The cost of changing your name can vary from state to state, and can depend on how thorough ? and how fast ? you want the change to be. The greatest expense in the process of changing your name is obtaining a court order. Although you do not need a lawyer to obtain a court ordered name change, it can still cost in the range of $150 – $500 for various court and filing fees. Required documentation varies by state, and fees vary by county. There is no single fee that applies in every state across the country. You will need to check the website for your County Courthouse to find the precise amount required to file court documents where you live. Filing fees are usually around $25 per document.
You can often obtain necessary forms from the courthouse free of charge. If not, you can purchase generic legal forms from an office-supply store for $1 – $2 each. Forms required may be a Petition for Name Change, Order for Name Change, and/or Affidavit of Name Change. After the name change has been ordered by the Court, you will have to pay an additional fee, which typically ranges $15 – $20 for each official copy you request.
You then use official copies of your court order to have your name changed on other important documents. Some of the other places you need to remember to change your name are:
? Driver?s License or State ID: Costs from no fee to the same as the renewal fee.
? Passport: Requires certified copy of court order. No fee, but if your passport was issued over a year ago, you may need a new photo, which is usually about $10.
? Birth Certificate: You will need a certified copy of your court order, and a $20 – $25 processing fee that varies by state. Additional official copies, which are stamped with state seal are $12 – $20.
? Credit Cards and Rewards Programs: Usually no fee.
? Bank Accounts: No fee, but you may incur the cost of a new debit card that are approximately $10, and replacement checks that can be about $35.
? Mortgages: No fee, but most banks require a certified copy of name change order.
? Social Security Card: No fee.
? Insurance Policies: No fee.
? Voter Registration: No fee.
? Investment and Retirement Accounts: No fee.
If the process seems daunting, you can pay a professional to deal with it for you. For around $50, these companies will complete all of the various forms, address all of the envelopes to the right administrative offices, and send you the complete package. This costs you a bit more money, but saves you the colossal hassle of dealing with all of the red tape involved in changing your name.