How to change a name on a birth certificate
Requests for corrections may be filed with the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry or the Local Registrar in the municipality where the event occurred, or in the case of marriage or civil union license, in the municipality where the license was issued.
Requests for corrections must be supported by verifiable documentation. Requirements for corrections vary based on the type of correction being filed. Please select from the correction types listed below to view the specific requirements. All forms identified are available at the office of the Local Registrar.
If, after reading the information below, you have further questions, please call 1-866-649-8726 and choose the option for "Questions regarding correcting your vital record".
Please note: The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry will not replace previously issued copies once an amendment is completed.
General Corrections to All Vital Records, Birth, Death, Marriage, Civil Union or Domestic Partnership
General corrections to vital records are made via an REG-34 General Amendment form, available at any vital records office. General corrections fall into three categories; ancillary, non-ancillary items and typographical errors.
Ancillary items are non-critical supplemental items. In most cases these corrections can be accepted and amended certified copies issued immediately by the Local Registrar without review or authorization by the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry.
Non-ancillary items are critical items, requiring review and approval by the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry prior to being accepted and amended copies issued.
Non-Ancillary items are:
- Name of the subject(s) of the record
- Date of the event
- Place of the event
- In some cases, parent names
- Domestic Status, Name of Spouse/Partner on Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership certificates
- Domestic Status, Surviving Spouse/Partner and all medical/injury data on Death certificates
Typographical or documented hospital errors require the signature of the parent(s) listed on the birth certificate, or the child upon the age of 18 and may require proof of the documented error. In most cases, the parents may file for correction of typographical or documented hospital errors through the local registrar’s office where the vital event occurred.
Correction requests for a marriage/civil union or domestic partnership requires one or both applicants to sign the amendment form.
Correction requests for a death certificate requires the signature of an individual with definite knowledge and documentary proof of the requested amendment. Note: Only the medical certifier or medical examiner has the authority to amend any medical related data on the death certificate.
Legal Name Changes
To amend your name on a birth, marriage, civil union or domestic partnership record, mail the following documents to the address listed below.
- A letter identifying the vital record to be corrected. Identify the name currently reported on the vital record, the exact date and place where the event occurred, and in the case of a birth record, the mother’s full maiden name and father’s full name, if listed on the vital record.
- A certified copy of the original judgment of name change. This document will be returned. Photocopies cannot be accepted.
- Payment in the amount of $2 to process the legal name change. A certified copy of the certificate can be ordered for $25 for the first copy and $2 for each additional copy of the same certificate. Please remit payment in the form of a check or money order made payable to: Treasurer, State of New Jersey.
New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registration
Attn: – Record Modification Unit
PO Box 370
Trenton, NJ 08625-0370
Corrections to the surname on a birth certificate
Corrections to the spelling of the surname can be made via an REG-34 amendment form, available at any vital records office, with acceptable, verifiable documentary proof.
- switch the order of hyphenated or dual surnames;
- remove a surname from a hyphenated or dual surname; or
- add a second surname, when the surname to be added is the surname of a parent already listed on the birth certificate
- correct the spelling of a surname
- individuals born prior to 1/1/1993 must obtain a court ordered legal name change to amend the surname, in most cases.
- individuals born 1/1/1993 to present can submit acceptable verifiable documentary proof.
Corrections to the first and/or middle name on a birth certificate
- Phonetic changes can be requested, and shall be made by submitting to the Local or State Registrar an REG-34 amendment form, available at any vital records office, that has been signed before an active Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Alternate Deputy Registrar that has a valid CMR certification and who is employed by a local registration district within New Jersey OR individuals including, but not limited to, licensed attorneys at law, Notary Publics, or any Judge of any court of competent jurisdiction within the United States.
signed before before an active Registrar, Deputy Registrar or Alternate Deputy Registrar that has a valid CMR certification and who is employed by a local registration district within New Jersey OR individuals including, but not limited to, licensed attorneys at law, Notary Publics, or any Judge of any court of competent jurisdiction within the United States.
- If requested prior to the child’s 7th birthday. the parent(s) or legal custodian(s) can request the change.
- If requested on or after the child’s 7th birthday. the parent(s) or legal custodian(s) or child upon the age of 18, can request the change. The request must be accompanied by acceptable documentary proof established before the 7th birthday of the individual listed on the birth certificate.* Supporting documentary proof must be the original document, which will be returned following completion of the request. Photocopies cannot be accepted.
Acceptable forms of supporting documentary proof can be one of the following:
- Baptism Certificate
- Elementary school entrance records or cumulative school enrollment records (May be obtained from the board of education in the county where the individual first entered school.)
- Immunization or medical records (These records must show the child’s full name, date, place of birth and date the child was first seen.)
- State or Federal Census records
*A submission of supporting documentary proof does not guarantee a change of name will be granted. All requests for a non-legal name change are reviewed completely and applicants are advised if a request for name change will be approved according to policy, procedure and applicable New Jersey State Statute. Applicants may be instructed to petition the court for a legal name change.
Amending the Birth Record of a Child Whose Natural Parents are not Married to Each Other.
In this situation there are many variables, the information below provides guidance on many of these cases. Please review the case example that applies to your situation.
- If the mother is married to someone other than the biological father and the husband is not the child’s father, the mother and husband may complete an Affidavit of Denial of Paternity together with the appropriate amendment and Certificate of Parentage form.
- If the mother is married to someone other than the biological father and the whereabouts of the husband are unknown and the husband is not the child’s father the mother must obtain a court issued order of paternity declaring that the child is not the husband’s or a court order naming who the child’s father is declared to be.
- If the mother is not married before the birth of the child but marries later to a man who is not the child’s father and wishes to add the biological father to the birth record, she must submit a certified copy of the record of that marriage which indicates the previous marital status of the bride together with the appropriate amendment and Certificate of Parentage form.
- If the mother was married at the time of the child’s birth but is divorced less than 10 months before or any time after the child is born, supply a certified copy of the complaint part and final judgment of divorce. Either court document must indicate that the child is not a child of the marriage. The appropriate amendment and Certificate of Parentage form must be completed by both biological parents.
- If the parents of a child are not married to each other and the mother is single and wishes for the child carry the surname of the father or a combination of both parents’ surnames, and add the father to the child’s record, the parents may complete an REG 60 amendment and Certificate of Parentage form.
Note: If the child carries the father’s surname at the time of birth but the father is not on the original record, the appropriate amendment form to add the father’s information is the REG 34, available at any vital records office and Certificate of Parentage (COP) form.
Biological Parents Who Marry After the Birth of a Child
Biological parents who marry after the birth of a child may have the birth certificate amended to include the name of the father, even if already on the record, and update the legitimacy status. The parents must provide proof of the marriage. If the marriage occurred within New Jersey, provide the date and place of marriage; if the marriage occurred outside of New Jersey, provide a full, certified copy of the marriage record that indicates previous marital status of the bride/mother of the child. An REG 35 and Certificate of Parentage form must be completed by both biological parents.
Amending the Birth Record of a Child born Out-of-Wedlock Whose Mother Marries a Man Other than the Natural Father
In this situation, only the surname of the child or items concerning the mother may be corrected by filing an REG 56, stepfather amendment form. No information about the stepfather may be added to the record, nor will the child be listed as legitimate. Proof of the mother’s marriage to the stepfather is required. If the marriage occurred within New Jersey, provide the date and place of marriage; if the marriage occurred outside of New Jersey, provide a full, certified copy of the marriage record that indicates previous marital status of the bride/mother of the child.Source: www.state.nj.us