Texas Legal Name Change


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Legal Name Change Info and State Statutes

If you are opting to go through the product without the assitance of our e-guide… or if you simply want to learn more before moving ahead with the process, we have provided tons of free information to help you on your way.

We encourage you to read and learn as much as possible about the legal name change process. There is a lot to know and the process differes by state. Thus we have provided all of this information to give you an understanding of the overall process and the specific rules that may apply to you.

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 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.


Our e-guide provides you with all the forms you need and walks you through the process with detailed instructions, specified to your needs and location, so you can change your name as quickly and easily as possible.


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Texas State Code:

SUBCHAPTER A. CHANGE OF NAME OF CHILD

Sec. 45.001.  Who May File; Venue.   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.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.002.  Requirements of Petition.
(a)  A petition to change the name of a child must be verified 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 requested for the child;

(4)  whether the child is subject to the continuing exclusive jurisdiction of a court under Chapter 155;  and

(5)  whether the child is subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(b)  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.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995;  Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1390, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 45.003.  Citation.
(a)  The following persons are entitled to citation in a suit under this subchapter:

(1)  a parent of the child whose parental rights have not been terminated;

(2)  any managing conservator of the child;  and

(3)  any guardian of the child.

(b)  Citation must be issued and served in the same manner as under Chapter 102.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.004.  Order.
(a)  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:

(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.

(b)  If the child is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of a court under Chapter 155, the court shall send a copy of the order to the central record file as provided in Chapter 108.

(c)  In this section, "local law enforcement authority" has the meaning assigned by Article 62.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 45.005.  Liabilities and Rights Unaffected.   A change of name does not:

(1)  release a child from any liability incurred in the child’s previous name;  or

(2)  defeat any right the child had in the child’s previous name.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER B. CHANGE OF NAME OF ADULT

Sec. 45.101.  Who May File; Venue.   An adult may file a petition requesting a change of name in the county of the adult’s place of residence.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.102.  Requirements of Petition.
(a)  A petition to change the name of an adult must be verified and include:

(1)  the present name and place of residence of the petitioner;

(2)  the full name requested for the petitioner;

(3)  the reason the change in name is requested;

(4)  whether the petitioner has been the subject of a final felony conviction;  and

Text of subd. (5) as amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 7

(5)  whether the petitioner is subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Text of subd. (5) as amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1003, Sec. 1

(5)  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.

(b)  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).

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1003, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 45.103.  Order.
(a)  The court shall order a change of name under this subchapter for a person other than a person with a final felony conviction or a person subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, if the change is in the interest or to the benefit of the petitioner and in the interest of the public.

(b)  A court may order a change of name under this subchapter for a person with a final felony conviction if, in addition to the requirements of Subsection (a), the person has:

(1)  received a certificate of discharge by the pardons and paroles division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or completed a period of probation ordered by a court and not less than two years have passed from the date of the receipt of discharge or completion of probation;  or

(2)  been pardoned.

(c)  A court may order a change of name under this subchapter for a person subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, if, in addition to the requirements of Subsection (a), the person provides the court with proof that the person has notified the appropriate local law enforcement authority of the proposed name change.  In this subsection, "local law enforcement authority" has the meaning assigned by Article 62.01, Code of Criminal Procedure.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995;  Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 45.104.  LIABILITIES AND RIGHTS UNAFFECTED.  A change of name under this subchapter does not release a person from liability incurred in that person’s previous name or defeat any right the person had in the person’s previous name.

Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Sec. 45.105.  Change of Name in Divorce Suit.
(a)  On the final disposition of a suit for divorce, for annulment, or to declare a marriage void, the court shall enter a decree changing the name of a party specially praying for the change to a prior used name unless the court states in the decree a reason for denying the change of name.  The court may not deny a change of name solely to keep last names of family members the same.

(b)  A person whose name is changed under this section may apply for a change of name certificate from the clerk of the court as provided by Section 45.106.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Sec. 45.106.  Change of Name Certificate.
(a)  A person whose name is changed under Section 6.706 or 45.105 may apply to the clerk of the court ordering the name change for a change of name certificate.

(b)  A certificate under this section is a one-page document that includes:

(1)  the name of the person before the change of name was ordered;

(2)  the name to which the person’s name was changed by the court;

(3)  the date on which the name change was made;

(4)  the person’s social security number and driver’s license number, if any;

(5)  the name of the court in which the name change was ordered;  and

(6)  the signature of the clerk of the court that issued the certificate.

(c)  An applicant for a certificate under this section shall pay a $10 fee to the clerk of the court for issuance of the certificate.

(d)  A certificate under this section constitutes proof of the change of name of the person named in the certificate.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 7.10(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1997.  Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 62, Sec. 6.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

State Name Change Petition and Instructions
Adult Form Instructions
Child Form Instructions



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