Tennessee Legal Name Change
Below are the relevant state statutes, as well as links to the form petitions and instructions for obtaining a legal name change for yourself or a minor.
If, after reviewing the information below, you find the need for further legal assistance, you should visit this online legal service.
If you are seeking a marriage name change or a divorce name change, your marriage license or divorce decree can serve as your legal name change document. Thus you can proceed to Name Change Notification, the final step of the name change process. Otherwise, read the information below and follow the links to learn about obtaining a legal name change.
Tennessee State Code:
Sec. 29-8-101. Jurisdiction – Persons ineligible:
(a) The circuit, probate and county courts have concurrent jurisdiction to change names and to correct errors in birth certificates on the application of a resident of the county in which the application is made.
(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, persons who have been convicted of the following offenses shall not have the right to legally change their names:
(A) First or second degree murder; or
(B) Any offense, the commission of which requires a sexual offender to register pursuant to the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act, codified in title 40, chapter 39.
(2) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply if the name change is the result of a lawful marriage.
(c) No public funds shall be expended to change the name of any person who is an inmate in the custody of the department of correction.
Sec. 29-8-102. Petition: The application to change the name or to correct an error in a birth certificate shall be by petition, in writing, signed by the applicant and verified by affidavit, stating that he is a resident of the county, and giving his reasons for desiring the change or correction. [Tennessee Code, Title 29 Remedies and Special Proceedings, Chapter 8 Change of Name - Correction of Errors in Birth Certificates, Section 29-8-102.]
Sec. 29-8-103. Clerk’s fees: The clerk’s fee for services in proceedings under this chapter shall be the same as for like services in other cases, to be paid by the party petitioning.
Sec. 29-8-104. Judgment: The court may order the name to be changed or the birth certificate to be corrected by entry of record reciting the petition and its reasons therefor.
Sec. 29-8-105. Effect. Any person whose name is thus changed may thereafter be known and designated, sue and be sued, by the new name.
Court Rules: Local Rules, Davidson County Courts of Record, Circuit, Chancery, Criminal and Probate Courts, Twentieth Judicial District of Tennessee, Nashville, TN:
Sec. 39.08 – Name Change:
a. Adult: The verified petition must comply with the statute 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.
b. Minor The verified petition to change the name of a minor must comply with the statute 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.
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