How to get name change in New York?

Name change in New York

In New York, to change the name or restore the previous name, citizens can use New York name change forms. The citizen who wants a name change is required to file a notarized petition with their local court and, in certain cases, attend a court hearing in which a decision is made regarding their request. Citizens can use their marriage certificate or divorce decree to change their last name when they get married or divorced as long as they mention the change in name in the marriage license application or divorce petition. The citizen upon approval of a name change petition must obtain certified copies of the court order to alter the identity on their passport, social security card, bank account, driver’s license, etc.

How to get name change in New York?

In order to get name change  in New York, a citizen is required to file a notarized petition with their local court and, in certain cases, attend a court hearing in which a decision is made regarding their request. You need to submit the following documents in court.

  • Court papers: Notarized name change petition and preferred Order. Additional forms are required to change the name of a child.
  • Document showing your proof of birth
  • Pay the court fee
  • A Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) should be submitted with the Supreme court to get a judge appointed to the case.
  • There could be additional papers that you need to submit in the court depending on your case.

If you have already Changed Your Name by marriage, Divorce, Adoption or Citizenship, you do not need to ask the Court for a name change.

If your name change request is approved by the court, you will need certified copies of the order to change your name in all your legal documents, like your driver’s license, passport, social security card, voters registration, etc.

Where can you get a name change in New York?

A name change petition can be filed in the County Court or Supreme Court of the county where you live. If you are a resident of New York, you can go to the New York City Civil Court or the Supreme Court in the county where you live. The costs of Civil Court are less than the Supreme Court.

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What must be included in the name change petition?

The Name Change Petition must include the following:

  • The reason for your name change or name change of your child;
  • if you or your child were convicted of a crime, facts about the crime and time served. a copy of the Certificate of Incarceration or Certificate of Disposition should be attached to your Petition.
  • if you have been convicted of bankruptcy, at the time of judgment, a copy of the judgment should be attached along with the Petition;
  • if there is any lien or judgment against you or your child, details when the judgment was made and to whom it is owed to, and the amount which is due. If you have copies of judgments or liens against you or your property you can attach it.
  • if you or your child are involved in a case, give the names of the people involved in the case, the reason for the case, and in which court the case concerned. You can attach copies of the court papers to your Petition;
  • if you pay child support or spousal support, attach a copy of the support order;
  • if you are changing the name of a child you need to provide details about any other parents or legal guardians of the child.

What documents are required in the court?

An identity proof and residence proof must be submitted along with the court papers and filing of court fees. The Court Clerk will review the papers and submit them to a Judge. However, if you change the name of a child you need to inform the other parent or legal guardian. If you have committed any felonies and you are in jail or on parole, you must serve the District Attorney and Court where you were convicted. It can also be filed online using the NYSCEF (New York State Courts Electronic Filing system).

If your name change request is approved by the court, the judge will order you to publish your new name in the newspaper. A publishing fee is charged by the newspaper to publish your name change. The judge can also order you to inform about your name change to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, Bankruptcy Court, your spouse or ex-spouse or any other party.

What are the reasons for denial of the name change?

If the Judge suspects that you have requested the name change for any illegal reasons such as to commit fraud, hide from the police or law,  avoid  payment of debts or child support, the Judge may reject your name change request.

The Judge may also reject your name change request if the name you have selected an offensive name, misleading, name of a famous person or celebrity, or name of a company.

The name change request for a child can be rejected by the court if it is not in the best interest of the child.

What does a poor person’s Relief mean?

If you do not have money to pay the court expenses and fees, you can ask the Court for a Fee Waiver to continue without paying the court costs. The fee waiver is known as “Poor Person’s Relief.” But, even if the Court grants you Fee Waiver, you are still required to pay fees that the newspaper charges to publish your name change.

How to get Adult Name Change in New York?

In order to get a name change in New York, you must be a resident of New York for at least 6 months. You must be at least 18 years old and not be imprisoned or on parole or probation. To get a name change you must file a Name change petition with your County court or Supreme Court. After your name change request has been approved by the court, the petitioner will be given a signed court order authorizing the change. However, if you want to change your name and keep your identity secret because there is a danger to your personal safety you cannot file a standard petition. Seek help from an attorney or a counselor. The following steps must be followed for name change of an adult:

  1. File a notarized name change Petition at County court or Supreme Court

File an Individual Adult Name Change petition. The judge’s name and the index number will be given by the Court Clerk and a notary public will fill the verification page. After you have filed a  petition, you will need to have it notarized by a notary public. Give your declaration and a photo ID to the notary, and sign the petition before them. On the last page of your petition, the notary will provide verification. After you have notarized the petition, file it to your County court or Supreme court and pay the court fee. New York Citizens can file their name change petitions with the New York City Civil Court, which is less expensive.

