Tennessee Name Change Law


Name Change – General – Tennessee

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in the State of Tennessee, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Tennessee, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the Circuit, Probate and County Court with appropriate forms. A parent or legal guardian may change the name of a minor by filing an action in the Circuit, Probate and County Court with appropriate forms.

Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes.  The court must find that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.  A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations.  A person can not change their name to defraud any person.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must finds sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? No.

Procedures: The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Tennessee begins with the filing of the Petition with the Circuit, Probate, or County Court in the county in which the Petitioner resides. If the Court finds good cause for the name change and it is not in conflict with the public interest, the Court will grant the request and issue the Order of Name Change.

Additional Information and Instructions:

Statutes:

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. [Tennessee Code, Title 29 Remedies and Special Proceedings, Chapter 8 Change of Name - Correction of Errors in Birth Certificates, Section 29-8-101.]

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.]

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. [Tennessee Code, Title 29 Remedies and Special Proceedings, Chapter 8 Change of Name - Correction of Errors in Birth Certificates, Section 29-8-103.]

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. [Tennessee Code, Title 29 Remedies and Special Proceedings, Chapter 8 Change of Name - Correction of Errors in Birth Certificates, Section 29-8-104.]

Effect:
Any person whose name is thus changed may thereafter be known and designated, sue and be sued, by the new name. [Tennessee Code, Title 29 Remedies and Special Proceedings, Chapter 8 Change of Name - Correction of Errors in Birth Certificates, Section 29-8-105.]

Other Name Change References:

Eighteen-year-olds – Legal responsibility – Alcoholic beverage restrictions on persons under twenty-one (21) years of age:

(a) Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, any person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older shall have the same rights, duties, and responsibilities as a person who is twenty-one (21) years of age, except as provided in subsection (b) relative to the rights to purchase, possess, transport, and consume alcoholic beverages, wine, or beer as those terms are defined in title 57.

. . .

[Tennessee Code, Title 1 Code and Statutes, Chapter 3 Construction of Statutes, Section 1-3-113.]