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Name Change

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in New York

Changing My Name After Marriage in New York

In New York State, interested persons can generally change their name through marriage, divorce, adoption, citizenship, or court order. A name change in New York gives the individual a different identity, and as such, the individual must update their information on government databases and other relevant places.

Changing a name via marriage in New York requires the partners to apply for a marriage license, on which the new name will be displayed. However, this is only available for citizens aged eighteen and above or seventeen years old with the consent of their parents or a family court.

Marriage licenses obtained from New York are only relevant if the ceremony takes place within the state. More details on obtaining a marriage license and certificate are available on the state's Department of Health site.

Interested and eligible members of the public may also obtain New York marriage records in the county where the license was issued. These records are especially relevant for facilitating name change requests; hence, requestors must obtain these records before requesting a name change.

How to Change Your Name After Marriage in New York

Partners who want to change their names after marriage in New York can fill in the new name on a marriage license application. After the clerk grants the license and the marriage ceremony occurs, the name change is officially successful. Such individuals can then obtain their marriage certificates as proof of name change and update their identification papers with relevant agencies. However, through this method, persons can only change their last names to any of the following:

  • Their partner's last name.
  • The former name of either partner.
  • A new name, coined from the combination of the current or former names of either spouse.
  • A hyphenated name

To obtain a New York marriage license, couples must apply in person at the office of any town or city clerk. Getting a marriage license from the clerk's office costs $40. However, the City of New York charges $35, payable by credit card or money order. Among the clerk's office requirements to obtain a marriage license is proof of age and identity. Applicants can establish proof of age with the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal record
  • Naturalization record
  • Census record

Any of the following identity-related document can be used for identification:

  • Current driver's license
  • US passport
  • Work photo identity card
  • Immigration record

Marriage licenses are issued immediately in New York, but the ceremony must occur after twenty-four hours from the day of issuance.

How to Update Your Social Security Card in New York?

Persons who opt to change their name in New York must update their social security card with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This application can be done in person or submitted via mail. Individuals can find an SSA office address in New York using a zip code. The following documents are needed to update a social security card:

  • A social security application form.
  • A birth certificate.
  • Proof of change of name (marriage license or court order).
  • A state-approved form of identity, e.g., a driver's license or employer ID card.

Individuals born outside the US must also provide proof of citizenship or current legal, work-authorized status.

Updating a social security card is free. However, the SSA only accepts original or certified copies of the required documents. Additional information about the process can be found on the site's Frequently Asked Questions page. Inquirers may also call Social Security at (800) 772-1213(toll-free).

How to Get a New Driver's License in New York?

Motorists in New York can get a new driver's license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. After changing names, an individual can update his or her driver's license by requesting a license renewal. Generally, motorists can get a new license at the DMV office in their location or via mail. Documents required include:

The DMV charges a $12.50 fee for this service, payable in check or money order to the Commission of Motor Vehicles. Motorists can mail their request for renewal to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
55 Hanson Place, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11217

How to Update Your Insurance Information in New York?

Insurance companies in New York that provide services like life insurance, car insurance, or health insurance usually require insured individuals to notify them upon changing their personal information (name, residential address, and so on).

Individuals can update their policies by contacting the relevant insurance company via phone call or visiting the office. The insurance company may provide a change of name application form and may require documents showing proof of name change (certified marriage license or court order) and other identity documents, such as a social security card, driver's license, or employer ID card.

Where Do I Go to Change My Last Name in New York?

While couples can change their last names in New York by applying for a marriage license, other interested persons can also request a name change at the county or supreme court located in their county of residence. Residents of New York City can apply at the city's civil court or supreme court. There are five New York City civil court locations where residents in each borough can file their petitions.

Interested persons can change their last name with the following steps:

  • Download and fill the Adult Name Change Petition form (for New York State residents) or the Petition for Adult Name Change (for New York City residents alone).
  • Provide a document establishing birth, usually a certified copy of the birth certificate.
  • Persons that choose to get a name change in a supreme court must get a Request for Judicial Intervention.
  • Notarize the petition.
  • Gather all the documents with a filing fee of $210 (whether the supreme court or the county court) or $65 for the New York City civil court.
  • File the documents at the office of the court clerk.
  • The court may schedule a hearing that plaintiffs must attend.
  • If the judge approves the petition, obtain certified copies of the court order. Also, plaintiffs must publish a notice of name change in a publication, as directed by the court. A sample notice is available on the New York courts' site.

It should be noted that the law only permits persons aged eighteen or older that are not currently incarcerated, on probation, or parole to change their name with a court order. Eligible individuals can find the appropriate court to file a petition using the judicial site's court locator.

