Confidential Name Change - Adult / Minor Child 14 & Older

The information contained on this web page is provided as a courtesy to members of the public and shall not be construed as legal advice. If you have questions, contact the Wisconsin Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service 800-362-9082 for additional assistance.

Who may petition?

An adult or minor who is age 14 or older may sign and file a petition (request) for name change on their own and must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that both of the following apply:

  • The publication of the petition in the newspaper for a name change could endanger the Petitioner.
  • The Petitioner is not petitioning for a name change as an attempt to avoid a debt or conceal a criminal record.

If the Court determines that publication of the petition for confidential name change is not required, than all of the records related to the name change are confidential and exempt from the Open Records Law.

A person, including a juvenile, required to register as a sex offender under §301.45(1g), Wis. Stats., may not change his/her name. (§301.47(2)(a), Wis. Stats.).


The adult or minor child 14 years or older must petition the Court in the county in which he/she resides.


  • Form CV-451 (PDF) Petition for Confidential Name Change of Name (Adult or Minor 14 or Older)
    • Petitioner to complete the entire form and sign where indicated.
  • Form CV-461 (PDF) Notice and Order for Confidential Name Change Hearing
    • Petitioner to complete caption (top section) and "Notice is Given" section only.
  • Form CV-471 (PDF) Order for Confidential Name Change
    • Petitioner to complete document


Publication of the Notice and Order for Confidential Name Change Hearing is not required if ordered by the court.


Although the confidential name change is recorded with the State Registrar and Oconto County Register of Deeds, the new name may not be disclosed by either entity.

In cases of confidential name changes, the State Registrar is not authorized to change a petitioner's marriage record, if applicable. If the Petitioner is born and married in Wisconsin, the Petitioner will have a birth record reflecting the confidential new record and a marriage record reflecting the former name.