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Updated Procedures to File for a Name Change


New Jersey recently updated the requirements for obtaining a name change for an adult. Previously, anyone filing for a name change was required to publish a copy of their application in a local newspaper. With this step removed, the process to file for a name change is much easier.

To file for a name change, you must file a “verified complaint” in the Law Division. The verified complaint will include your current legal name, social security number, date of birth, and other information. The verified complaint includes a statement regarding whether you has been convicted of a crime and a statement that you are not filing the application for a name change to avoid creditors or criminal prosecution. You must also list any judgments that you have against you and the reason you would like to change your name. In a verified complaint, you must certify (swear) that the information in the complaint is true.

An “order fixing the date for the hearing” and a form for the judge to use for the final judgment must also be submitted to the court.

File these documents with the court with the fee of $250. If you cannot afford the fee, you can request a fee waiver from the court. (More information is available at Court Filing Fee Waivers.) 

The court will insert a hearing date and return a copy of the papers to you. Once you have received the order fixing the date of hearing, you must send a copy of the order to the Division of Criminal Justice. If you have any criminal convictions, you must also send a copy of all papers to prosecutor of any town or county where you have criminal actions pending. These papers must be sent to the Division of Criminal Justice and any prosecutor at least 20 days before the hearing. When you receive the certified mail green cards back from the post office, you submit them to the court as proof that the documents were mailed to the Division of Criminal Justice and the prosecutor.

The prosecutor and the director of criminal justice have the right to file an objection if they believe the name change is intended to avoid or obstruct criminal prosecution, avoid creditors, perpetrate a criminal or civil fraud.

At the hearing, you will be required to submit proof of your current name. This can be a driver’s license or passport. If the judge decides in your, the judge will sign the final judgment for the name change and a final judgment addendum.

Certified copies with a raised seal of the Final Judgment and Final Judgment Addendum can be ordered from the court using the Judicial Electronic Document System (JEDS) by submitting a request to the court for a $25 fee for each certified copy. Send a certified copy to the Department of the Treasury and the Registrar of Vital Statistics. If you have a driver’s license, are a registered owner of a vehicle or possess a handicapped or non-driver’s identification card, you must present a certified copy with a raised seal to the Motor Vehicle Agency or Regional Service Center.​​