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LGBTQ+ Center

Name Change Process

Disclaimer: You will get frustrated with the process because they don’t make it easy to change your name. Remember to take a few deep breaths and consult this guide. It is not uncommon for the process to take a few months to a year to complete. Yes, they make no sense. Nobody seems to like the process, we just get through it.

Agencies and locations outside of the university

Pullman Branch Courthouse (go here first)

District Court Branch: 325 SE Paradise Street Pullman, WA 99163-2631

Phone: 509-332-2065

Fax: 509-338-3318 

If you can’t get to the Colfax courthouse you can go to the District Court Branch in Pullman to file your name change form. They have the form for you at the office. Fees can be pricy and they have gone up. Anticipate $154 split between auditor $78 and filing $76. The file fee can be paid by card, cash, check, or money order, but the auditor fee must be paid by cash, check, or money order. The court will mail you 5 certified copies of your name change court order. You will probably need to make a few copies of your own.

 Fees: About $154

DMV Pullman (go here second)

Location: Driver Licensing Office

980 S. Grand Ave. Pullman, WA 99163

Phone: (509) 334-2510

Process/paperwork: Bring in your old social security card, your old birth certificate, passport (if you have one), a bill with your name on it (can be used to verify identity), and your certified court ordered name change form (must have). Request a replacement driver’s license ID. The DMV has a long list of identification items they will accept to prove you are you, but they are also picky. Give them a call to see what they will accept.

Fees: $54 to renew your license, $10 to replace you license. You will most likely only need to replace your ID.

Another good option is upgrading to an enhanced drivers license which can be double as a passport. To upgrade is only $4 for every year your current license is valid. Of course this is only an option for Washington residents and requires extra documentation: proof of citizenship (birth certificate), proof of residency, and then old driver's license. All the details are on the DMV website. You can have your birth certificate with your old name and still do the EDL as long as you have the court name change documents to do it all in one go.

Vehicle registration (go here third)

Location: Pullman Vehicle Vessel Licensing (Registration & Title)

1195 SE Bishop Blvd Pullman, WA 99163

Phone: (509) 334-3648

Process/paperwork: Show up with your court certified name change form, your new drivers license/ID, and your old vehicle title/registration.

Fees: It depends on your vehicle. It should be somewhere in the range of $50.

Birth Certificate

Phone: 800 – 525-0127

Location: Legal Name Change DOH - Center for Health Statistics PO Box 9709 Olympia, WA 98507-9709

Process/paperwork: Mail one of your official court provided name change documents along with a request for your birth certificate. You may need to provide copies of your driver’s license or other identifying documents. See this website for the process and request form in Washington state.

Fees: $20

Social Security Administration Office

Location: 1617 19TH AVE Lewiston, ID 83501

Phone: 1 877-405-9796

General info phone: 1 800-772-1213

Hours of operation: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, wed 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Process/paperwork: The social security administration office wants you to fill out a name change request form and provide proof of identity. Here is a link to the form and also an outline for accepted forms of identification:

Fees: No cost

Tip: The social security office will shred your old social security card when you bring it in as a form of ID, so make copies before going in. They also have a habit of losing your paperwork. The receipt they give you states that you need to call them if you don’t get your replacement SSN card after 2 weeks. What they don’t tell you is that you must inform them of not getting your card within 45 days. If you do not inform them, they will cancel your application and you will need to wait in the SSA office for another 3 hours (at least) which nobody has time for. You will be in a tough spot when you need to submit FAFSA if you don’t have a replacement SSN card or a copy of your old CCN card. The good news is, WSU will accept a copy of your old social security card, so make a copy of it before you start the name change paperwork.