How Much Does It Cost To Change Your Name

Monday 23 January 2012 - Filed under Info

When one plans to change his or her name, there can be different reasons behind the decision such as marriage, adoption and divorce to name a few. Many people do it because they do not like their given name. Many of these reasons are allowed under the US law as long as the intention of the petitioner is not to use it for illegal or fraudulent purposes like avoiding the payment of a loan or committing an illegal act.


There are a number of documents having our name and hence when we plan to change your name, the whole process become lengthy. The change in your name must reflect in all your important documents in order. In every step, you will need to follow certain procedure and you will have to pay some fees for that. So, it is obvious that by the time you are done with the name changing process, you will have to spend several hundred dollars. The overall cost to change your name legally depends on the State, County or City you reside in. 


Also, a simple name change due to marriage or divorce will cost of less than $100 if there are no licenses or passports to change. Well, if there is passport and other miscellaneous documents where the change in your name must reflect, the whole process can be expensive. There will be processing fees, attorney fees and professional fees to take care of. The overall cost can be somewhere around $500 or more depending upon the US state you reside.


Petition Filing Fee: To change your name legally, you must file a petition in the local court. Along with the necessary form and necessary documents you also need to pay a processing fee. A name change filing fee varies from state to state. The filing fee can be as high as $401 if you are living in Florida, or as low as $150 if you are in California. In Minnesota, the fee is $322, while in Wisconsin the average cost for a name change is $165.  Also, in some states, certified copies of the name change documents are required to make necessary changes in other important documents. This will cost you an additional amount ranging from $14 to $20 depending upon the law and order of the state. If you want a criminal record check, you will have to spend an additional $10 – $20. In many states or counties the fee is non-refundable.


Additional Costs: Apart from the filing fee, you need to pay money for postage for certified mailings, fees associated with the signatures and seals of a Notary Public, publication fees and service of process charges. It is difficult to determine the exact cost due to the varying circumstances surrounding any legal action or case. Moreover, the processes and requirements for a name change application vary sometimes from county to county or even courthouse to courthouse. Also, as part of the name changing procedure, you need to publish an ad in the local newspaper or local newsletter for several days to announce your intention to legally change your name. This is done so that public can raise any objection against your petition if you owe them money or so. Publishing an advertisement is expensive. Also if you have hired an attorney then there is another additional expense for you to handle.


Corresponding Changes and Fees: Once you have a legal order highlighting the change in your name, it is time to make the corresponding changes in your driving license, social security card and passport. You should also get a new birth certificate to reflect your new name. For a change in the name on your birth certificates, you need to give a processing fee that might range from $90 to $150 depending by the state in which you reside. Corrections or name changes can be made to a Social Security account for free by using form SS-5. You can get this form online here. Well, on good thing is that there is no fee for changing your name in your passport unless you require Expedited Service. To change your name in your driving license, it will cost you anywhere from $4 to $22 depending on the state you reside.


To conclude, as name change laws and procedures vary widely from state to state, it is advisable to find out how much it will cost you exactly. You can contact your local court clerk for information regarding the estimated cost. This will help you to plan accordingly without worrying about your budget.

2012-01-23  »  writer

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