New York Name Changes

How do I change my name in New York?

HELLO My name is...

If you need to change your name on your Social Security card, driver license, passport or green card, you will need a court-ordered name change.

If you live in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island, you can file in New York City's Civil Court. If you live in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester or any other county, you will file in Supreme Court.

In New York, name changes have to be published in the newspaper. It's a classified ad that contains your old name, new name, place of birth, date of birth and home address. If you feel that such publication would threaten your safety, you can ask the judge to waive publication and seal the record of your name change.

If born in the US, you will need an official copy of your birth certificate, so order a copy of your birth certificate if you do not have one.

To file your name change on your own, use the court's interactive DIY name change forms for adults or minors. If it is applicable to you, once the petition is generated, you can simply add a paragraph that requests that the publication requirement be waived due to safety concerns. If you need a fee waiver for the court filing fee, ask for the forms at the courthouse.

How do I get an attorney for my name change?

If you are low-income and are seeking free legal assistance within Long Island or the five boroughs of New York City, please fill out Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund's Name Change Project intake form:

If you are outside of NYC or Long Island, contact one of the other organizations providing name change assistance throughout New York State. If there are no resources listed for your county, try the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onodaga County, which may be able to assist you.

If you do not qualify for pro bono assistance, there are private attorneys who work on transgender name change cases. Outside of NYC: Milo Primeaux. Within NYC: Andy Izenson. Transcend Legal is not an attorney referral service and we encourage you to conduct your own investigation.

How do I update the name and gender on my ID documents?

We have a complete set of post name change instructions detailing the steps necessary to update your identity documents following your name change. To update your gender marker on your birth certificate, driver license, passport, Social Security or immigration documents, you will generally need to get a letter from your doctor. If you work on getting your doctor's letter now, you will have it by the time you obtain your name change order and can change both at the same time.

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