Name and Gender Change Assistance

Table of Contents

How to Legally Change Your Name and Gender Marker

Name Change Court Order

The first step to legally changing your name in New Jersey is getting a court order.

The New Jersey Courts have packets to help with this process:

As of December 2020, publishing name change requests and court orders in a newspaper is no longer required in New Jersey.

Driver’s License/State ID

To update your name on your driver’s license or state ID, you must submit a certified copy of your court order. The MVC has more information on name changes on its website.

To update your gender marker on your driver’s license or state ID, you must submit a Declaration of Gender Designation Change form.

As of April 2021, X gender markers are now available on driver’s licenses and state IDs in addition to M and F gender markers.

Birth Certificate

Use the following forms from the Office of Vital Statistics & Registry to update your name and gender marker on your or your child’s New Jersey birth certificate:

Get Help with Your Legal Name Change

Northeast New Jersey Legal Services

We work in conjunction with Northeast New Jersey Legal Services name change clinics to provide trans adults with assistance in the process of a name change in New Jersey. (We can assist individuals under the age of 18 with parental consent.) Their services are available to individuals residing in Bergen, Hudson, or Passaic Counties and who qualify based upon household income. NNJLS is currently scheduling clinics for June 2024, but will be scheduling additional clinics in Summer and Fall 2024 as needed.

What are the Steps?
  • Fill out Garden State Equality’s Name Change Assistance Form.
  • If you reside in Bergen, Hudson, or Passaic County, a member of the NNJLS team will reach out to you about our program and services.
  • If you are interested in receiving service from NNJLS, you will speak to a NNJLS intake specialist who will determine if you qualify for NNJLS services.
  • If you are eligible for NNJLS services, a member of the Pro Bono Partnerships Project (PBPP) at NNJLS will reach out to you. You’ll sign a pro bono agreement with their program if you choose to continue with their services. For eligible individuals, services through NNJLS and PBPP are free.
  • Depending on program availability and client need, either a pro bono attorney will assist you with filling out and filing the name change petition through a pro se clinic, or you will be represented by a pro bono attorney who will file the petition on your behalf, and keep you updated with the process.
  • For NNJLS eligible individuals who are represented by a volunteer attorney, the court’s filing fees are waived. For those who are assisted in filing a pro se petition, your fees may be waived by the court if you are eligible for fee waiver.

Rutgers Law School Name Change Pro Bono Project (Rutgers Newark)

We work in conjunction with Rutgers Law School, where law students, under a supervising attorney, provide support in the submission of a name change petition.

What are the Steps? (Self-Service Petition)
  • One of our Rutgers Law Student Volunteers will reach out to you with a potential date for their pop-up name change event (on a calendar basis) to provide a consultation or e-consultation via video conference.
  • During the name change clinic (In-person or virtual, on a calendar basis) volunteer law students from Rutgers and their supervising attorneys will guide you through the petition process and assist you with filling out the form.
  • They will also assist you in applying for a court waiver to cover petition fees if you qualify.
  • If you do not qualify through the courts for a fee waiver, you can submit to be covered through Garden State Equality for the filing petition only.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a self-service petition?

A: You fill the Name Change petition, with support from a partner organization such as Rutgers Law School and/or Seton Hall to guide you step by step.

Q: Does the Rutgers Law School Name Change Pro Bono Project or Seton Hall University Name Change Clinic cover filing fees for a Name Change Petition?

A: No, the Rutgers Law School Name Change Pro Bono Project and Seton Hall University Name Change Clinic do not cover the filing fees for the Name Change Petition. This is a self-service, self-pay petition process. The volunteer law students will assist you with the entire process.

If assistance with filing fees is needed, please contact Garden State Equality for support.

Additional Resources

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