How Much Does it Cost to Legally Change Your Name?

Last Updated on February 26, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Are you considering a legal name change, but uncertain about the financial implications? Modifying your name is an exciting opportunity for a fresh start, but it’s crucial to understand the associated costs.

In this guide, we’ll break down the expenses involved in legally changing your name and provide practical tips to help you navigate the process smoothly. Prepare to embark on this transformative journey with your eyes wide open.

How Much Does it Cost to Legally Change Your Name?

Legally changing your name involves several mandatory fees, the most fundamental being court and filing costs. These fees can range from $50 to $500, depending on your state or county.

Additionally, you’ll likely need to hire a notary public to witness and authenticate your legal documents, with prices typically between $10 to $50.

MetLife reports that the total cost of legally changing your name can range from less than $100 to over $500, depending on where you live, how you go about changing your name, and if you hire an attorney to help you through the process.

Forbes Advisor notes that the cost of changing your name varies by state, with fees ranging from under $100 to up to $500. Additionally, there may be added costs, such as the fee for posting a name change in a local newspaper.

NY Courts states that the cost of filing a name change petition in New York is $210 in Supreme and County Courts, or $65 in New York City Civil Court. However, if you cannot afford the fee, you may ask the court for a fee waiver.

LegalZoom reports that the cost of legally changing your name typically ranges from around $100 to $500, depending on the state and any additional costs, such as the fee for posting a name change in a local newspaper.

EZ Name Change provides a service to prepare and file a name change petition in New York for $115, with additional fees for notarization and filing.

Additional Expenses

Beyond the basic fees, several other expenses may arise during the name change process. Some states require you to publish a notice of your name change in a local newspaper, with publication costs ranging from $50 to $300.

If you choose to hire an attorney for legal guidance, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 or more, depending on their experience and the complexity of your case.

Furthermore, you’ll need to update various certificates and documents to reflect your new legal name. For instance, updating your birth certificate can cost between $10 to $40, while a marriage certificate amendment may range from $20 to $50.

Don’t forget about updating your driver’s license ($10 to $35) and passport ($110 to $200), as these are crucial forms of identification.

Government ID and Documentation

Changing your name on government-issued IDs and documents is a critical step in the process. As mentioned earlier, updating your driver’s license can cost anywhere from $10 to $35, while a passport update can range from $110 to $200.

Additionally, you may need to update your Social Security card (typically $30 to $40) and potentially pay fees for updating various other government documents and records.

State-Specific Variations

It’s important to note that name change costs can vary significantly by state. Some states have higher court and filing fees, while others may require additional steps, such as background checks or fingerprinting, which can increase the overall cost.

You might also like our articles about the cost of adopting an adult, adopting a child, or counseling supervision.

Factors like the specific court you file in, the county or city where you live, and the complexity of your case can all impact the total expenses.

Financial Planning

Given the numerous costs involved, it’s crucial to plan your finances carefully before initiating a legal name change. Start by researching the specific fees in your state and county, and create a comprehensive budget that accounts for all potential expenses.

Consider setting aside funds in advance or exploring payment plan options if available. Additionally, consult with legal professionals to get accurate estimates and avoid any unexpected costs.

Cost-Saving Tips

Form to Change NameTo minimize expenses, explore options for waiving certain fees if you qualify based on your income level or other circumstances. Many courts offer fee waivers or reduced rates for those who demonstrate financial hardship.

Additionally, consider doing some tasks yourself, such as preparing legal documents or handling the name change publication, which can save you money on attorney fees.

Moreover, researching online resources and taking advantage of DIY legal services can help you navigate the process more cost-effectively.

Some websites and software offer affordable guidance and document preparation assistance, potentially saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars compared to hiring a traditional attorney.

Final Words

Changing your legal name is a significant decision with financial implications that should not be overlooked. By understanding the various fees involved, from court costs to updating identification documents, you can adequately prepare and budget for this transformative process.

Remember to explore cost-saving strategies, such as fee waivers and DIY options, to minimize expenses.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the financial complexities of a name change, don’t hesitate to consult with legal professionals or seek out additional resources.

They can provide personalized guidance, clarify state-specific requirements, and help you navigate the process smoothly and cost-effectively. Embrace this new chapter of your life with confidence, armed with the knowledge and financial preparedness to make your name change a success.

Most Important Things to Remember:

  • Court and filing fees can range from $50 to $500 or more, depending on your location.
  • Additional costs may include publication fees ($50 to $300), attorney fees ($200 to $1,000+), and certificate updates (e.g., birth certificate $10 to $40, marriage certificate $20 to $50).
  • Updating government IDs like driver’s licenses ($10 to $35) and passports ($110 to $200) is crucial.
  • Costs can vary significantly by state, so research your specific location.
  • Plan your finances carefully and explore options for fee waivers and DIY legal services to save money.
  • Consult legal professionals or seek additional resources if you need personalized guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my name in PA?

To legally change your name in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to file a Petition for Name Change with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where you reside. This typically involves paying court filing fees (around $150-$200), publishing a notice in two local newspapers (around $100-$300), and attending a court hearing. After the judge approves your name change, you’ll receive a Decree that allows you to update your government-issued IDs, records, and other documents.

How much does it cost to change your name in Georgia?

The cost to legally change your name in Georgia can vary depending on the county, but generally includes court filing fees (around $200-$250), publication costs in the county’s legal organ newspaper (roughly $50-$100), and potential additional fees like certified copies of the final order (around $2-$5 per copy).

Overall, you can expect to spend between $300 to $500 or more for a name change in Georgia.

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

Changing your legal name in the Philippines involves several steps and associated costs. First, you’ll need to file a Petition for Change of Name with the Regional Trial Court, which typically costs around PHP 3,000 to PHP 5,000 in filing fees.

You’ll also need to publish the petition in a local newspaper, which can cost anywhere from PHP 1,000 to PHP 10,000 or more, depending on the publication.

Additionally, you may need to pay for certified copies of documents, notarization fees, and other administrative costs, bringing the total cost to approximately PHP 5,000 to PHP 20,000 or higher, depending on your specific circumstances.

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