New York
Legal name change

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How to change names legally, New York

If your name change is not from marriage or divorce, then a court order is the only legal way to change your name. A private company cannot issue a legal name change order, although they may help you prepare the court documents for a fee. If you have a reasonable understanding of the court process you could manage your own application. 

Once your name is changed no accounts or records are automatically updated to your new name. It can be a confusing and time-consuming process, which is where Easy Name Change helps! Save weeks of legwork! No need to research name change processes with each company or fill in tedious forms. Simply attach your court order to our notifications and send!

The legal name change process is different for residents of New York City versus NY state. NYC applicants can expect to pay $65 to file with the civil court, whereas other applicants can expect to pay $210. For NYC, your name change may be approved on the spot, pending your name change intent being published in an approved newspaper.

If you live in New York City, file for your legal name change in any county in the city. Civil court legal name change filing fees are $65. You can find the necessary forms online, or else go to the name change location in the court to access the documents.

If you live elsewhere within New York State you must file your petition with your county Supreme Court. Filing fees are $210, payable to the local county clerk. If you cannot afford the fee ask for an Affidavit in Support of Application to Proceed as a Poor Person so you can file for free. While fees are correct at the time of writing, they are subject to change without notice.

Complete the necessary forms and bring them to the court house. In New York state this is name change petition and name change order. In New York City you should also bring your original birth certificate or certified copy.

A married couple (either with or without children) may file a family name change, which requires a different form. Name change requests are public records. Ask the clerk how to file a sealed record if there is a reason to keep your name change confidential. If you are married you may also be required to notify your spouse of the change. Name changes are restricted for some criminal backgrounds. Check with the court for more information.

Adult name change forms are available online. You may complete the interactive online form that assists in correctly completing the petition. Do not use this form if you want your name change kept confidential. You may instead use a paper form. You should read the general instructions to change a name before beginning.

Once your petition is complete, return to the courthouse to file with the Clerk and pay the filing fee at that time. The clerk can’t assist in preparing your documents and it is always recommended you seek legal advice before filing your petition. Once your filing fee has been paid you will receive a date for your hearing.

New York City applicants are required to attend the hearing. Applicants elsewhere in New York state do not need to attend the hearing. Name changes are mostly approved on the spot. Once you have approval, the clerk will issue a photocopy of the name change order. You need this to publish your name change in a newspaper.

Once your petition is accepted, you must arrange for your name change to be published in a newspaper that circulates within your county of residence within 60 days. This is at the expense of the petitioner. You should keep this record and return to the court with proof of the publishing. You’ll then receive the court order granting the change. There is a small fee to order additional certified copies of your name change order, which is necessary to get your identification and records updated.

Your name is considered legally changed once you have a certified copy of the court order approving your name change. There is no automatic updating of identification and records. Purchase an Easy Name Change kit so you can save hours contacting each agency and company directly to learn their name change process. 

Simply sign your personalized name change notifications, attach your court order or other proof listed, then send! For any companies that don’t allow name change by mail or email we provide detailed instructions on what you should do. You’ll need to visit the DMV and likely your bank in person as your new signature needs to be recorded.

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INFORMATION HUB

Legal Name Change

You can be known by any name, but to get identification and records changed you need a court order. Fees and turnaround times vary significantly between states. Apply for your court order, then attach to our notifications and send. MORE
Legal name change petitions should be filed with your local court house. Turnaround times vary significantly by county and filing fees are set by your state. Companies generally do not charge to update your name unless a new credential needs to be reissued. MORE
If you’re legally entitled to reside in the USA you can change your name legally. There can be significant costs with your petition and immigration filings. If you are planning on becoming a US citizen it may be cheaper and faster to wait. MORE
This process is managed by your county court. We provide general information to get started on your child’s name change, but it’s always best to contact your local court directly. MORE
Once you have a court document proving your new name it’s then your responsibility to get your records updated. No records are linked, so you need to contact each organization directly and follow a separate process. MORE
If you’ve decided to file a legal name change application with the court we’ve got some information to help you along the way. MORE