|SAME AS||No Same As|
|Amd §§15 & 14-a, Dom Rel L; amd §65, Civ Rts L|
|Relates to name change upon marriage.|
|02/01/2017||referred to judiciary|
|01/03/2018||referred to judiciary|
|02/15/2018||advanced to third reading cal.674|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4098 SPONSOR: Simotas
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law and the civil rights law, in relation to name changes upon marriage   PURPOSE: To allow one or both parties to a marriage to elect to change their middle name on their marriage license.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 15 of the domestic relations law. The 'Notice to Applicant', which appears on every application for a marriage license, would be amended to include language that informs those seeking a License that either or both spous- es may elect to change their middle name to his or her current last name, any former last name he or she has had, or the last name of the other spouse. Section 2 amends subdivision 1 of section 14-a of the domestic relations law to include the option of changing a middle name on the marriage license. Section 3 amends section 65 of the civil rights law to provide that any person may elect to resume the use of a former middle name upon divorce or annulment, and that the state shall not impose a fee to change the middle name on a state identifying document due to a change in marital status.   EXISTING LAW: Currently, the aforementioned sections of law only allow for a person to change his or her last name using the marriage license.   JUSTIFICATION: Today, many women and men are opting to change their last name upon marriage but want to keep their former last name in some capacity. One popular way to accomplish this is to keep the former last name as a new or second middle name. Many states allow for such a change to occur with ease on the marriage license, but currently, New York does not. The process of changing a middle name upon marriage to a former last name is complicated in New York. A newlywed cannot simply indicate on the marriage license that he or she wishes to change his or her middle name; he or she must provide evidence of his or her new and previous name to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) before any changes can be made to their state identification documents. The DMV requires proof of name that equates to six points according to their point system. The six points can be met with a social security card and an United States passport. However, not every person has or can obtain a passport. For many, this process has been proven to be costly, time consuming and inconsistent. Some, even with the correct identification, have encount- ered problems getting their local DMV to change their middle name. The final option is to have one's name changed legally through the courts. This way is even more expensive and equally problematic. This legislation is named for a former New York State Senate Fellow, Milan Diaz, who identified the need for our state to make this process simpler when she made the decision to retain her last name as her middle name and take her fiance's last name when they marry. Jillian quickly realized that keeping her maiden name as a new middle name would be complicated if at all possible. The people of New York, and Ethan, need a simple and effective way to be able to adopt the married name they choose. New York has been a leader in the area of marriage, including legalizing same-sex marriage and being one of the few states to allow men to change their names based on change in marital status on the marriage license. We should embrace progress and lead in this instance as well. We can save newlywed New Yorkers time, money, and peace of mind by allowing them to change their middle name on their marriage license.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2015-2016: A2580 2012-2013: New Bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4098 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY February 1, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. SIMOTAS, BUCHWALD -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law and the civil rights law, in relation to name changes upon marriage The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as 2 "Jillian's Law". 3 § 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 15 of the domestic 4 relations law, as added by chapter 583 of the laws of 1985, is amended 5 to read as follows: 6 (b) Every application for a marriage license shall contain a statement 7 to the following effect: 8 NOTICE TO APPLICANTS 9 (1) Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she 10 wishes to be known simply by using that name consistently and without 11 intent to defraud. 12 (2) A person's last name (surname) does not automatically change upon 13 marriage, and neither party to the marriage must change his or her last 14 name. Parties to a marriage need not have the same last name. 15 (3) One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname 16 by which he or she wishes to be known after the solemnization of the 17 marriage by entering the new name in the space below. Such entry shall 18 consist of one of the following surnames: 19 (i) the surname of the other spouse; or 20 (ii) any former surname of either spouse; or 21 (iii) a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the 22 premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse; or 23 (iv) a combination name separated by a hyphen, provided that each part 24 of such combination surname is the premarriage surname, or any former 25 surname, of each of the spouses. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04151-01-7A. 4098 2 1 (4) One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the middle 2 name by which he or she wishes to be known after the solemnization of 3 the marriage by entering the new name in the space below. Such entry 4 shall consist of one of the following options: 5 (i) the current surname of the spouse electing to change his or her 6 name; or 7 (ii) any former surname of the spouse electing to change his or her 8 name; or 9 (iii) the surname of the other spouse. 10 (5) The use of this option will have the effect of providing a record 11 of the change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new 12 name, if any, constitutes proof that the use of the new name, or the 13 retention of the former name, is lawful. 14 [ (5)] (6) Neither the use of, nor the failure to use, this option of 15 selecting a new surname or middle name by means of this application 16 abrogates the right of each person to adopt a different name through 17 usage at some future date. 18 ..................................... 19 (Optional -- Enter new surname above) 20 § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 14-a of the domestic relations law, as 21 amended by chapter 583 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as 22 follows: 23 1. Upon receipt of the return of the marriage license, properly 24 endorsed and completed by the person who shall have solemnized a 25 marriage as provided in this article, the town and city clerks of each 26 and every town or city in the state shall, after abstracting, recording 27 and indexing the statement of performance of solemnization, issue to the 28 couple within fifteen days after such receipt or return of the completed 29 marriage license a certificate of marriage, which certificate shall be 30 substantially in the following form and contain the following facts: 31 Record No............of Year........ 32 THIS IS TO CERTIFY 33 that ................................................................. , 34 first name, premarriage middle and surname, 35 new middle and/or surname (if applicable) 36 residing at .......................................................... , 37 who was born on ........................., at ........................ , 38 date 39 and .................................................................. , 40 first name, premarriage middle and 41 surname, new middle and/or 42 surname (if applicable) 43 residing at .......................................................... , 44 who was born ........................, at ............................ , 45 date 46 were married on.......................at ............................. , 47 date 48 as shown by the duly registered license and certificate of 49 marriage of said persons on file in this office. 50 (SEAL) ...................................... 51 Town or City ClerkA. 4098 3 1 Dated at.................., N. Y. 2 ................................. 3 No other facts contained in the affidavits, statements, consents or 4 licenses shall be certified by such town and city clerks, unless 5 expressly requested in writing by the man or woman named in such affida- 6 vit, license, statement or record. 7 § 4. Section 65 of the civil rights law, as added by chapter 583 of 8 the laws of 1985 and subdivision 5 as added by chapter 417 of the laws 9 of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 10 § 65. Optional change of name upon marriage, divorce or annulment. 1. 11 Any person may, upon marriage, elect to assume a new name according to 12 the provisions of paragraph (b) of subdivision one of section fifteen of 13 the domestic relations law. 14 2. Any person may, upon divorce or annulment, elect to resume the use 15 of a former surname or middle name according to the provisions of 16 section two hundred forty-a of the domestic relations law. 17 3. The effect of the name changes accomplished in the manner 18 prescribed in subdivisions one and two of this section shall be as set 19 forth in section sixty-four of this chapter. 20 4. Nothing in this article shall be construed to abrogate or alter the 21 common law right of every person, whether married or single, to retain 22 his or her name or to assume a new one so long as the new name is used 23 consistently and without intent to defraud. 24 5. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, the state shall 25 not impose any fee, charge, surcharge or assessment solely to change the 26 surname or middle name contained on a license, permit, registration or 27 other identifying document for a person who, because of a change in 28 marital status, has assumed a new name or reassumes use of a former 29 surname as provided for in this section. 30 § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.