You should obtain a court order that officially changes your name. The process is relatively simple in the case of a marriage or a divorce; in these situations, a name change can be included in the marriage certificate or on the order of divorce.
However, if you are changing your name for any reason other than a divorce or a marriage, you must petition the New York State Supreme Court for a name change, and the process will be a bit more complicated.
The following is meant only as a summary of the procedure that you should follow to petition the court for a name change. Please contact the Dutchess County Clerk at (845) 486-2120 for more specific instructions:
To petition the court for a name change, you must first gather and fill out all of the necessary documents, including an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, a petition to change your name, a proposed name change order, an index number application, and a filing fee of approximately $210.00. These documents must all be presented at the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office at 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie.
The County Clerk will assign an index number to your request, after which you must present your documents to the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office at 10 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. There will then be a waiting period during which the court will decide whether to issue an order to allow your requested name change.
Once the order is issued by the judge, you must file the order with the Dutchess County Clerk. You must also publish your name change in a newspaper in Dutchess County. Then you must complete an affidavit of publication and file it with the Dutchess County Clerk.