There are several common reasons why a person would want to change their name, and with each reason comes a different set or requirements to change it. The procedure as well we the costs associated with different types of name changes will also vary. The most common name changes may be needed after either a marriage or a divorce. In these situations, the required documents and or fees are wrapped up into the process. One example would be changing back to a maiden name after a divorce. The divorce judgment can have an order that restores a party’s former name. That judgment serves as the name change order as well as the divorce order. That can be used to update social security administration records and cards as well as DMV records and a license.

Changing Your Name through the Court – Riverside County Name Change

For those who wish to change their name, but it isn’t a part of another eligible process can still do so, but by way of the California Court’s procedures. This process has a few more moving parts than the types of name changes above, but can be painless if you understand the process. Missing important requirements can not only cost you money, it could delay the process of you getting a Judge executed name change decree.

$450.00 Name Change Petition Fee – Riverside County Superior Court

To open almost any proceeding in a California Court, there will be a filing fee”. This is a one-time fee for the court to receive your documents, open a case and assign a case number in the California Court System. The current filing fee for a name change petition in Riverside County is $450.00. These fees are subject to change but you can always see the most current here on Riverside Court’s Website. This fee is consistent with many other first appearance fees for other types of cases and in other court jurisdictions. For example a first appearance fee to file a divorce is also $450.00. An important note is that all courts in California will allow you to also file a “Request to Waive Court Fees”.  Depending on your income or certain forms of governmental assistance you may be receiving, the court can waive the fees so that you can file without charge.

$30.00 Court Reporter Hearing Fee

By nature of the process, civil name changes in California require a court hearing. When your petition is filed, the court will set a hearing date for about 6 weeks later and write it in your documents. Since it is a mandatory appearance in the courtroom, court reporters are present. The court charges a fee for the court reporters time to document and report your case. This fee, like the court first appearance fee can be waived. If you completed a request for waiver of court fees, and it is approved, it will also cover this $30.00 court reporter fee.

$80-$120 Newspaper Publication Fee

One of the legal requirements of a California civil name change is for a legal notice to be published once a week for 4 weeks. The newspaper must have been previously approved by the court (adjudicated newspapers of general circulation) for publishing these types of legal notices. The publication should circulate in the geographic area of your residence. Essentially this means you will have to select an approved newspaper in Riverside County Court’s list, which has distribution in or closest to your residence. Since the court hearing date can be 6 weeks from the date of filing, and the publication must run for 4 weeks, it’s important that time isn’t wasted to get the filed notice to the newspaper.  If the publication was not completed, or the Judge determines it was done in the wrong newspaper, the court date will be re-set and you will have to pay the newspaper for another publication.

Since these newspapers are third party businesses, their fees are not covered by the court’s fee waiver. This is why it is important to understand all timelines and filing requirements.

Third party fees

With so many moving parts on a name change in Riverside County, some Petitioners elect to use a professional document preparation service to facilitate the process. Just Document Preparation assists with the name change process from start to finish. We prepare and file your documents, get them to the newspaper, makes sure the publication runs within deadlines and makes sure that the proof gets to the court prior to your court date. All you do is simply show up at the court date to receive your name change decree. Here, you can learn more about our name change service.