changes, for instance, for those not connected to marriage or divorce. Additionally, you must publish a notice of it in a neighborhood newspaper.

Name Modification after Marriage

The majority of name changes take place after marriage, as they have for millennia. You can adopt your spouse’s last name, hyphenate your two present last names, or come up with a completely new one. 

You are in charge! Although it will be official once it appears on your marriage license, your new name after the ceremonies will.

When a person changes their name due to marriage, Wisconsin demands a certified copy of the marriage license as verification. After the ceremony, you can obtain a certified copy of your marriage license from any Wisconsin Register of Deeds office.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is another source because their agency has birth, death, marriage, and divorce records going back to October 1907 up to the present.

Purchase numerous certified copies of the marriage certificate after the ceremony is over. To formally alter your name on file, banks, insurance agencies, and maybe even your financial advisor will want documents.

Change of name during divorce

Choosing to retain your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s last name after a divorce might be challenging. To ensure that their children have the same last name as them or to keep the name on their professional licenses, parents may choose to retain their married last name. Some people might choose to drop their last name and divorce their marriage.

The good news is that renaming yourself after a divorce is one of the more superficial aspects of the sometimes challenging divorce process. According to Wisconsin law, a judge who grants a divorce must permit either spouse to resume using their old last name.

There are no restrictions other than the need that it be a previous, legal name; it may be a maiden name, a previous name, or a previous spouse’s last name. Make sure to request this modification from the court so that it is included in the divorce decree.

Modest Name Changes

A minor must go through a somewhat different procedure to change their name. If you are under 14, you must have at least one parent sign the paperwork for your name change. If you are older than 14, you must complete a different form that is the same as the one used by adults.

Both procedures call for completing additional paperwork demands, including:

  • Form for Notice and Order for Hearing on Name Changes
  • Form for Order for Name Change
  • Any paperwork needed by your county

Afterward, you must:

  • Publicize hearing notice and decision in a local publication.
  • Participate in the name-change hearing.
  • When the hearing is over, submit the Order for Name Change.

Applications for Name Changes

Legal procedures are involved in marriage and divorce. That makes changing your name at the same time simple. However, in some circumstances, you will have to file a court petition to get a name change order.

Anyone who lives in Wisconsin may submit a petition to change their name. so takes a little while to submit the petition, and you must do so at your local circuit court.

To expect:

  • Complete a petition form and deliver it to the district court.
  • Obtain a date for the petition’s court hearing.
  • Publish a notice of your name change petition once a week for three weeks in a local newspaper, and provide the court with proof of publication.
  • Bring your birth certificate to the hearing and appear.

If “no substantial cause is established to the contrary,” the court may order that your name be changed. That’s legalese meaning “unless there’s a reason not to decree the name change.”

Copies of the court’s decision to change the name should be obtained from the court clerk once it has been made. If you need to update your birth certificate, Social Security card, or driver’s license, use these copies.

Restrictions on Changing Your Name

In Wisconsin, licensed professionals (such as physicians, nurses, and attorneys) are subject to specific limitations. For example, they cannot alter their names if doing so would be unjust to another practitioner or would mislead the public. A registered sex offender is also prohibited from renaming themselves.

Any name change requested for dishonest or unlawful reasons will also be unsuccessful. It’s doubtful that you will get your name changed to Aaron Rodgers, for instance.

File the Required Documentation With Governmental Bodies

A court order, divorce decree, or marriage certificate is evidence that your name has changed. But you’ll need an ID that is more widely recognized.

First, get in touch with the Social Security office in your area and get your card updated. Then, you can modify your driver’s license or identity card by going to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Then, you may amend your birth certificate, automobile title documents, and voter registration.

Start utilizing your new name.

Inform your coworkers, neighbors, relatives, and friends about your new name. They will be able to make your name change known and update their records as a result.

Additionally, you should update your name with your bank, credit card provider, insurance provider, and utility company. Remember to update your social media and email accounts.

Find the Wisconsin Forms You Need

Name changes involve a procedure. Using the Wisconsin name change paperwork from US Legal might help remove some of the uncertainty from the procedure.


It will be necessary to hold a hearing to petition the court for name changes, for instance, for those not connected to marriage or divorce. Additionally, you must publish notice of the name change in a neighborhood newspaper.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you change your name legally in Wisconsin?

Submit the Name Change Petition, Notice and Order for Name Change Hearing, and Order for Name Change forms, if necessary (depending on your county’s requirements). The Clerk of Court in the county where you are filing your lawsuit must receive the original paperwork and any necessary copies, together with the filing fee.

How much does it cost to legally change your name in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Statutes 786.36 and 786.37 provide a general description of the name change procedure. The filing fee for a Name Change action is $164.50. You cannot receive legal counsel from the Clerk of Courts.

How long does it take to change your name in WI?

StateTime to Complete
VT2-4 weeks
WA2-8 weeks
WI2-8 weeks
WV2-8 weeks


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