Maryland Name Change Laws

Rule 15-901. Action for change of name.

(a) Applicability.- This Rule applies to actions for change of name other than in connection with an adoption or divorce.

(b) Venue.- An action for change of name shall be brought in the county where the person whose name is sought to be changed resides.

(c) Petition.- (1) Contents.- The action for change of name shall be commenced by filing a petition captioned "In the Matter of . . ." [stating the name of the person whose name is sought to be changed] "for change of name to . . ." [stating the change of name desired]. The petition shall be under oath and shall contain at least the following information; (A) the name, address, and date and place of birth of the person whose name is sought to be; (B) whether the person whose name is sought to be changed has ever been known by any other name and, if so, the name or names and the circumstances under which they were used; (C) the change of name desired; (D) all reasons for the requested change; (E) a certification that the petitioner is not requesting the name change for any illegal or fraudulent purpose; and (F) if the person whose name is sought to be changed is a minor, the names and addresses of that person's parents and any guardian or custodian. (2) Documents to be attached to petition.- The petitioner shall attach to the petition a copy of a birth certificate or other documentary evidence from which the court can find that the current name of the person whose name is sought to be changed is as alleged.

(d) Service of petition - When required.- If the person whose name is sought to be changed is a minor, a copy of the petition, any attachments, and the notice issued pursuant to section (e) of this Rule shall be served upon that person's parents and any guardian or custodian in the manner provided by Rule 2-121. When proof is made by affidavit that good faith efforts to serve a parent, guardian, or custodian pursuant to Rule 2-121 (a) have not succeeded and that Rule 2-121 (b) is inapplicable or that service pursuant to that Rule is impracticable, the court may order that service may be made by (1) the publication required by subsection (e)(2) of this Rule and (2) mailing a copy of the petition, any attachments, and notice by first class mail to the last known address of the parent, guardian, or custodian to be served.

(e) Notice.- (1) Issued by clerk.- Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk shall sign and issue a notice that (A) includes the caption of the action, (B) describes the substance of the petition and the relief sought, and (C) states the latest date by which an objection to the petition may be filed. (2) Publication.- Unless the court on motion of the petitioner orders otherwise, the notice shall be published one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least fifteen days before the date specified in the notice for filing an objection to the petition. The petitioner shall thereafter file a certificate of publication.

(f) Objection to petition.- Any person may file an objection to the petition. The objection shall be filed within the time specified in the notice and shall be supported by an affidavit which sets forth the reasons for the objection. The affidavit shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth facts that would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated in the affidavit. The objection and affidavit shall be served upon the petitioner in accordance with Rule 1-321. The petitioner may file a response within 15 days after being served with the objection and affidavit. A person desiring a hearing shall so request in the objection or response under the heading "Request for Hearing."

(g) Action by court.- After the time for filing objections and responses has expired, the court may hold a hearing or may rule on the petition without a hearing and shall enter an appropriate order, except that the court shall not deny the petition without a hearing if one was requested by the petitioner.

Maryland Code Regarding Amending Birth Certificates

Md. Health-Gen. I Code Ann., § 4-214 (Lexis 1995)

§ 4-214. Amendments to vital records.

(a) When permitted.- A certificate or record registered under this subtitle may be amended only in accordance with this subtitle and any rules and regulations that the Secretary adopts to protect the integrity and accuracy of vital records.

(b) Certification to Secretary; records of amendments.-

(1) If any certificate of birth, death, or fetal death is amended, the facts shall be certified to the Secretary and entered on the original certificate with the date of the amendment, over the signature or initials of a designee of the Secretary and with a line drawn through the original data.

(2) All amendments may be stored on electronic media approved by the Secretary.

(3) All copies of certificates that are amended shall contain a notation that an amendment has been made.

(4) A record shall be maintained which identifies the evidence upon which the amendment was based, the date of the amendment, and the identity of the person making the amendment.

(5) Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating the sex of an individual born in this State has been changed by surgical procedure and whether such individual's name has been changed, the Secretary shall amend the certificate of birth of the individual as prescribed by regulation.

(6) When an informant does not submit the minimum documentation required in the regulations for amending a vital record or when the Secretary has cause to question the validity or adequacy of the applicant's sworn statements or the documentary evidence, and if the deficiencies are not corrected, the Secretary shall not amend the vital record and shall advise the applicant of the reason for this action and shall further advise the applicant of the right of appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

(7) Any amendments to death certificates requested beyond 3 years or more after the death shall require a court order.

(c) Name change.-

(1) On receipt of a court order that changes the name of an individual who was born in this State and on request of the individual or a parent, guardian, or legal representative of the individual, the Secretary shall amend the certificate of birth to reflect the new name.

(2) The Department may change the name on a birth certificate once without a court order if, within 12 months after the birth, the Department receives from both parents of a child:

(i) A written request for the change of name; and

(ii) An affidavit that has been sworn before a notary public of this State and states that they are the parents of the child and are making this request of their own free will.

[An. Code 1957, art. 43, § 19; 1982, ch. 21, § 2; ch. 361; 1983, ch. 583, § 2; 1992, ch. 162; 1995, ch. 97.]

Maryland Name Change Forms


Adult Name Change $29.95
Minor Name Change $29.95


Adult Name Change $69.95
Minor Name Change $119.95

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