To obtain a legal name change in Pennsylvania, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. The applicant must publish notice of the hearing in two newspapers, but publication requirements can be waived and records can be sealed for the applicant’s safety. Individuals with a felony conviction may change their name if more than two years have passed since the end of the sentence and if not under probation or parole, or if the individual has been pardoned. Individuals who have been convicted of violent crimes are not eligible to change their name. Upon approval of the name change, the court will notify the Attorney General and the State Policy who keep the name change information in a central repository. (54 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 701-705).
For instructions on legal name changes for minors under 18 in Pennsylvania, see NCTE's Name Changes for Minors in Pennsylvania resource.