Written By:Adam H. Rosenblum
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A name change is something many people consider. When they finally decide to go through with it, the process often requires going to court. A judge can deny a name change request, so it is essential that a person considering it understands the requirements, limitations and process for a name change petition.
This legal process is complex, and there are many steps to follow. Having an attorney working on the matter can save time, money, and hassle. Not to mention that going through the process without legal representation can be difficult and increase the chances of a denial or dismissal.
An Attorney Can Help Avoid Mistakes in Filing
The process for filing for a name change in New Jersey requires a lot of knowledge of the legal system. The first step is knowing the proper court in which to file.
An individual wanting to change their name as an adult (and not because of a change in marital status) will go through the civil court. However, name changes for minors or due to marital status changes will need to go through the family court. If the change is a request due to errors on a birth certificate, the person will need to contact New Jersey’s State Registrar of Vital Statistics.
People need to understand that while court staff may be able to offer some limited assistance with understanding, completing, and filing the forms, they cannot provide legal advice or answer legal questions. Only an attorney can do this, which is why having representation is critical.
An Attorney Can Properly Handle the Required Forms
The bulk of the work in a name change is properly filling out the required forms. A person must ensure that they get all the correct forms and complete them fully. Any errors could result in case delays or lead to the court denying the name change.
The forms can be confusing and complex. New Jersey requires a specific packet of forms depending on the reason and circumstance behind the name change request. For example, an adult name change request requires the following:
- Verified Complaint (explains to the court the reason for the request, current name and desired name, and criminal history details)
- Certification of Confidential Information for Name Change (contains personal data, such as Social Security number)
- Order Fixing Date of Hearing, Final Judgment, and Final Judgment Addendum (all three have sections the petitioner fills out and areas for court use only)
- Civil Case Information Statement (summarizes the case)
Once the paperwork is complete, a person needs to know where and how to file it with the court. Then, after filing, there are further steps a person must take, including ensuring a copy goes to the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice by certified mail.
The individual must also alert all interested parties and provide proof to the court of doing so. If there are pending criminal charges against the person, even more steps are required.
Navigating this whole process is something that can be challenging, time-consuming, and prone to errors. An attorney is familiar with the requirements and can help make it as easy as possible for the petitioner.
An Attorney Offers Support and Guidance for Going to Court
Adults over the age of 18 will have to go to court for the name change hearing. The judge will require the person to provide their legal government identification.
In addition, the court expects to see evidence supporting the request for the name change, which an attorney can assist with obtaining. Among the evidence required is proof that the person is not trying to change their name for nefarious purposes. It is against the law to request a name change to avoid a debt, escape criminal prosecution, or for some other fraudulent means.
In some cases, a party may attend the hearing to object to the petition. If this happens, an attorney has the skills to handle the issue and avoid letting the objection derail the matter.
An Attorney Can Assist with the Follow-up Requirements
Filing paperwork and appearing in court are not the final steps in the process of changing a name in New Jersey. An individual has additional matters they must handle.
Certified copies of the order must go to the Department of Treasury and Registrar of Vital Statistics. The person also must change their name with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Administration.
An Attorney Saves Time and Headaches
Hiring an attorney to assist with a name change is a smart move. The process can be quite time-consuming, so it is much easier to allow a legal professional to handle it and ensure it gets done properly. At Rosenblum Law, we have years of experience in handling name changes and will provide the support necessary to avoid unnecessary delays and issues that might lead to the request being denied. Contact us today to get started with an initial consultation.
Name Change. (2018). New Jersey Courts.
How to Ask the Court to Change Your Name – Adults Only. (February 2021). New Jersey Courts.
Rule 4:72-1. (2018). New Jersey Courts.
Name Change for Adults. (2018) New Jersey Courts.
Civil Case Information Statement. (April 2022). New Jersey Courts.
Judiciary Electronic Document Submission. (2018). New Jersey Courts.
Name Change. (2021). New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
About The Author
Adam is the founding attorney and principal of Rosenblum Law. With more than two decades of legal experience in numerous areas of law practice, his primary focus is law firm management and business development.Read More
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How to Cite Rosenblum Law’s Article
Adam H. Rosenblum (Apr 20, 2023). Name Changes for REAL ID in New Jersey. Rosenblum Law Firm, https://rosenblumlaw.com/name-changes-for-real-id-in-new-jersey/
Adam H. Rosenblum "Name Changes for REAL ID in New Jersey". Rosenblum Law Firm, Apr 20, 2023. https://rosenblumlaw.com/name-changes-for-real-id-in-new-jersey/