How Much Does a Legal Name Change Cost?

Changing your name can be a significant decision in your life, whether it’s due to marriage, divorce, or personal preference. But before you dive into the process, it’s important to understand what it entails, including the costs involved and the steps you’ll need to take. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about changing your name in simple terms.

How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Name?

The cost of changing your name can vary depending on where you live and the reason for the change. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $50 to upwards of $500. Some common fees you might encounter include:

  • Court filing fees
  • Certified copy fees
  • Newspaper notice fees
  • Attorney or online service preparation fees
  • Birth certificate name change fees

Keep in mind that these fees can differ significantly between states, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements in your area.

Do I Have to Pay to Change My Name with Social Security?

If you’re changing your name due to marriage, divorce, or a court order, you won’t be charged to update your name with the Social Security Administration. You’ll need to fill out the Application for a Social Security Card form and provide supporting documents such as a marriage certificate or court order. Once everything is submitted, you’ll receive a new Social Security card with your updated name for free.

Legal Name-Change Costs by State

The cost of changing your name also varies by state. For example, in California, you might pay around $435, while in Hawaii, the cost could be as low as $55. The process may also differ depending on the reason for the name change, such as marriage or divorce.

Tips for Navigating the Name-Change Process

Changing your name doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process. Here are some tips to help you navigate it smoothly:

  • Consider using a name-change service like HitchSwitch or MissNowMrs if you’re short on time or prefer assistance.
  • If you can’t afford the court filing fee, you may qualify for a fee waiver based on your financial situation.
  • Make sure to notify all relevant parties of your name change, including the Social Security Administration, banks, insurance companies, and employers.

Conclusion

Changing your name can be a straightforward process with the right information and resources. By understanding the costs involved, knowing the steps to take, and following these tips, you can navigate the name-change process with ease.

FAQs

  1. How much does it cost to change your name?

    • The cost varies depending on factors such as your location and the reason for the name change. Fees typically range from $50 to $500.
  2. Do I have to pay to update my name with Social Security?

    • No, if your name change is due to marriage, divorce, or a court order, updating your name with the Social Security Administration is free.
  3. Can I get a fee waiver for the name-change process?

    • You may qualify for a fee waiver if you meet certain financial criteria, such as being eligible for government assistance or having a household income below the poverty level

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