Whitner has already paid a fee for the name change and mailed the paperwork to his lawyer, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
"If you ask the fans around San Francisco and the Bay Area -- anyone that's a fan of me -- they already call me Donte Hitner anyway," Whitner said. "Everything we do is for the fans, right?"
He said his name change is a protest to the recent $21,000 fine for last week's hit on Chris Givens, CBSSports.com reported.
"I'm not out there head-hunting and hitting guys helmet-to-helmet. I'm doing it the legal way. I want to show that guys can hit hard and bring fear out doing it the legal way."
Under NFL rules, if Whitner changes his name, he must purchase all the league-licensed Whitner jerseys.
Video of Victoria’s Secret models trying to 'twerk' hits Instagram
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close