Jana R. Barnett, Esq
(610) 478-1860


There are many reasons why people wish to change their names.  Sometimes people who change their name when they marry wish to resume a prior surname when they divorce.  Sometimes people wish to conform their surnames to other family members.  Sometimes people want to change their first names to names consistent with their genders.

Generally, any divorcing or divorced person may resume use of any prior surname before or after the entry of the divorce decree.  The person must file a written notice of the resumption with the Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas in which the divorce action was filed or the decree of divorce was entered.

Others wishing to change their names need to file a petition for a change of name; submit fingerprints to the Pennsylvania State Police for comparison to criminal records; perform lien searches; and notify the public – through newspapers – of the date, time and place of the hearing so that objections may be voiced.

Please note that federal REAL ID regulations require that people show PennDOT legal documentation of name changes if their current full legal names are different than what is shown on their proof of identity documents (such as birth certificates or passports).

To read statutes and related materials, please use the drop-down menu.

If you need assistance with changing your name, call Attorney Jana Barnett at 610/478-1860 or e-mail her, and she will reply as quickly as possible.