In Washington State, if you are eighteen or older, you can choose and use any name you want, as long as you are not trying to defraud (cheat) someone. Example: it is not legal to change names to avoid paying creditors or child support.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence and you want the name change record sealed due to a “reasonable fear” for your safety, you should petition the superior court to change your name and/or your child’s name. RCW 4.24.130. The court will seal the file if it believes that safety justifies the sealing. Once sealed, there is no public access to any court record of the name change filing, even if the court does not grant the name change.
An advocate from the Domestic Violence Protection Order Advocates office and/or an attorney can help survivors think about the good or bad consequences of the name change process.
This form packet was prepared by the King County Law Library and it provides general information concerning your rights and responsibilities. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. This information is current as of April 2018.
Download the Domestic Violence Sealed Name Change Form Packet here:
Need more help or resources? Check out our Domestic Violence Research Guide.
If you need immediate assistance, call the Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-562-6025
© 2018 King County Law Library — 1-206-477-7633.
(Permission for copying and distribution granted to the Alliance for Equal Justice and to individuals for non-commercial purposes only.)