Changing Your Name during or after Divorce in Colorado

Many people take their spouse's last name when they get married. But when they get divorced, some people want their previous name back. In Colorado, this process is called name change restoration.

To change your name before your divorce is finalized, check the appropriate box on the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (JDF 1101) form or the Response to Petition (Marriage Dissolution or Separation) (JDF 1103) form.

If your divorce has already been finalized, file the following two forms with the court where your divorce decree was entered:

  •   Verified Motion and Affidavit for Name Restoration After Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union or Legal Separation (JDF 1824)
  •   Order for Name Restoration After Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union or Legal Separation (JDF 1825)

In both situations, a judge will review your documents and issue a ruling either restoring your name or rejecting the request.

How do you change your name if you are at the beginning of your divorce?

If you've just started the divorce process and are initiating the paperwork, the process is relatively easy. Your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation (JDF 1101) form starts your divorce. Line 21 allows you to request a name restoration as part of your case. If you’re filling out the form, you’re the “petitioner.”

If your spouse started the divorce process, you’re given a petition and asked to respond to it. Use Response to Petition (Marriage Dissolution or Separation) (JDF 1103). On the first page of that document, fill in the line that says, “The respondent requests that the court restore his/her prior full name to.”  

Whether you’re the petitioner or the respondent, remember to fill in what will be your full legal name. It should be the same as the one you used before you got married. This legal process does not allow you to pick something new.

What do you do about name change if your divorce has been finalized?

If your divorce has already been finalized and you did not indicate your desire to restore your name on your petition or response forms, not to worry. There is still a way to restore your former name.

Fill out the Verified Motion and Affidavit for Name Restoration After Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union or Legal Separation (JDF 1824). Provide details about the date your divorce was finalized, tell the court what your current full name is, and specify your prior full name.

Next, fill out the Order for Name Restoration After Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union or Legal Separation (JDF 1825). Fill out the top of this form only. The court will fill out the rest of the document when it’s ruled on your case.

File these documents in the county courts that processed your divorce, and prepare to pay an $88 filing fee.

If you encounter difficulty with these forms, Colorado Name Change offers a similar service to Hello Divorce but with name change forms in Colorado. Unlike other name changes in Colorado, no background check or publication of the name change is required. If you file within 60 days after your  divorce decree has been signed, you pay no filing fee. However, if you file after 60 days, you must pay a filing fee of $105. If the filing fee is too much for your current financial situation, you can opt to fill out forms that ask for a fee waiver.

What do you do after your name has been restored?

After your name change is finalized, notify the Social Security Administration (SSA), the DMV, and other pertinent organizations. If you have a passport, you must change your name on that, too. Should difficulties arise, or if you need help creating a notification letter, Colorado Name Change can guide you through the required steps.

​​This table can help you compare typical steps and time frames associated with notifying organizations about your name change. We’ll go into more detail below.


Process summary

Time frame


Fill out an application along with documents that prove your age and other critical information.

At least 24 hours


File with the SSA first; bring proof of address documents and certified court documents to the office. Pay a fee for new documents.



Fill out an address change form online and pay a small fee.



Bring a driver’s license and your official court documents certifying your name change to the institution.


How do you notify the Social Security Administration about your name change?

Changing your name on your Social Security card is free. To start, fill out the Application for a Social Security Card. Submit additional documents to prove your age, identity, citizenship, or immigration status. In general, these are the following documents to submit with your application:

  • A birth certificate to prove your age
  • One of the following to prove your identity: U.S. Driver's License, U.S. state-issued non-driver identity card, or U.S. passport
  • Your U.S. birth certificate or passport to prove your citizenship
  • A current unexpired document issued to you by the Department of Homeland Security showing your immigration status, such as Form I-551, Form I-94, or Form I-766

How do you notify the DMV about your name change?

Before changing your name with the DMV, you must file it with the SSA. You are required to notify the Department of Revenue within 30 days of changing your name due to a divorce. It takes the SSA at least 24 business hours to process changes.

Once processed, visit your local DMV with proof of address documents along with a certified divorce decree ( JDF 1116 ) or certified court order of name change ( JDF 1825 ).

How do you change your passport?

Most people seeking to change a passport should use the DS-82 form. Along with this form, submit certified documentation reflecting your name change. Note that you may need to use the DS-5504 form if one of these situations applies:

  • You changed your name less than one year since your passport was issued
  • Identifying information was printed incorrectly on your most recent passport
  • Your passport was limited to two years or less for a reason other than losing your passport multiple times or having a seriously damaged passport

The cost varies depending on whether you are renewing the passport book or card. To complete this process, you can mail in your application with a check.

How do you notify other organizations?

Other organizations you must notify of a name change include banks and credit unions, colleges or universities, employers, and the United States Postal Service. This is not a complete list. Accounts with other organizations may need to be updated as well.

Banks and credit unions

Generally, you must show a copy of your driver's license or state ID card and your divorce decree ( JDF 1116 ) or final name restoration decree ( JDF 1825 ) to your bank or credit union.

Colleges and universities

If you attended a college or university, inform the registrar's office of your name change. Requirements differ from school to school, but most ask for proof of the change and a copy of your ID.


Most employers have a policy for updating employee names. You will likely need to update your name with the SSA before updating it with your employer.


The United States Postal Service does not have a name change form. With their address change process, however, you can change your name. You must pay a small fee to process the change online. To avoid the fee, print the form and hand-deliver it to your local post office. If you opt for an online change, we suggest using a credit card with your changed name. If you opt to make the change in person, bring your divorce decree (JDF 1116) or final name restoration decree (JDF 1825) to the post office.

Frequently asked questions 

Can I use these processes to change my name to something else?

No. The processes we’ve discussed above are designed for people to restore their pre-marriage names after a divorce. If you wanted to change your name to something entirely new, you’d have a different set of forms and processes to follow.

Is there always a fee to change my name?

No. If you ask the courts to restore your name in your divorce filings, the fees you pay to start your case will cover your name change, too. If you wait until your divorce is finalized, however, you will have a fee.

What if someone contests my name change?

The court must approve your name change request. If you’re reverting to a legal name you’ve used before, the court will likely accept your request. However, if you’re trying to change your name to avoid debts or commit fraud, the court will not accept your plan, and appeals won’t help. 

What should I do when my documents don’t match?

As you apply for a new Social Security card and driver’s license, you may have your old name on some official forms of identification and your new name on others. Keep a certified copy of your official name change ruling from the court (either your divorce decree or the name restoration form) to prove you are who you say you are.


Name Changes Filing Fees. Colorado Judicial Branch.
Divorce and Legal Separation. Colorado Judicial Branch.


Divorce Specialists
After spending years in toxic and broken family law courts, and seeing that no one wins when “lawyer up,” we knew there was an opportunity to do and be better. We created Hello Divorce to the divorce process easier, affordable, and completely online. Our guiding principles are to make sure both spouses feel heard, supported, and set up for success as they move into their next chapter in life.