HOW CAN I LEGALLY CHANGE MY NAME?
- If newly married, you can use your marriage certificate to change your name with the Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, your employer, bank, etc.
- If recently divorced, your Divorce Decree is proof that you may resume use of a prior name - if and only if the Judgment specifies the pre-marital surname.
- Ex: ORDERED that the Plaintiff may resume use of her pre-marital surname, specifically, _____;
- Otherwise, you need to obtain a Supreme Court Name Change Order in the county where you live.
WHAT FORMS DO I NEED?
Adult Name Changes:
Child Name Changes:
DO I NEED ANYTHING ELSE?
Yes, you must bring an original or certified copy of your birth certificate. This becomes part of your name change record and will NOT be returned to you.
After you’ve been granted a legal name change and it’s been published accordingly, you need to ask the New York State Department of Health’s Vital Records Correction Unit to issue you a new birth certificate. Continue reading for more info on how to obtain a new birth certificate.
Write your caption exactly as it appears on your Petition for Name Change.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
- $210 to file the Application for Index Number.
- Accepted forms of payment are cash, check and credit card (all cards except Discover).
- Checks should be made payable to the Broome County Clerk.
- After the Order is signed by the Judge, it must be published in a local newspaper. The set their own fees.
- Certified copies of the final Name Change Order are $5.20 each.
WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD THE FILING FEES?
If you have extreme financial hardship and are unable to pay the $210 filing fee, you can apply for a fee waiver by filing an Affidavit to Proceed as a Poor Person. The Judge will determine if you meet the qualifications.
- Instructions: www.nycourts.gov/legacyPDFs/courts/6jd/forms/SRForms/ifp_howto.pdf
- Form: www.nycourts.gov/legacyPDFs/courts/6jd/forms/SRForms/ifp_aff.pdf
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE FORMS?
After completing the forms in black ink, take them to the Broome County Clerk's Office for filing.
- Our office is located on the 3rd floor of the Broome County Office Building (60 Hawley Street / Binghamton, NY 13901).
- No appointments necessary. The front counter is open from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.
The Broome County Clerk's Office will submit your papers to the Supreme Court.
- Your case will be assigned to a Judge, who will review your papers.
- You will be contacted by the Court if additional information is required or if the name change request has been granted.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE JUDGE SIGNS THE ORDER?
After the Court approves your name change, you must do 3 more things:
- File the original signed Order in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
- You will need to get a time-stamped copy of the Name Change Order from the Clerk’s Office for publication.
- Within 60 days of the Court-issued Name Change Order, you must publish a notice of your name change in the designated newspaper (unless you were granted an exemption).
- The Order will tell you which newspaper to publish the notice in, what the notice should say and how many times it must be published.
- Your publication notice should look something like this:
Notice is hereby given that an order entered by the Supreme Court, Broome County, on the ___ day of _______, 20__, bearing Index Number ____, a copy of which may be examined at the office of the clerk, located at 60 Hawley Street, 3rd Floor Binghamton, NY, grants me the right to assume the name of ___________. The city and state of my address are ____________; the month and year of my birth are ____________; place of my birth is _________; my present name is ___________.
- After publication, the newspaper will give you an Affidavit of Publication, which must be filed in the Broome County Clerk's office within 90 days of the signed Order.
Publication FAQs: www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/NameChange/publication.shtml
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE AFFIDAVIT OF PUBLICATION IS FILED IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE?
CONGRATULATIONS! Your name has been be legally changed!
You will need certified copies of the Name Change Order for your records as well as one for each agency you deal with so they can change their records.
- Certified copies are $5.20 each.
HOW DO I GET A NEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
After you’ve been granted a legal name change and it’s been published accordingly, you need to ask the New York State Department of Health’s Vital Records Correction Unit to issue you a new birth certificate.
- Birth Record Correction FAQs: www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/docs/public_instructions_for_birth_corrections.pdf
- Forms and Eligibility Requirements: www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/birth.htm
If you have any questions regard birth certificates, please contact New York State Vital Records at:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Toll-Free Phone: 855-322-1022
DO I NEED TO TELL ANYONE ELSE ABOUT MY NAME CHANGE?
There are several agencies that should be notified about your name change, including:
- U.S. Social Security Administration
- New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
- Your employer
- Any bank where you have an account