Change Your Name In Texas

TEXAS NAME CHANGE LAW FOR ADULTS

1. Can I have my name changed?

In Texas, an adult who wishes to change his or her name must have been a resident of the state of Texas for at least 6 months.  The petition must be filed in the county in which the applicant currently resides, and the applicant must have lived in that county for at least 90 days prior to filing.  The notarized petition must tell the court the name of the petitioner, the name he or she wishes to assume and the reasons for requesting the name change.

In Texas, an adult applicant must present the court with a set of fingerprints.  The cost of the fingerprints will be assumed by the applicant, along with any other fees associated with the petition.

For the name change request to be granted, the court must find sufficient reasons for the change, and that the proposed change is in the best interest or to the benefit of the petitioner and the public in general.   A person is not allowed to change his/her name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person cannot change his/her name to defraud another person.

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

In Texas, the petition must be filed in the county in which the applicant resides.  The applicant can obtain the necessary forms and information from the clerk’s office in their county of residence.

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

A petition to change the name of an adult must be verified (notarized) and include:

(1)    The present name and place of residence for the petitioner;
(2)    The full name requested for the petitioner;
(3)    The reason the name change is requested;
(4)    Whether the petitioner has been the subject of a final felony conviction;
(5)    Whether the petitioner is subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure (Sexual Offenders Registry); and
(6)    A legible and complete set of the petitioner’s fingerprints on a fingerprint card format acceptable to the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Petition must include each of the following or a reasonable explanation why the required information is not included:

(1)    The Petitioner’s
(a)    Full name;
(b)   Sex;
(c)    Race;
(d)   Date of birth;
(e)   Driver’s license number for any driver’s license issued in the 10 years preceding the date of the petition;
(f)     Social security number; and
(g)    Assigned FBI number, state identification number, if known, or any other reference number in a criminal history record system that identifies the petitioner.
(2)    Any offense above the grade of Class C misdemeanor for which the petitioner has been charged; and
(3)    The case number and the court if a warrant was issued or a charging instrument was filed or presented for an offense listed in Subsection (b)(2).

Click HERE for a PDF packet with step-by-step instructions for changing the name of an adult.

4. Are there any restrictions?

In Texas, a name change petition may be denied if the applicant is a convicted felon or registered sex offender; however, the court is not required to deny the petition.  The court may order a change of name for a person with a final felony conviction if the change is in the best interest or to the benefit of the petitioner  and in the interest of the public; and the petitioner has received a certificate of discharge by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or completed a period of community supervision or juvenile probation ordered by a court and not less than two years have passed from the date of the receipt of the discharge or completion of community supervision or juvenile probation; or the petitioner has been pardoned.

If the petitioner is a registered sex offender, the petitioner must provide proof that he or she has notified the appropriate local law enforcement authority of the proposed name change.

5. How much will my name change cost?

In Texas, a name change may cost a little over $230, as the filing fee in most counties is $230.  After the name change is complete, there may be a $10 fee for the Change of Name Certificate and an additional charge for a certified copy of the order.  There may also be a small charge for notary services.

TEXAS NAME CHANGE LAW FOR MINORS

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

A parent, managing conservator, or guardian of a child may file a petition requesting a change of name of the child in the county where the child resides.

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

In Texas, the petition must be filed in the county in which the child resides.  The applicant, on behalf of the child, can obtain the necessary forms and information from the clerk’s office in their county of residence.

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

A petition to change the name of a child must be verified (notarized) and include:

(1)    The present name and place of residence of the child;
(2)    The reason a change of name is requested;
(3)    The full name of the child;
(4)    Whether the child is subject to continuing exclusive jurisdiction under Chapter 155 (paternity or adoption); and
(5)    Whether the child is subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure (Sexual Offenders Registry).

If the child is 10 years of age or older, the child’s written consent to the change of name must be attached to the petition.  The court may order the name of a child changed if:

(1)    The change is in the best interest of the child; and
(2)    For a child subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure (Sexual Offenders Registry):
(A)   The change is in the interest of the public; and
(B)   The person petitioning on behalf of the child provides the court with proof that the child has notified the appropriate local law enforcement authority of the proposed name change.

What are the Steps?

There are at least two forms to be filed:

First, you file the Original Joint Petition For Child’s Name Change. The petition must be signed by both of the child’s parents, and any other person who has been given legal rights to your child in a court order. Everyone’s signature must be notarized.

Second, if your child is over 10 years old, he or she needs to sign the Child’s Consent To Name Change, which tells the judge that he or she wants the name change.

Finally, you will complete the Agreed Order Granting Child’s Name Change, and present it to a judge. Your child’s name is not changed until the judge signs the order. The clerk’s office keeps the original, signed order, but can make certified copies for your records. You will need either a certified copy of the court order or a Name Change Certificate to change your child’s name on his or her birth certificate and social security records. Both can be obtained from the Clerk’s office. Choose whichever is the least expensive. You do not need to get both of them.

Birth certificates and social security records do not change automatically when the court signs the Order. You are responsible for notifying the Bureau of Vital Statistics and Social Security Office of the child’s name change by providing them with a certified copy of the order or a Name Change

Click HERE for a PDF packet with step-by-step instructions for changing the name of a minor.

4. Are there any restrictions?

Texas law requires every parent be served with legal notice, in any case that involves the child, unless the parent is dead or the parent’s parental rights have been terminated by a court order — even if they have never paid one penny of child support. If you are having trouble locating the other parent, see Service by Publication for more information.

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

In Texas, a name change may cost a little over $230, as the filing fee in most counties is $230.  After the name change is complete, there may be a $10 fee for the Change of Name Certificate and an additional charge for a certified copy of the order.  There may also be a small charge for notary services.


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