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Domestic Relations Law

Domestic Relations Law, Section 15 (1) (b)
The content below contains all of Section 15 (1) (b) of the Domestic Relations Law of the City of New York. To view the entire Domestic Relations Law of the State of New York, please visit the Public Law portal of the New York State Legislature and select Laws of New York.

State of New York 
Domestic Relations Law
Article 3 Solemnization, Proof and Effect of Marriage
Section 15 Duties of town and city clerks
Paragraph (1)

  1. Every application for a marriage license shall contain a statement to the following effect:

    1. Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she wishes to be known simply by using that name consistently and without intent to defraud.
    2. A person's last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party to the marriage must change his or her last name. Parties to a marriage need not have the same last name.
    3. One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the solemnization of the marriage by entering the new name in the space below. Such entry shall consist of one of the following surnames:
      1. the surname of the other spouse; or
      2. any former surname of either spouse; or
      3. a name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse; or
      4. a combination name separated by a hyphen, provided that each part of such combination surname is the premarriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.
    4. The use of this option will have the effect of providing a record of the change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, constitutes proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful.
    5. Neither the use of, nor the failure to use, this option of selecting a new surname by means of this application abrogates the right of each person to adopt a different name through usage at some future date.
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