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How to Perform a Car Registration Name Change in New Jersey

You must perform a New Jersey name change on car registration when your legal name changes. To change name on car registration, you must visit a Motor Vehicle Commission office with documentation proving a legal name change has occurred. However, changing name on car registration information also involves changing your name with the Social Security Administration. While name change on car registration documents can seem unnecessary, you should ensure that your name is accurate on records to avoid confusion. To learn how to change name on car registration, review the sections below.

How to Change Your Name with the SSA in New Jersey

If you are asking, “How do I change my name on my car registration?” you should first learn how to change your name with the SSA. To change name on registration information, you must provide a corrected Social Security card that displays your new name. To change your name on your Social Security card, you may follow the steps provided below:

  1. Complete the application for a Social Security card.
  2. Collect all required documents.
  3. Bring or mail the application and accompanying documents to a local SSA office.
  4. You will receive your corrected card within 10 to 14 business days.

Required documents applicants changing names on a car registration and on a Social Security card will need to present or attach to their applications include the following:

  • Evidence of a legal name change such as a marriage document, divorce decree, Certificate of Naturalization or court order
  • Proof of identity like a drivers license, non-driver ID card or passport
  • Documents indicating U.S. citizenship (i.e., birth certificate, Certificate of Citizenship or consular report of birth abroad), if applicable

Similar to changing names on car registration, changing your name with the SSA requires submitting original documents or certified copies that will be returned to you once your application has been processed. To obtain certified copies of your records, you may contact the State Office of Vital Statistics and Registry or the agency that issued your original documents. Although you are limited to three Social Security cards per year and up to 10 in a lifetime, the limit does not apply to name changes. A car registration name change should be performed immediately after you receive the corrected card. However, to guarantee that a name change on car registration will be properly processed, you should wait at least 24 hours before bringing the new card to an MVC agency. However, unlike a name change on car registration, a name change with the SSA is complimentary.

Options for Performing a Name Change on Car Registration in New Jersey

If you need to change your name on car registration, you must visit an MVC agency. Name change requests on car registration cannot be filed online or by mail. You should obtain the following acceptable documents that prove a legal name change occurred:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Civil union certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Court order that includes both the previous and current names

However, additional documents, such as birth certificates and passports may also be accepted evidence of a legal name change. Documents to perform a name change on car registration documents must feature municipal or state seals to be valid. You must bring your corrected Social Security card to complete a car registration name change in addition to one of the accepted name change documents. Once you have collected all required documents to verify your identity and name change, you must visit a local MVC agency and fill out an application for a new car registration document. The application for a replacement or duplicate registration may prompt you to give a vehicle identification number and the make and model of your vehicle. Additionally, you will need to provide your current address on file with the MVC and include the names of every owner of the vehicle.

The process of changing names on car registration also necessitates a fee payment. The fee for a name change on car registration may vary depending on whether you request replacement or duplicate registration cards or stickers or not.

When to Change Your Name on Your New Jersey Registration

You should conduct a name change on car registration when your legal name changes.The act of changing a name on car registration, though, should not be performed when car owners change (i.e., when owners are added or removed from the registration). Instead, if you need to alter vehicle ownership on registration information, you should strictly apply for a new car registration. In this case, you do not need to prove a legal name change has taken place. Common reasons for legal name changes include marriages, divorces and the desire to match a parent’s name.

Additionally, you should correct names on car registration documents with the MVC if they are inaccurate or misleading. Because clerical mistakes are the fault of the MVC, changing names on car registration for this reason is usually free. You may request title corrections for clerical errors by visiting a local MVC agency or mailing a written correction request that includes the original car registration, the name that needs to be corrected and proof of the error (i.e., acceptable government documents displaying the correct name).

Note: A name change on car registration does not automatically change names on all other vehicle and driving documents such as car titles and drivers licenses.

You should update your name on your registration as soon as possible to ensure your vehicle records and information remains accurate and updated. While you must report address changes within one week of the move, name changes on car registration do not need to be reported within a certain period. However, you are encouraged to update your name on your car registration to keep your records consistent.

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