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Proof of Birth

You must be able to prove where you or the child was born if you want to change your name or your child’s name.

 

Born in New York City

To change the name of someone born in New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island) you can get a certified copy of the birth certificate by ordering it from the Office of Vital Records, Department of Public Health over the internet or in person at 125 Worth Street, New York, New York 10013.

 

Born in New York State but not in NYC

To change the name of someone born in New York State, but outside NYC) you will have to bring an original or certified copy of the birth certificate to Court. It will have a raised seal (you can feel it) of the local government agency. You can get a certified copy of the birth certificate over the internet, by phone or by mail from the New York State Department of Health Vital Records section. If no birth certificate exists, bring a certificate from the Commissioner of the local Board of Health saying that no birth certificate is available.

 

Not Born in New York State

To change the name of someone who was not born in New York State you can use any document that proves when and where the person was born. An official birth certificate should be on file in the place of birth. These records are filed permanently in a State vital statistics office or in a city, county, or other local office. To get a certified copy of the birth certificate, write or go to the vital statistics office in the state or area where you were born. The National Center for Health Statistics has a list of state agencies that keep vital records on their website.

 

Not Born in the United States

To change the name of someone born outside the United States, most, but not all, foreign countries have records of births and deaths. Most foreign countries will give certifications of births. You can contact the Embassy or the nearest Consulate in the U.S. from the country where you were born. Addresses and telephone numbers for these offices are listed in the U.S. Department of State Publication 7846, Foreign Consular Offices in the United States. The list is available in many libraries.

If you can’t get a certified copy of your birth certificate, the Judge may permit a copy of the birth certificate, baptismal certificate, passport, or other legal documents which show the date and place of your birth.

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