How to change your name in Colorado.
This how-to instructional article is the most comprehensive review of the steps need to change your name in Colorado.
Before jumping into the Legal Name Change process, it's important to understand the
Agencies involved in the Colorado State Legal Name Change process:
Colorado Judicial Branch: The Colorado Courts will be the agency through whom you need to go in order to legally change your name. You will submit a petition with four (4) forms, two background checks (CBI & FBI), and payment to the Courts for them to approve.
Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI): The CBI will conduct a fingerprint-based background check on your criminal history in the State of Colorado.
Colorado Applicant Background Service (CABS): CABS is the agency overseen by the CBI who processes your CBI Background check.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): The FBI will conduct a fingerprint-based background check on your criminal history reported to the FBI from agencies throughout the USA and abroad.
Colorado Fingerprinting (American Bioidentity / Complio): The CBI Aprroved State-Vendor allowed to process fingerprints to electronically submit fingerprint files to directly to the CBI
Colorado Springs Fingerprinting: An approved CABS site to which you will physically go to get your fingerprints captured onto a Livescan fingerprinting device partnered with Colorado Fingerprinting (American Bioidentity). Colorado Springs Fingerprinting can also be used to create an ink fingerprinting card to send to the FBI in order to get your FBI Background check by submitting your fingerprint card through the mail.
Step 1. Fingerprinting
Step 2. Background Checks
CBI Background Check: Order a CBI Background Check through Colorado Fingerprinting. You will be able to select an approved CABS site such as Colorado Springs Fingerprinting where you will physically go to get your fingerprints taken. The appointment must be made through Colorado Fingerprinting and can not be done through Colorado Springs Fingerprinting.
After you go to your CABS approved site to have your fingerprints taken on a Livescan device, you will wait 24-48 hours for a notification email saying your fingerprints have been accepted by CBI.
FBI Background Check: You'll then be able to add an FBI background check through Colorado Fingerprinting, who will use the same fingerprinting file that was accepted by the CBI for your FBI Background check.
You may elect to obtain an FBI Background check on your own by mailing in an ink fingerprinting card directly to the FBI. You can get an FBI fingerprinting card and ink fingerprinting service from an CABS approved fingerprinting site such as Colorado Springs Fingerprinting when you go to your appointment to get your CBI fingerprints captured on a Livescan device.
You will wait 24-48hrs to get the results of your CBI Background check and 72 hours for your FBI background check. If you elect to mail in your fingerprinting cards to the FBI then you will wait 2-4 weeks to get the results.
Step 3. Create a Petition for a Colorado State Legal Change of Name (create a case)
Complete the appropriate forms:
JDF 433 - "Petition for Change of name" Attach your Background Check return letters as "exhibits" from the FBI (exhibit A) and CBI (exhibit B)
JDF 426 - "Order for Publication for Change of Name"
JDF 427 - "Public Notice"
JDF 433 - "Final Decree for Change of Name"
Step 4. Submit (File) your petition
Submit your completed packet to the County Court located in the county in which you reside. There will be an $88 filing fee that must be included, payable via a cashiers check or money order
Do not forget to include your fingerprint-based background checks from the CBI and FBI as exhibits.
Step 5. Court Hearing
It is very unlikely, but you may be notified by the County Court that you must appear in Court in order to petition your change of name before a Judge.
Step 6. Publication of Proposed Name Change
The Court will use your JDF 426 and JDF 427 to order and enable you to publish your proposed name change. See CRS 13-15-102 in order to review the laws regarding exceptions to this order. The Court will give you back your JDF 426 and JDF 427.
Contact your local newspaper in order to publish your proposed change of name. Provide the newspapder with the signed JDF 426. Your newspaper will be familiar with this Court Ordered process and has a section of their online newspaper dedicated to publishing such requests.
You will pay your local newspaper to publish your proposed change of three (3) times within a 21 day period. Take the receipt/documentation from the newspaper showing that you have requested the newspaper to make publication and file it with the County Court. You do not need to wait for the three publications to "post" before returning the receipt to the Court.
Step 7. Final Decree (signed JDF 433)
After proof of publication is filed (a requirement which may be waived if you qualify for exception under CRS 13-15-102) the Court will issue you two (2) completed JDF 448 - Final Decree for Change of Name signed by a Court Judge or Magistrate.
You may order certified copies through the Court or make certified copies through a Colorado State Notary such as the ones found at Colorado Springs Fingerprinting
You will use your issued JDF 433 to update your name data points with any businesses of government agencies such as
Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV)
Social Security Administration (SSA)
US State Department (for Passports)
Colorado Clerk (for Real Estate holdings)
Video: Colorado State Legal Name Change- Omnibus: How-To Video (2022)
These are basic instructions for informational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice. If you choose to represent yourself, you are bound by the same rules and process as a lawyer. If you do not understand this information, please contact a lawyer.