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LGBTQ+ Resources

Introduction

Section 9-2-101 of the Arkansas Code states that, upon good reason shown, the circuit court has the power to alter or change the name of a person. Therefore, you should prepare a reason for the courts to consider as a valid circumstance for a change of name (e.g. preferred common usage, religious reasons). 

Step 1: Cover Sheet

You will need to prepare a cover sheet to accompany the request to change your name. 

Include the following information: 

  • County
  • Filing Date
  • Plaintiff (your name)
  • Address 
  • Select “No” for “Jury Trial Requested”
  • Select “(OM)” for “Type of Case”
  • Select “Original” for “Manner of Filing”

Step 2: Petition for Name Change

Step 3: Notarize Your Petition

After completing the petition, bring the document to a Notary Public to have it notarized. Notarial services are often available at bank branches and various government agencies (a small service charge may be required). Alternatively, a notary can be found in your area by conducting a search of the Secretary of State’s database.

Step 4: Order for Name Change

An Order for Name Change is a document that must be presented to a judge along with the cover sheet and the petition to change your name. The order form will be filled out similarly to the petition form in that it will show your current name and the proposed new name.

Step 5: Take Forms to Circuit Court Clerk's Office

After carefully examining the aforementioned documents to ensure that your information was inputted correctly, make three (3) copies of both the cover sheet and the petition before delivering them, along with the Order for Name Change and all original documents, to a local Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

Step 6: Pay the Processing Fee

The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will require a processing fee of around $140 to $195. An exact amount can be determined by contacting the Clerk’s Office in the county where you live. Payment will be accepted in cash or by check/money order made payable to “[County Name] County Circuit Court Clerk.”

The name change process may be completed upon acceptance of the processing fee, though you may need to wait longer if no judge is available or if an additional hearing is required to settle any issues. In these instances, the Clerk will notify you of this information and provide you with the necessary instructions to schedule an additional hearing.