The cost to change your name varies depending on where you live and the specific requirements in your jurisdiction. In general, the cost of legally changing your name can range from $100 to $500.
The cost may be lower than $50 or higher than $500 in some cases. You can also request the court to waive the fee if you can’t afford it.
You can also change your name when you get married or divorced. The process is different than changing a name in the court. You won’t be paying anything other than the license fee. Many people choose their partner’s last name or make a combination name when getting married. Similarly, they undo names when getting divorced.
Many people prefer changing a child’s name during adoption. You don’t have to file a separate name-changing petition or pay an additional fee. It usually goes along with the adoption proceedings.
Factors that Affect the Name-Changing Fee
- Filing fees: These fees are typically charged by the court or government agency that processes name change applications. The amount can vary depending on the jurisdiction.
- Publication fees: In some places, you must publish a name-change notice in a local newspaper, which can increase the cost.
- Legal fees: If you hire a lawyer to help you with the name change process, you will also need to pay their fees.
Name Changing Process – How do I Legally Change my Name?
To legally change your name, there are several steps you need to follow.
- Gather your documentation: Depending on the reason for your name change, you must provide certain documents, such as your birth certificate and a petition for name change form.
- Find a notary: Before signing your petition, you must have it notarized by a notary public, which can usually be found at a courthouse.
- Submit your petition: After it is notarized, you can submit it to the court, and your case will be assigned to a judge.
- Attend a court hearing: You may be asked to attend a court hearing to explain your reasons for wanting to change your name.
- Get the court order: If the judge approves your petition, you’ll receive a court order granting your name change.
- Publish the change: In some jurisdictions, you’ll need to have your name changed published in a local newspaper.
How Long before I can use my New Name?
The time it takes to change your name can vary depending on the circumstances. If you’ve recently married or divorced, you can start using your new name immediately, but updating all your records can take a few weeks. If you go through a formal name change process that requires a court appearance, the time it takes will depend on your state’s process and the availability of court slots. In most cases, you can complete the name change process within a few weeks or months, but you’ll need to work through your list of places to update your name after that.
How much does it Cost to Change my name on other Important Documents?
If you’ve legally changed your name, you’ll need to update your name on other important documents. The cost to change your name on these documents can vary, but you’ll typically need official copies of your court order, which cost $15-$20 each. Here’s a breakdown of some common documents and associated costs:
- Driver’s license or state ID: This can cost from no fee to the same as a renewal fee.
- Passport: You’ll need a certified copy of your court order, and if your passport was issued over a year ago, you might need a new photo for around $10.
- Birth certificate: You’ll need a certified copy of your court order and a processing fee of $20-$25 that varies by state. Additional official copies can cost $12-$20 each.
- Credit cards and rewards programs: Usually no fee.
- Bank accounts: No fee, but you may need to pay for a new debit card for around $10 and replacement checks for around $35.
- Mortgages: No fee, but your bank may require a certified copy of your name change order.
- Social security card: No fee.
- Insurance policies: No fee.
- Voter registration: No fee.
- Investment and retirement accounts: No fee
Can Courts Reject a Name Change Application?
Yes, courts can reject a name change petition for various reasons. Some common reasons for rejection include:
- Fraudulent or illegal intent: If the court suspects that your name change request is motivated by fraudulent or illegal intent, they may reject your petition.
- Misrepresentation: Your petition may be rejected if you provide false information or misrepresent yourself during the name change process.
- Confusing or offensive name: If your proposed name is deemed confusing, offensive, or contrary to public policy, the court may reject your petition.
- Failure to follow legal requirements: If you fail to follow the legal requirements for a name change in your jurisdiction, your petition may be rejected.
- Outstanding legal issues: If you have outstanding legal issues, such as unpaid child support or outstanding criminal charges, the court may reject your petition until these issues are resolved.