How to Change Your Last Name in Texas

by Lauren Miller

    Residents of Texas who are over 18 years old can change their name by filing forms in the District Court of the county where they reside. The Texas Family Code outlines the requirements for name changes and restrictions for those who have criminal records. Forms to begin the name change process are available online.

    Step 1

    Request “Original Petition for Change of Name of an Adult” and “Order Granting Change of Name of Adult” documents from the district court in your county. The Texas Partnership for Legal Access also provides the forms online at TexasLawHelp.org.

    Step 2

    Fill out the petition for change of name. It includes three sections. The first section requires your current name, your proposed name and the reason why you want to change your name. The second section asks for personal details such as your contact information, Social Security number, driver’s license number, place of birth, race and gender. The third section requests details of any criminal convictions.

    Step 3

    Attach proof of probation, proof of pardoning or a Texas sex offender update form if you have been convicted of a felony or a sex offense. You must provide specific details of offenses in section three.

    Step 4

    Hire a notary public to sign and authorize the form. Sign the petition in front of the notary. Local courthouses have notaries on site. There is a fee for this service.

    Step 5

    Request to have a set of your fingerprints made at your local sheriff’s office or a Texas Department of Public Safety location. Attach the fingerprint card to the petition. There is a fee for this service. A Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint card will also suffice.

    Step 6

    Submit the forms to the court in the clerk’s office and pay the filing fee. You will receive a case number and a file.

    Step 7

    Take the file to an uncontested docket in the court -- a time when the judge on duty can review your petition. Give the file to the clerk on duty in the courtroom. Make sure to find out the hours of uncontested dockets. If you do not complete this step on the same day you file your petition you must obtain your file from the clerk’s office before attending an uncontested docket.

    Step 8

    Approach the judge’s bench when your case number is called. Answer any questions that the judge may ask about your petition. If a judge approves your petition, she will sign the order form granting change of name. The clerk on duty will give you your file.

    Step 9

    File the order with the court clerk’s office and return your file at the same time. The office will stamp your order. Obtain a certified copy of the signed and stamped order. You will need this as proof in order to change your name on your driver’s license, bank account, Social Security card and any other identification you use.

    About the Author

    Lauren Miller has more than 10 years of experience as a reporter, writer, editor and Web designer. She has also worked as a paralegal. Her articles on technology, small business and legal topics have appeared in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and trade journals. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and is an avid gardener and sports fan.

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