Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How do I go about legally changing/adding a middle name in New York State?

Q:  I am 28 and have used a middle name/initial (Elizabeth, but I am sure that doesn't matter) my whole life. I always wondered why it wasn't on my SS card or driver's license & recently looked at my birth certificate, to see that I don't actually have one listed. I would really like to legally add a middle name. I found some papers on filing for a name change in NY, but is this something I can do, or do I need a lawyer? Is there any way I could apply to have the filing fee waived? I have a very similar question regarding my 2 year old daughter- she has a middle name, but we would like to change it to honor my mother-in-law who recently passed. We called the town hall where she was born & there is no form to change the birth certificate like that & they had no idea how to do it. Thank you!

A:  David's Answer:  You can find forms & instructions here: You generally do not need an attorney for name change applications.   -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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