Main Article on Name/Gender Change
Updated April 2021: Read my article on Name/Gender Change (it has been viewed over 13,00 times) and is regularly updated.
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A Name Change is one of the most requested legal services we provide for clients. If you are considering legally changing your name we are here to help you.
We have extensive experience successfully assisting clients through this process.
Lauro Law's Proven Name Change Process*
Following our initial contact and discussion:
- Lauro Law will send you our Fee Agreement and questionnaires
- You will need to review and sign the Fee Agreement and return with your payment (This is required prior to Lauro Law beginning work on your Name Change)
- You will need to complete, sign and return the questionnaires (This is necessary to obtain information needed to complete your court documents)
- We will develop all court required documents - petition, affidavit and order and send you the appropriate court documents that need your signature
- You will need to review these documents and sign the affidavit in the presence of a notary public and have it notarized. Lauro Law can provide this service at no additional cost.
- You will need to return these documents
- We will review, finalize, and file the appropriate court documents
- The court will then review all documents. The court may request additional or clarifying information.** If this is necessary, Lauro Law will work with you to provide the court with the information requested and update court documents.
- When the court approves the name change they will send Lauro Law certified copies of your name change court order
- We will produce and send you with an Individualized Detailed Roadmap along with the certified copies of your name change court order. The Roadmap is for you to use to get all your identity documents changed
Lauro Law, PLLC can assist you if you need help with having these documents updated, however there may be additional fees and costs required.
* Procedure may change or courts may change their requirements without notice.
** If the court requires a hearing on your name change, additional costs will be required for Lauro Law, PLLC to continue working with you on this matter. Our standard hourly rate will apply. Hearings are not normally required on name changes, however, it is at the discretion of the court.
Name Change Statutes
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Title 9 - Family Law
Subtitle 1 - General Provisions
Chatper 2 - Change of Name
9-2-101. Name Change -- Procedure.
Link to Statute: Title 9 - Family Law (LexisNexis website for Arkansas Code)
Text of Statute:
(a) Upon the application of any person within the jurisdiction of the court, the circuit court shall have power, upon good reasons shown, to alter or change the name of the person.
(b) When application is made to the court under this section, it shall be by petition in writing embodying the reasons for the application.
(c) (1) When allowed, the petition shall by order of the court be spread upon the record, together with the decree of the court.
(2) An appropriate order, as prescribed in this subsection, may be made by a circuit judge in vacation. This order shall have the same force and effect as if made at term time.
Name Change - Post Procedures
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After changing your name, you are required to notify Driver's Services. Note, you are NOT required to actually obtain a new driver's license within 10 days. You are only required to NOTIFY Driver's Services in writing of your name change. Because individuals who are transgender and who are changing their name may face discrimination or unpredictable results when attempting to change the name and/or gender marker on their driver's license, they are advised to seek legal counsel.
Title 27 - Transportation
Subtitle 2 - Motor Vehicle Registration And Licensing
Chapter 16 - Driver's Licenses Generally
Subchapter 5 - Administration Generally
27-16-506. Notice of change of address or name.
Link to Statute: Title 27 - Transportation (LexisNexis website for Arkansas Code)
Text of Statute:
Whenever any person after applying for or receiving a driver's license shall move from the address named in such application or in the license issued to him or her or when the name of a licensee is changed by marriage or otherwise, such person shall within ten (10) days thereafter notify the Office of Driver Services in writing of his or her old and new addresses or of his or her former and new names and of the number of any license then held by him or her.
An application submitted by a licensee to change the licensee's name on the licensee's driver's license must be accompanied by the original or a certified copy of one (1) of the following official documents that provides evidence of the change of the licensee's name:
A recorded marriage license;
A court order;
A divorce decree; or
Any other document, including a document issued by the Department of Homeland Security, that is deemed to be satisfactory by the office as evidence that the name change is in accordance with state and federal laws.
Petitions for a person who is indigent.
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Rule 72. Suits in Forma Pauperis.
In Forma Pauperis refers to the right of an individual to have access to our court system, regardless of income level. A Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis is a request to the court, that due to your poverty, you should not have to pay the filing fee or service costs. Basically, it is a Fee Waiver.Note that this is a sworn statement to the court, and any false or misleading information could be punishable by law. You should only make this request to the court if you do not have the money to pay the filing fee. This will usually mean that you are unemployed and have no other means of income.
Link to Statute: In Forma Pauperis (IFP)
Text of Statute:
(a) Every indigent person who shall have a cause of action against another may petition the court in which the action is pending, or in which it is intended to be brought, for leave to prosecute the suit in forma pauperis.
(b) All such petitions shall be accompanied by an assertion of indigency, verified by a supporting affidavit. The affidavit form will be provided by the court for such purposes. Any petition not in compliance with this provision will be returned to the petitioner. There shall be attached to the petition a copy of the complaint or proposed complaint.
(c) The court to which such petition is presented, if satisfied of the facts alleged that the petitioner has a colorable cause of action, may by order allow him to prosecute his suit in forma pauperis. Every person so permitted to proceed in forma pauperis may prosecute his suit without paying any fees to the officers of the court, and shall not be prevented from prosecuting the same by reason of his being liable for the costs of a former suit brought by him against the same defendant.
(d) No person shall be permitted to prosecute any action of slander, libel or malicious prosecution in forma pauperis.