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NAME CHANGE LAW


Name Change Law and Procedures
How do I change my name?

  1. You may apply to the court at any time for a court order to change your name. To obtain a court order giving you permission to change your name, you must file a complaint for name change in the Law Division of the Superior Court. To begin the process of having the court consider your case, you must give the court clerk the necessary forms and a filing fee of $200.

  2. You must file Civil Case Information Statement; Verified Complaint for Name Change and Certification; and Order Fixing Date of Hearing.

  3. Check your completed forms and make copies; and mail or deliver the forms to the court.

  4. The court will return copies of the Verified Complaint and Order Fixing Date of Hearing to you. Once you receive them, there will be a docket number written on all the copies. The docket number is very important because it identifies your case. The court will also fill in the date on the Order Fixing Date of Hearing, which is the date on which you will have to appear before the judge to get the final judgment.

  5. If you have criminal charges pending against you in New Jersey, you must send a copy of the Verified Complaint and Order Fixing Date of Hearing to the Prosecutor of the county where the matter is being heard.

  6. In the Order Fixing Date of Hearing that you receive back from the court, the judge will have specified the name of a local newspaper. You must have the Order Fixing Date of Hearing published in the newspaper the judge chooses. It must be published in the newspaper at least two weeks before the date of the hearing.

  7. After the hearing, it is important to get a certified copy of the final judgment before you leave the court. You must again publish a copy of the Final Judgment in a newspaper within 20 days after the date that the judgment was signed. You will receive another Affidavit of Publication from the newspaper.

  8. Within 45 days after the date the final judgment is entered, you are required to file a certified copy of the Final Judgment and the Affidavit of Publication with the following offices:
    The Deputy Clerk of the Superior Court (In the county where the matter was heard);

    Department of the Treasure
    P.O. Box 453
    Trenton, NJ 08625


  9. You should send a copy of the certified Final Judgment to the Registrar of Vital Statistics of the State in which you were born. If you were born in New Jersey, the address is:

    Bureau of Vital Statistics
    P.O. Box 370
    Trenton, NJ 08625


Are there special notice requirements for name change for a child?

The rules for filing for a name change for a child are the same as above. However, there is one difference: if only one parent is filing the application on behalf of the child, the parent filing the application must also send copies of the Verified Complaint and Certification and Order Fixing Date of Hearing to the child's other parent 20 days or more before the hearing date.

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