How to Change Your Legal Name in New Jersey

By Christine Funk, J.D.

How to Change Your Legal Name in New Jersey

By Christine Funk, J.D.

In New Jersey, the Civil Law Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey processes name changes. There are several steps required to accomplish a name change. You can complete these steps on your own or with the assistance of an online service provider or attorney.

Colonnaded building with American flag and New Jersey flag flying out front

1. Fill out the appropriate forms.

To change your name, you must fill out the following forms:

  • a Verified Complaint, which details your current name, your desired name, and why you want to change your name
  • an Order Fixing Date of Hearing (Note: there are parts of this form you leave blank for the court to complete)
  • a Final Judgment (Note: there are parts of this form you leave blank for the court to complete)
  • a Civil Case Information Statement, which summarizes your case for the court

Except for portions the court must complete, you should fill out the forms completely. Don't forget to sign them as required. The website of the New Jersey Courts provides instructions and copies of the forms here.

Once you have completed the forms, make two copies. Send one copy to the court with the original and keep the other for your records.

2. File the forms and pay the filing fee.

You can file your forms by delivering or mailing them to the courthouse. Be sure to include all of the following:

  • the completed forms and their copies
  • a check or money order made out to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey to pay the filing fee (contact the Court for the amount)
  • a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE)

Make sure your SASE has appropriate return postage so the court can return the relevant forms to you. If you are sending the forms through the mail, it is a good idea to send them using certified mail with a return receipt requested.

3. Review returned forms.

The forms will be returned to you with a docket number added. Use this on all future correspondence about the matter. The form will also have a date for your hearing and the name of a newspaper.

4. Publish the Order Fixing Date of Hearing.

Once you receive your court date, you must publish your Order Fixing Date of Hearing in the newspaper the court identified when they returned your forms to you. This notice must be published at least two weeks before your hearing date.

5. Provide proof to the court.

Once published, the newspaper will send an Affidavit of Publication, which is your proof that you published the Order. The Affidavit will also identify the name of the newspaper in which the Order was published. You must provide the original Affidavit of Publication to the court. Send this via certified mail and keep a copy for your records.

6. Notify the state or county prosecutor and provide Proof of Mailing.

If you are facing criminal charges, you must notify the prosecutor of the county where the charges are being heard or the Office of the Attorney General. You must send a copy of both the Order Fixing Date of Hearing and the Verified Complaint via certified mail to the prosecutor and the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice via certified mail.

Next, you must fill out the Proof of Mailing form completely. Attach the original certified mail receipts for the Verified Complaint and the signed Order Fixing Date for Hearing and forward to the court.

7. Make your court appearance.

Appear on the date and time set by the court for your name change.

8. Publish again.

You must publish the Final Judgment signed by the court in the same newspaper. This must occur no more than 20 days after the court signs the Judgment. Again, the newspaper will send you an Affidavit of publication. You should send the original of this document to the court and maintain a copy for your records.

9. Send and deliver certified copies to relevant government agencies.

You must send or deliver certified copies of the Final Judgment to the Department of the treasury and the Registrar of Vital Statistics and deliver a copy to the Motor Vehicle Agency or Regional Service Center.

 

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.

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