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How Much Does it Cost to Change Your Name?

There are many reasons why individuals want to change their name. Depending on the reason for the change, it could cost you more or less time and money. Let’s look at some name change scenarios and how much it could cost you to change your name.

Marriage & Divorce

This is a relatively simple name change and does not cost much at all. You only pay for the gas in your car to bring your documents providing proof of name change and evidence of who you are to a Social Security office. 

To change your state driver’s license or ID, go to the DMV and show them your government-certified marriage certificate or bring your divorce decree and DL-101 completed form. The NC DMV charges the following fees to change your name on North Carolina DMV documents: 

  • Driver’s license: $14
  • Id Card: $14
  • Vehicle title and registration card: $21.50

Other Good Reasons for Name Changes

Naturalization: If you are applying for naturalization, you can legally change your name by filling in your new name on USCIS Form N-400 (the Application for Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS). You must use your new name at the swearing-in ceremony with a judge who has the power to grant your new name. Naturalization papers have a fee for filing that is roughly $555. You can also apply as an indigent.

After Naturalization: If you want to change your name on your naturalization certificate that you already possess, you can file for a name change petition through a court process. 

Adoption: As an adopted child, you may decide to change your name to identify with your family. You can also do so through a court process outlined below. 

Same-Sex Relationship: If you are a member of a same-sex relationship, there is no law allowing for a civil union or domestic partnership in North Carolina. You can, however, change your name through the court process to reflect your status.

Court Process & Expenses

To obtain a legal name change in North Carolina unrelated to legal marriage or divorce, you must go through a legal process. First, publish a notice for 10 full days at the courthouse declaring your pending name change. You can do this by filing a petition with the Clerk of the Court in your county of residence. 

You must sign and file two “Affidavits of Good Character” by unrelated persons. This is done in front of a notary public. 

You will also undergo a criminal background check and may need these listed documents:

  • “Affidavit Regarding Outstanding Tax/Child Support Obligations”
  • Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Identification 
  • Proof of Residency
  • Filing fee ($120) cash or certified check or Petition to file as an Indigent to have the fee waived

The Clerk will review your documents and either sign or deny the official Order and Certificate of Name Change. You will then receive your Order and Certificate of Name Change 6-8 weeks later.  

Update your name with no charge at the Social Security Administration at least 2 days before going to the DMV. Bring your legal name change order to the DMV for a new ID. The NC DMV charges the following fees to change your name on North Carolina DMV documents: 

  • Driver’s license: $14
  • Id Card: $14
  • Vehicle title and registration card: $21.50

Birth Certificate Changes

Our name and gender is a part of who we are. To apply for an amended birth certificate, you will need to submit your Application for a Copy of a Birth Certificate with section two filled out.

If you are making an application to change your gender marker on your birth certificate, you will also need:

  • A notarized letter from a doctor stating that you have completed surgical procedures 


  • A certified copy of a court-ordered gender change and can be from another state. (1)

The $15 processing fee to review your request is non-refundable. If your request involves more than one birth record, the $15 processing fee applies to each individual’s birth record that requires change. A certificate search and first copy is $24.

Find Help

Getting a name change is not generally expensive or difficult to achieve. How much it will cost to change your name varies. However, if you run into any legal issues, contact us at Scharff Law to get understanding and empathetic solutions to whatever you face. We are supportive of name and gender changes and will fully and unconditionally support your legal needs without question.

  1. https://transequality.org/documents/state/north-carolina