In New York State, you have the right to adopt any name you wish by using that name for everything in your life. This does not apply to children or prison inmates. But, it may be better to legally change your name because most government agencies will not accept your name change without a court order.
You can ask the court to legally change the name you were given at birth, adoption or marriage
Name Change Basics
To ask the Court to change your name or your child’s name, you need to give the Court the following:
- court papers asking for the change, this includes: Name Change Petition and Proposed Order. The petition must be filled out and signed in front of a Notary Public. You may need additional forms to change a child’s name. You may also need to give a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to the Court
- proof of birth
- court fee ($210 in Supreme and County Courts; $65.00 in New York City Civil Court)
- in Supreme Court you must also submit a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) to have a Judge assigned to the case. There is no fee to file this form.
- depending on your situation there may be additional papers that you need to give the court.