IMPORTANT NOTICE – District Court personnel are not permitted to fill out any forms. District Court personnel are also not authorized to give legal advice. District Court strongly encourages an unrepresented party to seek legal advice from an attorney. If you need help, please review the “Guide To Website Forms” on the District Court website.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Washington’s name change statute is found in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 4.24.130. Kitsap County District Court averages around 400 name change petitions a year. Individuals petition the court to have their name changed by the court for a wide variety of reasons, including but certainly not limited to – not liking their given name; always being referred to by a different name; reverting to pre-married name; having siblings last names match; genealogy reasons including adding accents to their name; and having their name match their gender identity.
Regardless of the reason, District Court understands the incredible importance of your name and is honored to have the authority to be able to assist you in changing your name.
For much more information on name changes, please click on the link “Name Changes A Judge Pro Tempore Primer” authored by District Court in 2018.
FIRST, START WITH “NAME CHANGE CHECKLIST” – District Court suggests you start with reviewing “The Name Change Checklist” by clicking on the link.
THEN REVIEW “GUIDE TO WEBSITE FORMS” – The District Court website contains many forms. Before using these forms, please first click on the link “Guide To Website Forms” to assist you with the proper use of these forms.
DO I HAVE TO PAY ANY MONEY FOR A NAME CHANGE? Yes. Washington law requires a name change petitioner to pay $287.50 for a district court name change brought under RCW 4.24.130.
The $287.50 fee is calculated as follows:
$43 filing fee, RCW 3.62.060(1)(a), plus$10 county surcharge, RCW 7.75.035(1), plus$30 state surcharge, RCW 3.62.060(2)(a), plus$204.50 auditor recording fees, RCW 4.24.130(4), RCW 36.18.010, and ESSHB 1277, §1 (2021).
$43 filing fee, RCW 3.62.060(1)(a), plus
$10 county surcharge, RCW 7.75.035(1), plus
$30 state surcharge, RCW 3.62.060(2)(a), plus
$204.50 auditor recording fees, RCW 4.24.130(4), RCW 36.18.010, and ESSHB 1277, §1 (2021).
RCW 4.24.130(4) requires a district court to collect from a name change petitioner all county auditor fees and surcharges required by RCW 36.18.010 for the recording of a name change order.
HOW DO I PAY THE FEES? District Court offers several methods of payment. See PAYMENT OF TICKETS, FINES, AND COURT FEES on the District Court website for payment options.
WHAT IF I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY? The First Amendment guarantees everyone the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Access to the judicial branch of government is included within this First Amendment right. Kitsap County District Court is committed to the principle that everyone must have access to courts regardless of a person’s financial situation.
If you want to file a case in a Washington court but cannot afford to pay the fees, you may ask the court to waive the fees. The judge shall waive all fees and surcharges if the judge finds you are indigent and payment of a fee or surcharge “is a condition precedent to a litigant’s ability to secure access to judicial relief from a judicial officer in the applicable trial court.” General Rule 34(a).
FILING FEES WILL BE WAIVED IF (1) YOU ASK AND (2) YOU QUALIFY – There is no cost for you to ask the judge to waive filing fees and surcharges. If you are not sure whether you qualify, please ask as soon as possible by filing a Motion For Waiver Of Fees. District Court grants hundreds of fee waiver requests every year so that everyone can have access to justice.
If any one of the following four categories applies to you, you are indigent and qualify to have all the filing fees and surcharges waived so you can file your case with District Court –
Government Assistance – An individual is currently receiving assistance under any needs-based, means-tested assistance program such as – Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); orState-provided general assistance for unemployable individuals (GA-U or GA-X); orFederal Supplemental Security Income (SSI); orFederal poverty-related veteran’s benefits; orFood Stamp Program (FSP); orWelfare; orMedicaid; orPregnant Women Assistance Benefits; orRefugee Settlement Benefits; orAged, Blind or Disabled Assistance Program; orBelow Poverty Guideline – An individual’s household income is at or below 125% of the federal poverty guideline; orWithout Financial Ability – An individual’s household income is above 125% of the federal poverty guideline and recurring basic living expenses (as defined in RCW 10.101.010(4)(d)) render the individual without the financial ability to pay the fees or surcharges; orOther – Other compelling circumstances exist that demonstrate an individual’s inability to pay fees and/or surcharges.A Motion For Waiver Of Fees form is available on this page and at several locations on the District Court website. The federal poverty guideline is also available on the web
Name Change ChecklistLitigant Confidential Information FormName Change Motion for Waiver of FeesName Change QLSP Motion for Waiver of FeesName Change Petition (Adult)Name Change Petition (Parent or Guardian Petitioner)Name Change (Minor Petitioner)Name Change Declaration of Service