Change Your Name In Tennessee

Summary of the name change laws in Tennessee

In Tennessee, the circuit, probate and county courts have jurisdiction to change names for applicants who are residents of the county in which the application is made.  Persons who have been convicted of first or second degree murder or any offense that requires registration in accordance with the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act shall not have the right to legally change their names.   Additionally, if the court has reason to believe that the name change petition is being made to defraud or mislead, is not being made in good faith, will cause injury to an individual or compromise public safety, then the petition will be denied.   A felony conviction, besides first or second degree murder or one that would require registering as a sex offender, does not automatically disqualify you from the right to change your name. However, a felony conviction raises the presumption that the petition has been filed in bad faith, to defraud or mislead, to cause an injury to an individual or to compromise public safety, and will not be granted unless the individual requesting the name change can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the petition is not based upon an intent to violate any of the raised presumptions.

These rules do not apply if the name change is the result of a lawful marriage, marital dissolution or adoption.

TENNESSEE NAME CHANGE LAWS FOR ADULTS

1. Can I have my name changed?

Persons desiring a name change must file a verified petition in circuit, probate, or county court of the county in which they are a resident. This petition must state that the applicant is a resident of that county and provide the reasons for changing their name.

2. Where do I go to petition to have my name changed?

In Tennessee, the circuit, probate and county courts have jurisdiction to change names for applicants who are residents of the county in which the application is made.

3. How do I petition to have my name changed?

The application to change the name shall be by petition, in writing, signed by the applicant and verified by affidavit, stating that the applicant is a resident of the county the application was filed in, and giving the applicant’s reasons for desiring the change.

The verified petition must comply with the Tennessee law and shall state the full legal name of the Petitioner, all prior names by which the Petitioner has been known, the place of residence of the petitioner(s), the birth date, age, social security number of the individual whose name is to be changed, and the State where the original birth certificate was issued. Copies of the original birth certificate, social security card and official photo identification shall be submitted with the petition. The individual whose name is to be changed must appear in Court at the hearing.

Tennessee law places no additional burdens on most persons seeking to change their names.   Tennessee law does not require the applicant to show good cause and, when all requirements have been met, Tennessee law envisions that the court will only deny a name change petition if there is good reason to do so.

4. Are there any restrictions?

Persons who have been convicted of first or second degree murder or any offense that requires registration in accordance with the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act shall not have the right to legally change their names.   Additionally, if the court has reason to believe that the name change petition is being made to defraud or mislead, is not being made in good faith, will cause injury to an individual or compromise public safety, then the petition will be denied.   A felony conviction, besides first or second degree murder or one that would require registering as a sex offender, does not automatically disqualify you from the right to change your name. However, a felony conviction raises the presumption that the petition has been filed in bad faith, to defraud or mislead, to cause an injury to an individual or to compromise public safety, and will not be granted unless the individual requesting the name change can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the petition is not based upon an intent to violate any of the raised presumptions.

These rules do not apply if the name change is the result of a lawful marriage, marital dissolution or adoption.

5. How much will my name change cost?

State law does not specify the cost of the proceeding, only stating that the clerk’s fee for such services shall be the same as for like services in other cases, and are to be paid by the applicant.

TENNESSEE NAME CHANGE LAWS FOR MINORS

1. Who can seek to have a minor’s name changed?

For a minor to change his or her name, the parents, custodian, or legal guardian must file a verified petition with the proper court on behalf of the minor.

2. Where do I go to have a minor’s name changed?

In Tennessee, the circuit, probate and county courts have jurisdiction to change names for applicants who are residents of the county in which the application is made.

3. How do I petition to have a minor’s name changed?

The application to change the name shall be by petition, in writing, signed by the applicant and verified by affidavit, stating that the applicant is a resident of the county the application was filed in, and giving the applicant’s reasons for desiring the change.

The verified petition to change the name of a minor must comply with Tennessee law and be sworn to and signed by both parents and include copies of the original birth certificates of the child and both parents, social security card and official photo identification of both parents, photograph of the minor and social security card of the minor, if any. Both parents and the minor must appear in Court. If both parents do not join in the Petition or if the identity or location of a parent is unknown, the petition must be specific as to all pertinent facts including all efforts to identify or locate the parent who did not join in the Petition. If the father is not identified on the birth certificate, legitimation proceedings must be completed prior to filing of a petition to change the name of the minor child. Service of process is required for any parent or guardian who does not join in the petition. The verified petition must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed name change is in the best interest of the minor, otherwise the petition shall not be granted.

Tennessee law places no additional burdens on most persons seeking to change their names.   Tennessee law does not require the applicant to show good cause and, when all requirements have been met, Tennessee law envisions that the court will only deny a name change petition if there is good reason to do so.

4. Are there any restrictions?

The petition must state that the minor is a resident of the county the petition was filed in and provide the reasons for changing the minor’s name.  The court will deny the petition if it has reason to believe the name change is being made to defraud or mislead, is not being made in good faith, will cause injury to an individual or compromise public safety.

Persons who have been convicted of first or second degree murder or any offense that requires registration in accordance with the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act shall not have the right to legally change their names.   A felony conviction, besides first or second degree murder or one that would require registering as a sex offender, does not automatically disqualify you from the right to change your name. However, a felony conviction raises the presumption that the petition has been filed in bad faith, to defraud or mislead, to cause an injury to an individual or to compromise public safety, and will not be granted unless the individual requesting the name change can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the petition is not based upon an intent to violate any of the raised presumptions.

These rules do not apply if the name change is the result of a lawful marriage, marital dissolution or adoption.

5. How much will the minor’s name change cost?

State law does not specify the cost of the proceeding, only stating that the clerk’s fee for such services shall be the same as for like services in other cases, and are to be paid by the applicant.

 

 


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