In Tennessee, it is a fairly uncomplicated process to legally change your name. If you prefer a name other than the one you were born with, you can apply to your local county clerk for a name change. The Tennessee Code outlines the rules for name changes in the state.
Obtain a “Petition for Change of Name” from your county clerk’s office. Some counties like Shelby provide the petition form online. You can change your name without parental consent if you are over 18.
Fill out the form. You must include your current name, your birth name, your address, your place and date of birth, and your new desired name. You must provide the reason why you want to change your name and agree that the change is not for illegal purposes or to evade debts. You are ineligible to change your name if you are a prison inmate, have been found guilty of first or second degree murder or are a sexual offender.
Take the form along with proof of your identity and residency to your county clerk’s office. A birth certificate along with a proof of residency will suffice for ID. If you do not have a birth certificate, you must provide an additional two forms of ID such as a driver’s license or passport.
Pay the filing fee. Fees vary by county. If your name change is approved, the court will issue a name change decree signed by the county judge.
Apply for a new driver’s license at your local driver service center. You must bring along your current license and a court-issued copy of the name change decree that includes the original seal of the court or the judge’s original signature. Pay the fee for a new driver’s license.
Go to your bank or financial institution and apply for a name change on your accounts.
Tips & Warnings
If you are a certified medical professional, you must notify the state department of health of your new name within 30 days of the judge's decree.
References & Resources
- Lexis-Nexis: Tennessee: Tennessee Code Unannotated: Chapter 8 Change of Name--Correction of Errors in Birth Certificates
- Shelby County, Tennessee: Name Change Procedures
- Shelby County, Tennessee: Petition for Change of Name
- Tennessee Department of Safety: Name Change
- State of Tennessee: Health Related Boards Name and Address Change Request
- Social Security Administration: Application for a Social Security Card
- Social Security Administration: Office Locator
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