What’s in a name?

By , May 22, 2009 4:07 pm

Five hundred dollars, apparently.

I just got back from the Daley Center, where I filed my name change paperwork. This sets the ball rolling for a hearing with a judge in July. He’ll (hopefully) say, “Sounds good!” and, at that point, my name will legally be changed. He’ll also give me the magical sheet of paper that I can use to update all my other documents – drivers license, birth certificate, bank account, insurance, etc, etc, etc.

The process was actually pretty helpful, and was made much easier by the use of Illinois Legal Aid’s website. They have a fancy-shmancy setup where you can enter your info and it’ll spit out the filled-out documents to take to the county clerk. The whole process took about an hour, and much of that was waiting in line or going from office to office.

The only shitty thing was they denied my request to waive the filing fees. Which brings me to the previously mentioned five hundred dollars: about three-fifty for the filing itself and another one-fifty for the legally-required publication notifying the world at large (well, anyone who reads the Illinois Law Journal) of my intent to change my name. There’ll also be additional (much smaller) costs to receive a new birth certificate, drivers license, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t really budgeted for an extra $500 in fees. I have the money, but I’ve been really good about saving up for (anticipated) transitioning expenses like hair removal, and would much rather spend $500 on clothing or videogames or books than forms and filing fees…

Still, it feels good to be that much closer to having changed my name! July 20 is the court date, so nothing happens until then…

-R

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