How Much Is It to Change Your Name in Minnesota: A Comprehensive Guide
Changing one’s name is a significant decision that often requires legal procedures. Whether you want to change your name due to marriage, divorce, personal preference, or other reasons, it is essential to understand the process and associated costs involved. This article explores the process and expenses related to changing your name in Minnesota, along with answering frequently asked questions.
The Process of Changing Your Name in Minnesota:
1. Filing a Petition: To change your name legally in Minnesota, you must file a petition with the district court in your county. The petition needs to include your current legal name, the desired new name, the reason for the change, and any criminal history. You may also have to submit additional documents, such as a fingerprint card and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
2. Publication of Notice: After filing the petition, you must publish a notice of intent to change your name in a legal newspaper in your county. This publication allows anyone with objections to your name change to come forward.
3. Court Hearing: Once the notice has been published for three consecutive weeks, the court will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, the judge will review your petition, ask questions if necessary, and decide whether to grant the name change. If the judge approves, they will issue a court order specifying the name change.
4. Changing Legal Documents: After receiving the court order, you must update your name on various legal documents, such as your social security card, driver’s license, passport, bank accounts, and other official records. Each organization may have specific requirements and fees for updating your name.
The Cost of Changing Your Name in Minnesota:
Although the cost of changing your name in Minnesota can vary depending on the county and individual circumstances, there are some common expenses to consider:
1. Filing Fee: When filing a name change petition, you need to pay a filing fee to the district court. As of 2021, the filing fee in Minnesota ranges from $300 to $450, depending on the county.
2. Publication Fee: Publishing the notice of intent to change your name in a legal newspaper incurs an additional cost. The fee for publication typically ranges from $50 to $100, depending on the newspaper and the number of required weeks.
3. Additional Costs: In some cases, you might need to spend on additional documents, such as certified copies of your birth certificate or fingerprinting fees. These costs can vary but are generally minimal compared to the filing and publication fees.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can I change my name as a minor in Minnesota?
A: Yes, minors can change their names, but the process may involve additional requirements, such as parental consent and court approval.
Q: Can I change my name after marriage or divorce?
A: Yes, changing your name after marriage or divorce is a common reason for name changes. You can include your desired new name in the marriage certificate or use your divorce decree to revert to your previous name.
Q: Are there any restrictions on name changes in Minnesota?
A: While Minnesota does not have strict restrictions on name changes, the court may deny a name change request if it is deemed fraudulent, offensive, or intended to deceive.
Q: How long does the name change process take in Minnesota?
A: The time required for a name change in Minnesota varies depending on the county and court availability. It can take several weeks to a few months from the time of filing the petition to receiving the court order.
Q: Can I change my name for free?
A: Unfortunately, changing your name in Minnesota involves various fees, including filing fees, publication fees, and potential costs for updating legal documents. However, fee waivers may be available for individuals facing financial hardship.
In conclusion, changing your name in Minnesota requires following a legal process that involves filing a petition, publishing a notice, attending a court hearing, and updating legal documents. The associated costs typically include filing fees, publication fees, and potential expenses for additional documents. Understanding the process and costs involved can help you plan accordingly and ensure a smooth name change experience.