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Surname Options
Name Options
Every person has the right to adopt any name by which he or she wishes to be knows simply by using that name consistently and without intent to defraud. 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. The bride and groom need not take the same last name.

One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license. The new name must consist of one of the following options:
  • The surname of the other spouse
  • Any former surname of either spouse
  • A name combining into a single surname all or a segment of the premarriage surname or any former surname of each spouse
  • 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

Changing Your Surname
The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, is proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful.

Whether you decide to use or not use this option at the time of your marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.

More Information
For more information, contact the town clerk's office at (716) 877-8800 ext. 800.

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