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Changing Your Name Through Marriage or Divorce

An adult can change his or her name when he or she gets married or divorce.

A child's name doesn't change when a parent gets married or divorced.

Marriage

You can choose to change your last name when you marry by putting the new name on the marriage license application. You can’t change your first or middle name by marriage. The new last name is officially your name when the marriage ceremony is completed. Your marriage certificate is proof of your new name and can be used to change your name on other identification papers such as your driver’s license.

You can change your last name to any of the following:

  • your spouse’s last name;
  • any former name of either spouse;
  • a new name combining into a single name all or a part of either spouses’ present or former last names;
  • a hyphenated name consisting of any combination or either spouses’ last name or former last names.

To find information about getting married in New York State, visit the Department of Health.

 

Divorce

You can ask the court to use any name that you used before the marriage when you get divorced.

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