Name Change Filing Fees
When you file for a name change, you are legally asking the court to change the name you were given at birth, adoption, marriage or even after a divorce. Parents may also file for a name change for their minor child. The name change process starts with filing a petition with the court in the county where you reside, and paying the filing fee. Filing fees vary between states, and even counties.
|District of Columbia||$60|
|Missouri||$100 - $200|
|New Hampshire||Around $90|
|New Mexico||Around $130|
|North Dakota||Around $80|
|Ohio||$100 - $200|
|Rhode Island||About $86|
|West Virginia||Around $145|
Why do the name change fees vary so much?
Name changes are filed in the county where the person resides. Therefore, each county has the ability to decide what fees are appropriate to that specific court. The following states file name changes in the County Probate Court:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
States where name changes are filed in the County District Court are:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
States where name changes are filed in the County Circuit Court are:
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
States where name changes are filed in the County Superior Court are:
- District of Columbia
- Indiana (can also be filed in the Circuit Court in some counties)
- New Jersey
- New York (state residents, not city residents)
- North Carolina
States where name changes are filed in the County Chancery Court are:
States where name changes are filed in the County Court of Common Pleas are:
Residents of Hawaii file name changes in the Lieutenant Governor's Office.
South Carolina residents file name changes in the County Family Court in the county where they reside.
New York City Residents file name changes in the New York County Civil Court.
Name Change Filing Fee Waivers
If you think you might not be able to afford to pay the filing fees, you may be able to have them waived. Fee waivers are typicall referred to as an "IFP" ("In Forma Pauperis"). Anyone is entitled to request a fee waiver from the court, but typcially your fee waiver will be granted only if one of the two conditions apply:
- You are currently eligible for government assistance, or
- Your household income is 125% or less than the current poverty level as established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Note that there are three poverty level charts: one for Alaska, one for Hawaii and one for the remaining 48 states and Washington D.C.
If neither of the above conditions apply, then the court may request you prove that paying the filing fee would result in a substantial hardship due to your current financial situation. Depending on the state and judge, you will be asked to provide documentation of your income (such as paystubs).