New York Court Help

Name Changes

About name changes
Privacy concerns
What you will need to do
Name Change DIY Forms(Recommended)
Name change forms

About name changes

In New York State, you can ask the court to legally change the name that you were given at birth, adoption or marriage.

You can learn more about changing your name by reading the New York State Civil Rights Act, Sections 60-65.

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Privacy Concerns

All name change applications can be viewed by anyone because they are public records. Also, the court will require notice of your name change to be printed in a newspaper.

According to the law, if your safety is in danger you can have your name change request "sealed" right away [New York Civil Rights Law section 64-a(2)]. A sealed name change request cannot be found in the public records. The court file will stay sealed while the court considers the request.

After the judge rules on your name change, If the court finds that your safety is in danger, the law also says that you do not have to publish the name change in the newspaper and the court can seal your name change for good [New York Civil Right Law section 64-a(1)].

If you are applying for a name change because your safety is in danger, DO NOT use the DIY program. It will not protect your privacy. It is recommended that you see a lawyer or a domestic violence counselor.

For general information about domestic violence, contact the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-942-6906 (Llame al 1-800-942-6908 para Español).

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What you will need to do

To ask to change your name, you will need to give to the Court the following:

  • court papers asking for the change: name change petition and proposed order. The petition must be filled out, signed and notarized. Submit the petition, the order and a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to the Court
  • proof of birth (if born in New York State, the original or copy of your birth certificate)
  • court fee ($210 in Supreme Court; $65.00 in New York City Civil Court)
  • in Supreme Court you must also submit a request for judicial intervention (RJI). There is no fee to file this form.

Your papers will be reviewed by the court clerk and submitted to a judge. If the judge approves your name change, you will need to publish your new name in a newspaper. The newspaper charges a fee for publishing your name change.

The Judge can also make you tell other parties about your name change, such as:

  • U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services
  • Selective Service System
  • A wife or husband
  • An ex-wife or husband
  • Bankruptcy Court
  • N.Y.S. Criminal Justice Services

and any other party that the Judge thinks should be told.

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Name Change DIY Forms (free and easy to use)

Make your "petition" to ask the court to change your name by using a free DIY (do-it-yourself) computer program.

New York City residents:
If you live in New York City, you can file in the Civil Court of the City of New York, where the fee is only $65.

Outside New York City:
If you live outside New York City and you are 18 years or older, you can change your name in Supreme Court.

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Name Change Forms

If you can't use the DIY Forms computer programs you can print the forms and fill them out by hand.

Court Forms for New York City residents:

Name Change forms for Supreme Court (residents outside New York City):

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Last updated on August 26, 2013

 New York State Unified Court System
Court Facts
The Law - Common Questions