Manahawkin, NJ asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Divorce and Family Law for New Jersey

Q: Does a father have up to 1 year to sign baby's Birth Certificate?

I plan to give my son my last name right away and maybe change it down the road, after I see some changes in the father. How would I go about changing my sons name to his down the road? I heard I have up to 1 year to change it without a lawyer but I don't really know New Jersey law on that or how that would work.

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: The process is actually quite simple to change the birth certificate.

To start, go to "Correcting a Vital Record in New Jersey" at

If, you are uncertain or unable to find the correct form, you can also call 1-866-649-8726 and choose option 4 for "Questions regarding correcting your vital record".

The procedure is as follows:

Requests for corrections may be filed with the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry using the REG-15 (Application to Amend a Vital Record) or the Local Registrar in the municipality where the baby was born.

"Amending the Birth Record of a Child Whose Natural Parents are not Married to Each Other" - If the parents of a child are not married to each other and the mother wants to add the father's surname to the birth certificate, the parents can complete an REG 60 amendment and Certificate of Parentage form.

If the child carries the father’s surname but the father is not identified on the original birth certificate as the father, the appropriate amendment form to add the father’s information to the birth certificate is the REG-34 - Certificate of Parentage (COP) form.

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