Act of Jun. 18, 1998, P.L. 638, No. 83              Cl. 54
                             Session of 1998
                               No. 1998-83

     SB 420

                                  AN ACT

     Amending Title 54 (Names) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
        Statutes, providing further procedures prior to name change

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  Sections 701 and 702 of Title 54 of the
     Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:
      § 701.  Court approval required for change of name.
        (a)  General rule.--It shall be unlawful for any person to
     assume a name different from the name by which such person is
     and has been known, unless such change in name is made pursuant
     to proceedings in court as provided by this chapter.
        (b)  Informal change of name.--Notwithstanding subsection
     (a), a person may at any time adopt and use any name if such
     name is used consistently, nonfraudulently and exclusively. The
     adoption of such name shall not, however, be in contravention of
     the prohibitions contained in section 702(c) (relating to change
     by order of court).
      § 702.  Change by order of court.
        (a)  General rule.--The court of common pleas of any county
     may by order change the name of any person resident in the
        (b)  Procedure.--Prior to entry of an order of approval of
     change of name, all of the following shall apply:
            (1)  The court must forward to the Pennsylvania State
        Police a duplicate copy of the application for change of name
        and a set of the person's fingerprints. The person applying
        for the change of name is responsible for costs under this
            (2)  The Pennsylvania State Police shall use the
        fingerprints to determine if the person is subject to 18
        Pa.C.S. Ch. 91 (relating to criminal history record
            (3)  The Pennsylvania State Police shall:
                (i)  if the person is subject to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91,
            note the name change on the person's criminal history
            record information; or
                (ii)  if the person is not subject to 18 Pa.C.S. Ch.
            91, destroy the fingerprints.
            (4)  Within 60 days of receipt of the material under
        paragraph (1), the Pennsylvania State Police shall certify to
        the court what action has been taken under paragraph (3).
            (5)  The procedure in this subsection shall not apply to
        proceedings involving:
                (i)  An election to resume a prior surname pursuant
            to section 704 (relating to divorced person may resume
            prior name).
                (ii)  Name changes involving minor children in
            adoption proceedings pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2904
            (relating to name of adoptee).
        (c)  Convicted felons.--
            (1)  The court may order a change of name for a person
        convicted of a felony, subject to provisions of paragraph
        (2), if:
                (i)  at least two calendar years have elapsed from
            the date of completion of a person's sentence and that
            person is not subject to the probation or parole
            jurisdiction of any court, county probation agency or the
            Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole; or
                (ii)  the person has been pardoned.
            (2)  The court may not order a change of name for a
        person convicted of murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape,
        involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual
        assault, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, robbery
        as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3701(a)(1)(i) (relating to
        robbery), aggravated assault as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. §
        2702(a)(1) or (2) (relating to aggravated assault), arson as
        defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3301(a) (relating to arson and
        related offenses), kidnapping or robbery of a motor vehicle
        or criminal attempt, criminal conspiracy or criminal
        solicitation to commit any of the offenses listed above or an
        equivalent crime under the laws of this Commonwealth in
        effect at the time of the commission of that offense or an
        equivalent crime in another jurisdiction.
            (3)  The court shall notify the Office of Attorney
        General, the Pennsylvania State Police and the office of the
        district attorney of the county in which the person resides
        when a change of name for a person convicted of a felony has
        been ordered. The Pennsylvania State Police, upon receipt of
        this notice, shall include the change of name information in
        the central repository as provided for in 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 91
        (relating to criminal history record information).
        Section 2.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

     APPROVED--The 18th day of June, A. D. 1998.