1. The cost of the reason you are changing: wedding certificate, divorce decree, naturalization, or court order. 2. The cost of applying for a new SSN card at your local Social Security office. 3. The cost of changing the name on your Driver's license, insurance, and vehicle registration; titles of any properties you own; and name on any accounts.
It is expensive and most reasons it is because of a mistake made by some governmental slander that warrants a real jooking into. I would suggest weighing all the factors and be prepared to defend YOURSELF which will be expensive - financially and in time. Ethics and accountability are worth it. Good Luck!
The answer is that it depends. On where you are and why you are changing your name. I suggest calling local attorneys offices and asking for a price. Name changes are generally not very hard depending on your location and shouldn't cost that much.
My son changed his middle name. It was a simple procedure of completing the court related paperwork, paying the fees (each county has a different fee structure), the cost of getting your birth certificate changed, notarized copies, and the cost of a name change in your SSN card. It was about $110 for us. We got one set of notarized documents and a new SSN card. We haven't changed the birth certificate yet. If you are under 18 you need a parent to make the change on your behalf or with you. Keep in mind we live in the upper midwest so the cost was less.
I think you can call yourself whatever you want. Only when you create a will/trust do you need to decide on a "final" name. At least in California. There are actors(especially porn), entertainers, news anchors that use many names. When you fill out a loan application or open an account at a bank they just may have you sign a paper stating all these names that came up on your credit history are you (tied to your SSN) as far as that bank is concerned. When I order things in the mail I use a "pen name." Just helps with privacy.
You have to file a petition with the court in order to get your name changed, and there is usually a $100 or so worth of court fees involved in doing that (depending on what state you are in). Other than that there are fees for getting your other id and documents updated but overall it's not a huge amount of money, more just time consuming.