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Name Change Law and Procedures

One of the more interesting name-change issues confronted by the New Jersey courts is whether an individual may be permitted to change their name to a single name. In the past, courts rejected such applications based on fears that it would lead to confusion. The recent trend among courts throughout the United States has been to grant applications to adopt single names. Among other things, courts have noted that our society does not only use names to identify individuals. Other (and more precise) methods of identification include social security numbers, driver's license numbers, and account numbers.

In 1996, in the matter of Application of Ferner, 295 N.J. Super. 409 (1996), the Superior Court of New Jersey granted an individual's application to assume the single name "Koriander" . In its decision granting the name change request, the New Jersey Superior Court noted that the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles and other state agencies had expressed their belief that the use of a single name would not present any inconvenience to them. However, the court also cautioned that the granting of applications to use single names would be handled on a case-by-case basis, and that each request would be reviewed individually to determine the risks of disruption associated with the use of a single name.


New Jersey Court: Presumption That Child Should Share Last Name Of Custodial Parent Does Not Apply To Children Who Were Born “in Wedlock”