  1. Order Granting Leave to Change Name

Fill the first page of the Order Granting Leave to Change Name. The document of  Order Granting Leave to Change Name of the Adult will authorize the name change of the Adult if your petition is approved.

  1. Collect all the Documents

The following documents must be gathered in order to request the court for the name change :

  • Notarized Petition for Individual Adult Name Change
  • Order Granting Leave to Change Name
  • Certified copy of the birth certificate

Filing fees and mode of payments may differ depending on your county of residence, so be prepared to pay your filing fee. In case you are incapable of paying the filing fee, you can ask the court for a fee waiver.

  1. Obtain a copy of Court Order

After your petition is reviewed, the Clerk will submit it to a Judge. A name change petition may either be approved without a hearing or a hearing is set for a name change. If a hearing date is set, you will be informed and you must attend the hearing on time with copies of all the name change documents. The Judge will call on you to explain your name change request, and they will make a decision after considering any objections or reasons to deny the name change. If the petition is approved by the Judge, photocopy  the Order Granting Leave to Change  Name will be signed and sent to you by the Clerk’s Office .

  1. Publish Name Change in the newspaper

If you are required to publish the name change in the newspaper, a photocopy of the signed Order Granting Leave to Change  Name will be issued to you to publish in a local newspaper. The newspaper will be either given by the, or you will have to choose a newspaper in your county distribution. You will be given a service invoice by the newspaper, and publication must take place within sixty (60) days from the date the name change was approved. Once the order is published in the newspaper, get a copy and file it with the court as your proof of publication within ninety (90) days from the date of name change approval. You can obtain certified copies of your signed court order as soon as you have filed your proof of publication.

  1. Obtain a Certified Copy of Court Order

To complete the name change process, obtain certified copies of the signed Order Granting Leave to Change your Name from the Clerk of Court’s office. After the court has approved your name change, it is up to you to change your name on any official records and registrations. You will be able to change your identity by presenting a certified copy of the court order.

How to get name change of a Minor (Child) in New York?

A minor (child) is someone who is under (18) years of age. The biological or adoptive parents, “next friend,” or legal guardian of a minor can file a petition to the County or Supreme Court of New York for the name change of a minor. The court will determine that the name change is in the best interest of the child and they’ll make sure that the change is not being made for fraudulent or deceptive reasons. If you change your child’s name to your current spouse’s name, it will not legally make him/her your child’s parent. It can be done through adoption. The petitioner and the minor, both must be citizens of New York for at least six (6) months and file a petition within the county where they reside. The following stps must be followed for the name change of a minor:

  1. File a notarized name change Petition at County court or Supreme Court

A Petition for the name change of Minor must be filed by a biological parent, legal guardian or next friend of the minor in question. After completing the paperwork, submit your documents to the Clerk of Court of the County or Supreme Court or Civil Court to file your petition and pay the court fee.

  1. Consent to minor’s Name Change

If the child is having another living, non-custodial or biological parent, that parent must be informed of the change of name and obtain their written consent and sign the consent form of the name change of minor which must be notarized. Either parent can initiate a name change petition. In case, the parental rights of other parent have been terminated, consent is not needed. You can attach proof of the termination to the name change Petition.

In case, if the child is fourteen (14) years or older, this form must also be filled. If the other parent does not give their consent, you must serve a Notice to the Non-Petitioning Parent form and fill out an Affidavit of Service available in the local court.

If you can’t get consent in writing because you do not know where the other parent lives, you must try to locate him or her. When you can’t find the other parent, your request for name change must tell the Judge the reason for it and what you did to get in touch with the other parent.

If you are unable to get other parent or legal guardian’s consent you will have to notify the other parent or legal guardian on his or her last address to give him or her an opportunity to tell the court why he or she objects to the name change. You need to send Notice to Non-Petitioning Parent.

If the other parent is under 18 years old you need written permission from the parent or guardian of the other parent.

