How to Change Your Legal Name in New Jersey

By Jennifer Williams

Some people are lucky enough to love the name they are given at birth. But if you aren't one of them, a name change may be in order. If you live in New Jersey, the process of changing your legal name does not require an attorney. The forms are available online from the New Jersey Judiciary as a packet and include detailed procedural instructions for completing the forms, filing them with the court and paying the required filing fee.

Step 1

Provide your current legal name and your chosen new name on the Verified Complaint form. Disclose any criminal history as requested. Sign the form's certification, which acts as a promise to the court that the information is correct. Complete the appropriate parts of the forms for the order setting a hearing date, judgment and case summary. Make at least one copy of the forms you fill out.

Step 2

Mail or take the original forms and one copy of each, filing fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the appropriate New Jersey court. Wait to receive a hearing date in the mail, along with the name of a local newspaper in which you must publish a public notice of your name change hearing.

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Step 3

Publish the name change hearing date in the newspaper at least two weeks before the hearing. Fill out and send to the court the Affidavit of Publication form provided in the packet as proof to the court that you published it.

Step 4

Appear before the judge on the court ordered date and time for the name change hearing. Publish the Final Judgment in the newspaper within 20 days of receipt and send an Affidavit of Publication to the court as proof of publication.

Step 5

Complete your name change by notifying the state bureau of vital statistics and treasury department.

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