New York Name Change Assistance

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.

How do I get an attorney for my name change?

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

If you live in NYC and are not low-income or if you live outside of NYC, please fill out one of our intake forms:

The attorney fee for representation in a name change is income-based, and we can connect you to pro bono assistance if you qualify. You can also contact other organizations directly by viewing our list of organizations providing name change assistance throughout New York State.

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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