Name Change

In New York State, you have the right to adopt any name you wish by using that name for everything in your life. This does not apply to children or prison inmates. But, it may be better to legally change your name because most government agencies will not accept your name change without a court order.

You can ask the court to legally change the name you were given at birth, adoption or marriage. Learn how to change the name of an adult or a child. Find instructions and court forms.

Name Change Basics
Get started with your name change or a child's name change.

Changing Your Name Through Marriage, Divorce, Adoption or Citizenship
Start here if you want to change an adult’s name through marriage or divorce.

More About Child Name Changes
If you want to change a child's name, read Name Change Basics first, then this section for more helpful information.

Privacy and Name Change
All name changes are public records. Learn how to keep a name change private.

Name Change Forms
Find the right form to file for a name change.

Correcting a Birth Certificate
You may not need a court order to change a name if it was a mistake that the hospital made on the birth certificate.

Proof of Birth
You must be able to prove where you or the child was born for a name change.

Publishing a Name Change
Name changes must be printed in the newspaper.

Name Change: Criminal Convictions
There are special rules for changing your name if you have been convicted of certain crimes.

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