How to Update Information with New York Mortgage and Utility Companies?

Individuals can update their mortgage information in New York by contacting the mortgage company's customer service line to inquire about the requirements for a name change. Usually, the company will provide a form to update the information. The mortgage company may request proof of name change and identity documents: a copy of a new social security card, new driver's license, and marriage certificate or court order. However, there may be other requirements, which may vary by company.

Companies that provide utility services in the state also require notification by consumers upon a change of personal information. For example, to notify the New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG), consumers can write to them or contact their customer service center phone line at (800) 572-1111. The customer service center receives inquiries on weekdays (except holidays) from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Furthermore, residents of New York City can update personal information on their water and sewer bill by completing the Customer Registration Form and sending it via mail to the City's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at:

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Attn: Registration Unit
59-17 Junction Boulevard, 7th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

What Documents Do I Need to Change My Name after Marriage?

The documents couples require to change their name after marriage include:

  • Proof of age (a certified copy of a birth certificate)
  • A marriage license obtained from a supreme court, county court, or civil court
  • A certified copy of a marriage license
  • An updated social security card
  • A valid government-issued document proving one's identity

How to Get Certified Copies of Your Marriage License in New York?

Certified copies of a marriage license in New York State are available at the town or city clerk offices. The applicable office is the one that issued the couple a marriage license. Individuals can also request certified copies of a marriage license from the New York State Department of Health, except for records of the five boroughs of New York City.

While the office of the town or city clerk charges a fee of $10, the Department of Health charges $30 for mail orders and $45 for in-person orders. Persons eligible to order certified copies of a marriage license include:

  • The spouses
  • Requesters with a New York State court order

The clerk's office or Department may require one or more of these identity documents:

  • US passport
  • Driver's license
  • State-issued photo-ID card
  • U.S. Military-issued photo-ID card
  • Utility or telephone bill

Eligible individuals can mail their written requests to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Certification Unit
P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

Individuals can also check the NYSAC directory for county clerks' location and contact information in the state.

For marriage license issued in New York City, eligible requesters can mail their written requests or visit the following locations:

Manhattan Office:

Office of the City Clerk
141 Worth Street
New York, New York 10013

Bronx Office:

Supreme Court Building
851 Grand Concourse, Room B131
New York, New York 10451

Brooklyn Office:

Municipal Building
210 Joralemon Street,
2nd Floor, Room 205
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Queens Office:

Borough Hall Building
120-55 Queens Boulevard,
Room G-100
Kew Gardens, New York 11424

Staten Island Office:

Borough Hall Building
10 Richmond Terrace,
3rd Floor, Room 311
Staten Island, New York 10301

How to Get a New Passport in New York

The US Department of State is responsible for issuing new passports to US citizens who wish to change their names. Documents required to complete the process of getting a new passport include:

  • A passport application form
  • Documents showing the change of name (certified copies of marriage license or New York State court order)
  • Most recent US passport
  • A colored passport photo that meets the Department's photo requirements

The various application forms for a new passport are available on the Name Change page. Applicants should ensure they read the requirements on the form to determine which is relevant to them. The type of passport requested determines how much applicants will pay.

Typically, individuals will obtain their new passports within 10 to 12 weeks. However, the agency allows interested applicants to expedite their application for an additional $60. The travel site provides more details on the requirements of the passport process.

How to Change your Name on Bank Accounts in New York

In New York, residents that choose to change their names must update the new name with different agencies, including financial institutions. After such individuals have gotten a new social security card and driver's license, they can contact their banks to update the name on their bank accounts.

Typically, residents may contact the bank through a phone call or visit their nearest branch. However, banks require some documents to process the name change. These documents include proof of the change of name, US citizenship, and a valid identity card. Account owners will also need to update their debit cards, credit cards, and checkbooks and send the new banking details to their employers.

How Long Does it Take to Change Your Name in New York After Marriage?

The period it takes for couples to change their names in New York after marriage depends on when they decide to have the ceremony. Although the town or city clerk issues marriage licenses immediately, couples cannot hold the ceremony within twenty-four hours from the day of issuance. However, the marriage license is valid for sixty days, and the ceremony can occur within that period.

Generally, once the new name is written in the marriage license and the ceremony is held within the state, the change of name becomes valid. A marriage certificate can be issued by a town/city clerk or the Department of Health.

How Long Does It Take to Change Your Name in New York?

The time taken to change a name in New York may depend on the process required to make the change official and the various agencies people have to notify to update their information. While this period may be a few weeks or extend to months, it is advisable to inform the relevant agencies on time about the recent change of name to ensure the process is completed swiftly.



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