Name Change and Sex Designation Change

In New York State, people have the right to adopt or use any name they wish by using that name for everything in their life. Government agencies will accept a name change with a court order. This does not apply to children or prison inmates. You can ask the court to legally change the name you were given at birth, adoption or marriage.

In New York State, transgender and nonbinary New Yorkers may change their sex designation on their identifying documents. This may be done at the same time, that a name change petition is filed or on its own.

This section of CourtHelp, has information about name changes and sex designation changes. Instructions and forms are also available.

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
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.

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

Sex Designation Change Basics
If you want to change your sex designation on your identifying documents, read this section for helpful information.

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