How to Change a Child's Name in New York


In New York, you can change your child’s last name without going to court. This is called an informal name change. If you have a new last name your child can just start using it. You should know that if the other parent does not like the change they might be able to stop it. Also, schools and government agencies are likely to require that your child’s name match the one on their birth certificate.

There are 3 ways to officially change your child’s name.

1. You change your own last name

If you get a name change order, your child can take your new last name if the other parent is notified and agrees. You would need to request this in your court proceeding.

2. Paternity

The parents can sign a paternity agreement that adds the father’s name to the child’s birth certificate. Then, child can take the father’s last name, or a name combining the parents' names, if both parents agree.

3. To change your child’s name for any other reason

You have to ask the New York State Supreme Court to change your child’s name. To do that, you must fill out and file these court forms:

· Name Change Petition

· Notice to Interested Persons

· Name Change Order

· Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) (original plus 2 copies)

· Index Number Application

Where can I get the court forms?

You can get forms:

· Online at

However, the forms currently available at this site will only work for an adult's name change.

Does the court need to see my child’s ID?

Yes. You must submit a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate. In New York, you can get this from the state Department of Health. For more information, please visit them on the web here:

Where do I take my completed forms?

Take them to your local County Clerk’s Office. Ask the clerk to file them. The clerk will ask you to pay $305 to file your court papers.If you need to serve a notice to the other parent, you will pay $210.00 at filing and $95.00 after the notices are served.

Give the clerk all your papers and the fee, and the clerk will give you an index number. Write this number in the top-right corner of your:

· Notice of Petition

· Name Change Petition

· Name Change Order

Then, take your forms to the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office.

If the court agrees to the name change, it will mail you an order that allows you to change your child’s name. You then must file this order with the County Clerk.

If the court does not agree to the name change, call your County Clerk to learn how to appeal.

What else do I have to do to change my child’s name?

There are 2 more steps.

1. Unless the child's other parent has already agreed to the change in a notarized statement, you will need to give them notice of court. This notice must be given to them by an adult (it cannot be you.) You will need a sworn affidavit from the person who serves the notice.

2. The Court will only change your child’s name if there is a good reason. You have to give a reason for the change.

What happens if the other parent does not agree to the name change?

It can be very difficult to change your child’s name if the other parent does not agree to the name change. You can try an informal name change. You should know that the other parent can stop this if they learn about it.




You can find information about name change on the Court’s web site. Please visit




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This article provides general information about this subject. Laws affecting this subject may have changed since this article was written. For specific legal advice about a problem you are having, get the advice of a lawyer.  Receiving this information does not make you a client of our office.

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