New Jersey Legal Name Change
Below are the relevant state statutes, as well as links to the form petitions and instructions for obtaining a legal name change for yourself or a minor.
If, after reviewing the information below, you find the need for further legal assistance, you should visit this online legal service.
If you are seeking a marriage name change or a divorce name change, your marriage license or divorce decree can serve as your legal name change document. Thus you can proceed to Name Change Notification, the final step of the name change process. Otherwise, read the information below and follow the links to learn about obtaining a legal name change.
New Jersey State Code:
Sec. 2A:52-1. Action for change of name. Any person may institute an action in Superior Court, for authority to assume another name. The complaint for a change of name shall be accompanied by a sworn affidavit stating the applicant’s name, date of birth, social security number, whether or not the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime, and whether any criminal charges are pending against him and, if such convictions or pending charges exist, shall provide such details in connection therewith sufficient to readily identify the matter referred to. The sworn affidavit shall also recite that the action for a change of name is not being instituted for purposes of avoiding or obstructing criminal prosecution or for avoiding creditors or perpetrating a criminal or civil fraud. If criminal charges are pending, the applicant shall serve a copy of the complaint and affidavit upon any State or county prosecuting authority responsible for the prosecution of any pending charges. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he knowingly gives or causes to be given false information under this section. Amended 1981,c.362,s.1, 1993,c.228,s.1.
Sec. 2A:52-2. Effect of judgment, copy to State Bureau of Identification. Such person, from and after the day specified therefore in the judgment in the action, shall be known by the name which, by the judgment, he is authorized to assume, and by no other. The judgment for change of name shall include the applicant’s social security number and date of birth. The clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the judgment to the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police if the person has been convicted of a crime or if there are criminal charges pending against him. Amended 1981,c.362,s.2; 1993,c.228,s.2.
Sec. 2A:52-3. Effect of change of name on actions or other proceedings. No action, or other legal proceeding commenced in his former name against any person whose name shall have been changed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall, by reason of such misnomer, be abated, nor shall any relief of recovery sought thereby be prevented.
Sec. 2A:52-4. Correction of record of birth or marriage. Upon the receipt of either of the following documents:
a. A certified copy of a judgment permitting a change of name; or
b. A certification issued in connection with a naturalization proceeding authorized by Act of Congress that a change of name was permitted by decree or order of a court vested with jurisdiction to naturalize persons as citizens of the United States; together with a request for correction of an existing record of the birth or marriage of the individual, the State Registrar of Vital Statistics or local registrar of vital statistics shall adjust the record or records to show the new name and the date and manner by which obtained. When the request and such copy or certification is received by a local registrar, he shall forward them to the State Registrar after having adjusted his local record.
In the event the name of any child or children shall be permitted to be changed in the naturalization proceedings of the parent of such child or children, the certification of the parent’s naturalization record or proceedings disclosing such change of name of such child or children shall be sufficient authority for the State Registrar of Vital Statistics or the local registrar, as the case may be, upon request, to correct the birth certificate or marriage certificate of such child or children in the same manner as provided for the correction of the parent’s birth certificate or marriage certificate.
The fee to be paid a local registrar or the State Registrar for each birth certificate or for each marriage certificate so corrected shall be $2.00. Any certified copy of a record changed as provided for in this chapter shall show the name at birth or marriage and the new name and date and manner by which obtained, but upon request shall show only the new name. Amended by L.1955, c. 249, p. 927, s. 1; L.1958, c. 81, p. 521, s. 1, eff. June 24, 1958; L.1983, c. 275, s. 1, eff. July 18, 1983.
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