New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Name Changes

If you live in New York City, you may bring a name change proceeding in any county in the city. It costs $65.00 to change a name in Civil Court. You can use the Civil Court's free and easy DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Forms to make an adult name change Petition or a minor name change Petition. Or go the Name Change Forms list for free civil court forms that you need, or you may go to the name change location in the courthouse and get the forms from the court clerk. You must fill out the forms and bring them to the courthouse.

If you were born in New York State, you need to bring either an original or certified copy of your birth certificate. If you were not born in New York State, you need to bring proof of your birth, as well. The papers will be reviewed by the court clerk and submitted to a judge. If the judge says yes to your name change, you will have to publish your new name in one or more newspapers. Newspapers charge a fee for publishing your name change.

If you are a parent or legal guardian and want to change a child's name you need a notarized consent form signed by any other parent or legal guardian. If you can't get consent then you have to give the other parent or legal guardian notice of the name change case and come back to court to see the Judge. If you don't have an address for the other parent you must take steps to locate him or her. If you still can't find the other parent you can explain this to the court and ask for the name change without the other parent's consent.

If you want to change the name of a child who is 14 years of age or older, you need a notarized consent form signed by the child.

Name change requests can be viewed by anyone because they are public records. Please tell the clerk, before you file your petition, if you want to keep your name change private for safety or other reasons. The Clerk will tell you how you can request to seal your records and/or avoid publication of your name change.

If your situation is difficult, you see if you can find legal assistance to help you in preparing the papers. You may also review the New York State Civil Rights Act, sections 60 to 65.




























Map of NY City Counties  Search Civil Court