via Social Security News
Program Operations Manual Series (POMS):
You asked us to determine whether an individual who enters into a civil union in the State of New Jersey may legally change his or her name based solely upon the civil union event or whether a court order is required to effectuate the proposed name change. Recently enacted New Jersey legislation legalizing civil unions specifically allows for the right to change surnames based upon a civil union event without a court order. Accordingly, an individual who enters a civil union in the State of New Jersey may legally change his or her name without a court order.