Changing your name typically involves several fees. The total cost depends on a number of factors, including where you live, how you go about changing your name, and if you hire an attorney to help you through the process. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how much it costs to change your name based on the specific fees you can expect to pay.
How much does it cost to change your last name after marriage?
One of the most common reasons for a name change is marriage, and the process is fairly routine. It’s usually as simple as filing paperwork with the Social Security Administration and listing your desired name on the marriage license. You’ll typically pay the fee for the license, which may cost anywhere from $15 to over $500 depending on your state.
Many people opt to change their last name — either to their spouse’s, a hyphenated version of both last names, or a combined version. Most states require a court order for the latter.
Keep in mind that the license fee doesn’t include any costs you may incur from requesting changes to important documents, like a vehicle title, passport, or driver’s license. Depending on where you live, the cost for each can range from $10 to $200 or more.
How much to change your name after divorce?
The other side of the coin is divorce. Many people choose to go back to their original last name after their marriage ends. Again, this often costs nothing. All you need to do is request the name change during the divorce proceedings. The judge should include the change on your divorce decree at no additional charge.
How much does it cost to legally change your name for other reasons?
Outside of marriage and divorce, legally changing your name usually comes with a price tag. The total amount can range from less than $100 to over $500.
First, you should expect to pay a filing fee. This is the cost of filing your name change forms with the County Clerk. Fees vary wildly depending on your state of residence. For instance, a filing fee in Mississippi is $20, while New Jersey’s fee is $250.
Additional fees may include background checks, copies of your name change court order, and the cost to publish your name change in a local newspaper. Make sure you’re familiar with the process and how much it’ll cost you before embarking on your name change journey.
A family attorney can act as a resource and help you gather the necessary documents and forms. But keep in mind that their fee will be an additional expense.
One way you could possibly save money would be through legal insurance, which offers access to a network of attorneys for a monthly cost and often with little to no additional out-of-pocket fees. Ask your employer if they offer a legal plan as part of their benefits package.