Pemberton, NJ asked in Immigration Law for New Jersey

Q: Can a person legally change their name on their birth certificate if its from a different country and they are a citizen

The person came into the country 60 years ago, thinking that their middle name was their first name. All of the documentation they have in America is under their middle name, including their social security card. Now they are having issues getting a state id, and new SS card, because the birth certificate is listed differently. I am wondering if they should just change the name on the birth certificate?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Sheri A Benchetrit
Sheri A Benchetrit
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: I am not sure that you can go back and change a name on a birth certificate, but the person could certainly file in the court where they live for a name change. Once they have the legal name change then they shouldn't have a problem with getting state ID or social security. After they get the order changing their name, they can file to replace their green card with the new name or if they want to apply for citizenship, they can ask for a name change at that time. If they are already a USC then the court ordered name change should be enough to fix the problems with state of federal benefits. Best of luck!

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Las Vegas, NV

A: Short of going through a legal name change, no. A certificate of naturalization should be sufficient proof of legal name, however.

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