If you want to change your legal name, the cost to do this will vary. A few factors that dictate the expense include the state that you live in and how quickly you want the change to occur. You’ll need to obtain a court order to get this done, which is going to be your greatest expense.
To change your name via a court order, you do not have to use a lawyer. Regardless, it still may cost you between $150 and $500 once you’ve paid for miscellaneous fees associated with court costs and filing requirements.
The documents required to legally change your name will not be the same in each state or county. As there is no single fee that is used for this type of process, it is best to check with the County Courthouse that’s closest to your proximity. You can find this by searching the internet for the name of your County and the keyword “Courthouse.”
In most areas, filing fees will cost about $25 per document. Fortunately, the necessary forms that you need are usually free. If fees are attached to these forms, you may be able to cut that cost by utilizing generic legal forms that you can pick up at any local office supply store for a few bucks.
The most common forms that are required include the Affidavit of Name Change, the Order for Name Change or Petition for Name Change. After the court orders the name change for you, you’ll probably have to pay an additional fee of about $20 to pay for each official document that you request.
Changing Important Documents
Once you receive the official copies of the court order that states your name change, you’ll need to make sure that all of your important documents reflect your new name. These include the following:
State ID or Drivers License: This may cost you nothing or the equivalent of a renewal fee.
Birth Certificate: Changing this document will require you to have a certified copy of your court ordered name change. These generally run between $20-$25 for processing fees.
Passport: This also requires a certified copy of your court ordered name change. Typically, there’s no fee. However, you may need to take a new photo, which will cost you around $10.
Bank Accounts: You will need to replace your debit card and checks. That should cost about $10 and $35, respectively.
Social Security Card: There is no fee for changing your name on this piece of identification.
Insurance Policies: No fees are required for this.
Investment or Retirement Accounts: These can be changed without incurring a fee.
Mortgages: You will probably have to supply a certified copy of your court ordered name change.
Credit Cards: No fees are required.
To streamline this process, you can hire a professional service that will complete this process for you. The fee to do this should range between $50-$60. For that price, they will complete the various forms that are required and supply you with pre-addressed envelopes. While this does cost you a little more in fees, it also allows you to quickly go through the process and legally change your name.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!