How to Change Your Last Name in Texas

By Brette Sember, J.D.

How to Change Your Last Name in Texas

By Brette Sember, J.D.

Changing your last name in Texas requires completing some forms and appearing in court. If you are changing your name due to marriage or divorce, you do not need to follow the below procedure—your marriage certificate or divorce judgment stating you can change your name are all you need. However, if you are changing your name for another reason, such as religious reasons or simply because you would prefer another name, follow the steps below or consider hiring an online service provider.

Courthouse

Texas Requirements for a Name Change

To be able to change your last name in Texas you must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have never been convicted of a felony or, if you have been convicted, you must have either been pardoned or waited two years since you were discharged from prison or finished your probation

If you are looking to do a name change for a minor child, the below procedure is the same.

Complete the Petition

To seek a change of a last name, you must file a Petition to Change the Name of an Adult and Order Changing the Name of an Adult (part of the same document in the previous link). Follow these steps to complete the form:

  1. In the upper part of the form, fill in your current full legal name and your county of residence.
  2. For section 2, list your current name, what you want to change it to, and your reason for requesting the change.
  3. In section 3, list your address, Social Security number, and driver's license numbers for the last ten years. Indicate your place of birth, sex listed on your birth certificate, and race.
  4. Fill in section 4 with details about any misdemeanors or felonies you have been charged with. If you have any, list the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or security identifier (SID) number and the related offense, case numbers, county, court number, and type of court. Indicate if you are required to register as a sex offender. If so, attach proof that you have notified local law enforcement that you want to change your name.
  5. For section 5, sign and print your name, date the form, and list your address, email, phone, and fax.
  6. Sign the verification in section 6 in front of a notary and have the form notarized.
  7. Attach a fingerprint card labelled "Exhibit A." You can get a fingerprint card made at your local sheriff's office or a Texas Department of Public Safety location. You can also use an FBI fingerprint card.
  8. If needed, attach proof of pardon for any felonies or proof that the felony was discharged or that probate ended more than two years ago, labelled "Exhibit."
  9. If needed, attach proof of sex offender name change notification labelled "Exhibit."
  10. Attach the Order Changing the Name of an Adult form, filling in the same information you filled in on the petition.
  11. Submit the forms to the county clerk of the court in the county in which you reside. Pay the filing fee. A case number will be added to the form and a file opened.

Court Appearance

You must take the forms to the court at a time when the judge can take your case, a window called an uncontested docket. The court clerk can instruct you when this will be. If there is no time on the day you file your forms, you must give the file back to the court clerk's office and pick it up again on a day when you can appear in court. When you appear in court, give your file to the courtroom clerk.

Wait for your name to be called, then approach the judge's bench. After you answer the judge's questions, they will decide whether to approve your petition. If it is approved, the order is signed and the court clerk gives you the file, which you then take to the court clerk's office and return with the order. The clerk stamps the order and provides you with a certified copy. You can begin using your new name immediately.

Implementing the Name Change

Take the certified copy of the order to the DMV, Social Security Administration, or any other entity where you are requesting your name be changed. You may also be able to email, upload, or mail a copy of the certified order. Check each place's requirements to determine the best way to request the name change.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.