  1. Order Granting Leave to Change Name

The document of Order Granting Leave to Change Name of the child will authorize the name change of the minor if your petition is approved.

  1. Collect all the documents

The following documents must be gathered in order to request the court for name change your child.

  • Notarized name change Petition for Individual Minor’s
  • Consent to the name change of Minor(if applicable)
  • Order Granting Leave to Change Child’s Name
  • Certified copy of the birth certificate
  1. Obtain Photocopy of Court Order/Attend Possible Hearing

A name change petition may either be approved without a hearing or a hearing is set for the name change of your child. A photocopy of Order Granting Leave to Change Child’s Name, completed and signed by a Judge will be sent to you. If a hearing date is set, you will be informed and you must attend the hearing on time with copies of all the name change documents. The Judge will call on you to explain your name change request, and they will make a decision after considering any objections or reasons to deny the name change. If the petition is approved by the Judge, the Order Granting Leave to Change Child’s Name will be signed.

  1. Publish Name Change in the Newspaper

If you are required to publish the name change of your child in the newspaper, a photocopy of the signed Order Granting Leave to Change Child’s Name will be given to you to publish in a newspaper. The newspaper will be either given by the, or you will have to choose a local newspaper in your county distribution. You will be given a service invoice by the newspaper, and publication must take place within sixty (60) days from the date the name change of your child was approved. Once the order is published in the newspaper, get a copy and file it with the court as your proof of publication within ninety (90) days from the date of name change approval. You can obtain certified copies of your signed court order as soon as you have filed your proof of publication.

7.Obtain Certified Copy of Court Order

To complete the name change process, obtain certified copies of the signed Order Granting Leave to Change Child’s Name from the Clerk of Court’s office. After the court has approved the name change of your child, it is up to you to change their name on any official records and registrations. You will be able to change your child’s identity by presenting a certified copy of the court order so that they can use their own name.

Reasons for Name Change

You must give the reason for name change so that the Judge can decide if the name change is in the best interest of the child. The Judge can deny the name change requests if he finds that it is not in the child’s best interest. The Judge will consider the following facts:

  • What the child wants, the child’s age and experience;
  • How long did the child use the name;
  • Name change effect on the child’s relationship with each parent;
  • Any problems, embarrassment, or harassment suffered from the present new name; and
  • The purpose or interests of the parents.

Is consent of child necessary for name change in New York?

Many Courts require a child who is 14 years or above, but under  18 years of age,  to give permission for the name change. The child must sign the Minor Consent form in front of a Notary and you must submit it with your petition  to the Clerk.

How to get Name Change in New York After Marriage?

The law allows people to change their last name when they get married. In order to do this, the name change must be written on the application for couple’s marriage license. The new name may be either the last name of the spouse, a combination of both names or elements of both names, or a hyphenated version of the two last names of the couple. Any spouse’s previous last name can also be adopted. After getting legally married, the couple must obtain a Certificate of Marriage Registration which certifies their marriage and confirms their name change.

How to get Name Change after Divorce?

In New York, citizens who get divorced can restore the name they have used before their marriage. A resident must request court for approval of name change during the divorce proceedings, and include the change in the divorce decree. If the divorce decree does not approve the name change, a resident may still be entitled to include it. Amendments to legal documents are allowed in some counties, the person may request the court to include the name change to their decree. After a divorce is finalized, a divorce decree suggesting name change may be presented as proof of name change when updating the identification of a person with private and government institutions.

How to get name change in Driver’s License?

To update driver’s license in New York after name change, you must go to a DMV office with the following items:

  • Your existing driver’s license (or 6 points of identity proof)
  • Your name change proof (court order, marriage certificate or divorce decree)
  • An Application for Standard Driver’s License or Enhanced Driver’s License
  • Pay fee

After you have presented the documents and paid the fee  you are required to take a photo to be used on your new license. You will receive a mail by DMV of your updated driver’s license within ten 10 days.

How to get a name change in Voter Registration?

New York citizens must inform the county board  of elections of a name change at least 20 days before the election, so that they can vote. Individuals make changes to their registration identity  through the ordinary registration process, using their new name and indicating a change of name. Next, they have to fill in the New York Voter Registration Form, showing their previous name in section 12. After the application form has been completed, it must be submitted to the subject’s board of elections office either by mail or in person. It can also be updated at the DMV along with Driver’s license.

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