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How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Name?

Discover the cost for changing your name

Name-changing is a complicated process involving court fees, publication expenses, and more. The exact costs for a change of name certificate will vary from state to state.

Generally, it’s recommended that you budget at least $50-$500 for the entire process. The most common name change cost is filing the legal paperwork. The fee usually depends according to the state you live in.

With the help of this Dbd guide, you will be able to know how much does it cost to change your name. Additionally, you can find helpful information to change your name.

Legal requirements for changing a name

inarticle image-how much does it cost to change your name-Legal requirements for changing a name

Legal requirements for a name change vary greatly in most states. You must research your specific state before starting the process.

Once you have all the necessary paperwork and documents in order, you can start filing for a name change in court.

The first thing you must know before changing your name is your age. You need to be at least 18 years for this process.

Following are the important documents you need to change your name:

  • A petition to change your name: This document must be filled out and submitted to the court. The petition will include details about your current name, the new name you are seeking to adopt, and reasons why you would like to change your name. [1]Massachusetts Government, “Legally Change Name, https://www.mass.gov/how-to/legally-change-your-name-as-an-adult”
  • Birth certificate or identification document: You must present a copy of your birth certificate. If don’t have your birth certificate provide a passport or another form of identification to prove your identity.
  • Proof of your address: You must provide a copy of your driver’s license, utility bill, or another document that proves your current address.
  • Name changed document: You might have changed your name previously. If so, you must submit a copy of your name change document issued by the court. This is proof that you legally changed your name.
  • Filing fee: Name change form filing fees vary from state to state. You must contact your local court for the exact filing fee. The fees are different even according to your court. If you go for the Supreme Court it might be expensive. [2]NY Courts, “Name change basics, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/namechange/basics.shtml”

Make sure you provide all the required documentation for your name change. These certified copies should prove your name.

Cost of name change

inarticle image-how much does it cost to change your name-Cost of name change

While changing your name legally, you must pay for court fees, newspaper publication fees, and other associated costs.

The total cost to legally change your name depends on the state and county where you live but commonly falls between $50-$500.

Here’s an overview of the associated costs of the name change:

  • Notary fee: This includes the cost of signing a petition by a notary officer. This usually costs in the range of $15-$20.
  • Court filing fees: This is the fee to file a name change petition in court. The amount varies from state to state and county to county but usually falls between $50-$500.
  • Newspaper publication fees: You must publish your name change announcement in a local newspaper. The cost depends on the newspaper ranging from $50 to $100.

On top of that, if you decide to go through a name change service or an attorney, there will be a license fee or an additional lawyer’s fee, depending on your case.

  • Attorney fees: If you need assistance from an attorney, the fee can range from $1,000-$3,500.
Heading Average Cost 
Notary fee $15-$20 
Court filing fees $50-$500 
Newspaper publishing fees $50-$100 
Attorney fees $100-$3,500(Depending on your case complexity) 

Ways to reduce the cost of a name change

inarticle image-how much does it cost to change your name-Ways to reduce the cost of a name change

You can apply various methods to reduce the cost of your name change. Some of them include:

  • Ask for a waiver: If you cannot pay the court costs and fees, you can ask the court for help. This is called a Fee Waiver. It means you don’t have to pay for your case. Some courts call it “Poor Person’s Relief.” However, you will still need to pay to print your new name in the newspaper.
  • Ask for a discount with your attorney: You can ask your attorney for a discount or deferred payment plan.

By following these tips, you can minimize the cost of changing your name and simplify the process.

Factors that may affect the cost of a name change

inarticle image-how much does it cost to change your name-Factors that may affect the cost of a name change

The price of changing your name will vary depending on the state and county you live in and other factors.

It is important to look at all these factors before deciding how much it will cost to change your name.

  • State: The state or county you live in determines the court filing fees and other associated costs.
  • Court: The court you choose always affects the cost. For example, if you choose a Supreme Court, it may be more expensive than the district or local court.
  • Attorney: If you use an attorney, the cost can be higher. However, if your case is complex and needs legal advice, it may be helpful to hire an attorney.
  • Newspaper: The newspaper you choose for publishing your name change announcement also affects the cost. Generally, newspapers charge differently depending on their readership size and popularity.
  • The complexity of the case: If the case is complicated, it may take longer and cost more. This also affects your attorney fees.

Potential roadblocks to changing a name

inarticle image-how much does it cost to change your name-Potential roadblocks to changing a name

You can change your name in almost every case. However, in the case of a felony conviction, you have to wait. The court needs your background checks for the name change.

A felony conviction is a condition where the individual has been convicted of a serious crime. If you have felony convictions on your record, it may be difficult for you to change your name. You have to wait 2 years after you get your parole. [3]Texas Law help, “Felony convictions, … Continue reading

A court cannot change your name if you are a sex offender. You must also show the court proof that you told the family attorney and the police that you wanted to change your name.

However, a name change after marriage does not have restrictions without strict cause. You will mostly be changing your last name after marriage.

But for a child name change, you need to give consent from the legal parents or adopted child. The name change procedure for a child differs from an adult name change.

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How much does it cost to change your name in the US?

The cost of legally changing your name in the US varies depending on each state and the type of name change you are requesting. Generally, it’s recommended that you budget at least $50-$500 for the entire process.

Can I change my name without going to court?

No, it is not possible to change your name without going through the court process. However, you can start the application process by mailing or online.

How long does it take to change your name legally?

The name change process time depends on the state you live in. Usually, the judge usually takes 2-3 months for a name change request to approve.

What documents do I need to change my name?

For a legal name change, you must provide valid identification documents such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security card.

You might need to find copies of special papers from the court that are related to divorce proceedings or your name change.

Can I change my child’s name without the other parent’s consent?

No, in most cases, you will need the consent of both parents in a court order to change your child’s name legally.

However, if another parent doesn’t have parental rights, then consent from your legal guardian is sufficient.

Can I change my name to anything I want?

Yes, you can change your name to almost any desired name. No court has decided to restrict your name.

It’s important to understand the name change cost before you begin the name change application process.

Follow our guide to learn everything about how much does it cost to change your name.

About the author

Mark Beck
Mark Beck
Financial Advisor

Mark Beck is an experienced financial advisor with an MBA from the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He specializes in tax, investing, creating a healthy budget, strategizing debt pay-off, developing a retirement roadmap, and creating personalized investing plans. Mark is committed to helping his clients secure their financial futures by providing personalized retirement planning advice.


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