How Much it Costs to Change Your Name in the US

June 3, 2024
4 min

Changing your name after marriage is a common action many people follow. However, the process involves more than just updating your Facebook profile—it includes a series of legal steps that come with various costs. Understanding these costs can help you plan accordingly and avoid any financial surprises during this significant life change.

Knowing the costs involved in changing your name after marriage is essential. This knowledge helps you budget for the process, ensuring you can cover the expenses without stress. Additionally, being aware of the steps and fees involved can save you time and frustration, allowing you to navigate the process smoothly and efficiently.

woman preparing documents to sign

Name Change After Marriage

Changing your name after marriage involves several steps, each with its costs. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand and budget for the process.

Certified Copies of the Marriage Certificate

You’ll need certified copies of your marriage certificate to start the name change process. On average, each certified copy costs around $10 to $200. It's wise to get multiple copies—typically, 3 to 6 copies are recommended. This ensures you have enough for various agencies that require an original certified copy.

Social Security Name Change

The good news is that changing your name with the Social Security Administration is free. You'll need to fill out a form and provide your marriage certificate, but there’s no charge for updating your Social Security card.

DMV Name Change

Updating your name on your driver’s license will incur a fee, which varies by state. On average, you can expect to pay between $25 and $30 for a new license. Make sure to check with your local DMV for the exact fee and required documentation.

Passport Name Change

The cost of changing your name on your passport depends on when you do it. If you update your passport within a year of issuance, there’s no fee. If you’ve had your passport for a year or more, visit Travel.State.Gov to use their fee chart and calculator to determine the exact cost of a new passport book. The costs can vary depending on several factors. If you’d also like a passport card, that’s an additional $30. Additionally, expedited shipping and processing costs can range from $19 to $60.

Banks and Financial Institutions

Most banks and financial institutions do not charge a fee to update your name. However, some may require documents to be notarized, which could incur a small fee, usually around $5 to $10.

Name Change Kits

For those who prefer a more streamlined process, you may consider businesses like Courtly that offer name change kits. These kits typically cost between $30 and $100 and provide you with all the necessary forms and instructions to change your name across various documents and institutions.

Name Change by Court Order

Legalizing your name usually comes with a price tag outside of marriage and divorce. The total amount can range from less than $100 to over $500.

Filing Fees

The primary cost involved in legally changing your name is the court filing fee. This fee can vary widely depending on your state or county. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 and $500 for filing your name change petition. Some states might have lower fees, while others could be on the higher end of the spectrum.

Court Hearing Fees

In some cases, you may be required to attend a court hearing to finalize your name change. While not always applicable, when it is required, there can be additional fees. The cost of attending a court hearing varies, but on average, you might expect to pay around $50 to $100 if your state imposes such fees.

Certified Copies of Court Order

Once your name change is approved, you'll need certified copies of the court order as proof of your new name for updating personal documents and records. The cost for each certified copy generally ranges from $5 to $20. It's recommended to get multiple copies—typically around three to five—to cover all necessary updates without having to request additional copies repeatedly

Summary of Total Costs

Here's a summary of the potential costs involved in changing your name after marriage:

  1. Certified Copies of Marriage Certificate: $10 to $200 per copy
  2. Social Security Name Change: Free
  3. DMV Name Change: $25 to $30
  4. Passport Name Change: Varies; additional $30 for passport card; $19 to $60 for expedited processing
  5. Banks and Financial Institutions: $5 to $10 for notarization (if required)
  6. Name Change Kits: $30 to $100
  7. Court Filing Fees (if applicable): $100 to $500
  8. Court Hearing Fees (if applicable): $50 to $100
  9. Certified Copies of Court Order (if applicable): $5 to $20 each

How Courtly Can Help

Courtly can help couples get married effortlessly, no matter where they are, by offering a legal U.S. marriage certificate without needing to travel. In addition, Courtly provides comprehensive Name Change Kits, simplifying the process of updating your name across various documents and institutions, making the transition smoother and more manageable for newlyweds.

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