WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Those in New York looking to change their middle names to maiden names on their driver’s license will no longer have to deal with court proceedings, Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) announced on Wednesday morning.
During a press conference in front of the White Plains Department of Motor Vehicles, Buchwald announced that, after some inquiries and negotiations, the New York State DMV will now only require a marriage certificate to make the change.
Previously, the process was similar to changing a first name, and would often involve lengthy periods in court, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
"This is a tremendous advancement for women in New York, especially professional women. It is something that, frankly, shouldn't have taken until now," Buchwald said.
Danielle DiBiase Esposito, a resident of Buchwald's district in Westchester, spoke at the conference and shared her personal experience.
"I've been able to change my name on everything except my driver's license," she said. "Being able to add my maiden name to my middle name is very important to be because when I was married, my father was ill, and I really wanted keep our family name in my middle name."
Esposito brought her paperwork with her in order to change her name immediately after the conference.
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins also spoke at the conference in favor of the changes.
"It is a way for women to express themselves, to keep their maiden name. I am one of those hyphenated women. It is just so incredibly important to women," she said.
Though the law does focus on women predominately, Buchwald told Daily Voice that the privileges will also extend to same-sex married couples regardless of either person's gender or sexual identity.
Other speakers included Professional Women of Westchester Vice President Rose Colonna, American Association of University Women Westchester Branch President Jane Pendergast, Women’s Enterprise Development Center Executive Director Anne Janiak, Woman’s Club of White Plains President Susan Rade Doherty, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, White Plains councilwoman Beth Smayda and presidents from local branches of the League of Women Voters.