How to Change Your Name in California
Although Californians have the right to simply use any name they wish, obtaining a driver's license, Social Security card, or other government-issued document with a new name now requires a court-ordered name change. California law (California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §§ 1275 et seq.) provides a fairly simple procedure for adults to obtain a court-ordered name change for themselves or their children.
Victims or survivors of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault may be eligible to obtain a confidential name change through California’s Safe at Home Program. If you require a confidential name change, please visit California’s Safe at Home program at www.sos.ca.gov/safeathome before filing any documents with the court. You may also contact the program by calling (877) 322-5227 or by emailing email@example.com.
If you are restoring your name after a dissolution of marriage, you may complete an Ex Parte Application for Restoration of Former Name after Entry of Judgment and Order (FL-395), and file it at the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse at 3341 Power Inn Road.
If you need hands-on assistance completing the papers, the Civil Self-Help Center (CSHC) holds a Name Change Workshop every Monday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. A video of that workshop is available on our website. Both the live workshop and the video workshop are free of charge. If you require assistance with the process to change your name and gender, or if you are a legal guardian (not a parent) attempting to change the name of a minor, the CSHC can help you via appointment. For more information on the CSHC and our appointment setting process, see www.saclaw.org/pages/civil-self-help-center.aspx.
The Judicial Council forms commonly used in this procedure are:
In addition, a customizable template for a commonly used non-Judicial Council form may be downloaded from this link:
Click below to download this guide, with step-by-step instructions and sample forms: