Texas Name Change Law


Name Change – General – Texas

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

Name Change Action Allowed: In Texas, an adult may change their name by filing an action in the county court, in the county in which they reside, with appropriate forms. 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 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 (1) that the name change is for the benefit of or in the interest of the Petitioner; and (2) 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 find the name change in the interest or to the benefit of the petitioner and in the interest of the public.  A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? No, but for a minor seeking a name change but certain parties are entitled to “citation” or notice. The following persons are entitled to citation in a suit for a minor name change:

(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.

Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes.  Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

Procedures: The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Texas begins with the filing of a Petition with the County Court in the jurisdiction in which the Petitioner resides.  The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, the reasons for the requested change of name, and other personal information required by statute.

After the Petition is filed and the required filing fee has been paid, if the court is satisfied that the required information has been provided in the Petition, the Court may Order the change of name if the Court finds it in the interest or to the benefit of the Petitioner and in the public interest.

Additional Information and Instructions:

Statutes:

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.  [Texas Family Code, Title 2 Child in Relation to Family, Chapter 45 Change of Name, Subchapter B.  Change of Name of Adult, Sec. 45.101.]

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; and

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

[EDITORS' NOTE; SEE BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL VERSION OF SUBD. (5) AMENDED BY Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1003, § 1.]

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

[EDITORS' NOTE; SEE ABOVE FOR ADDITIONAL VERSION OF SUBD. (5) AMENDED BY Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1300, § 7.]

(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).  [Texas Family Code, Title 2 Child in Relation to Family, Chapter 45 Change of Name, Subchapter B.  Change of Name of Adult, Sec. 45.102.]

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 CRIM. P., Code of Criminal Procedure.  [Texas Family Code, Title 2 Child in Relation to Family, Chapter 45 Change of Name, Subchapter B.  Change of Name of Adult, Sec. 45.103.]

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.  [Texas Family Code, Title 2 Child in Relation to Family, Chapter 45 Change of Name, Subchapter B.  Change of Name of Adult, Sec. 45.104.]

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.  [Texas Family Code, Title 2 Child in Relation to Family, Chapter 45 Change of Name, Subchapter B.  Change of Name of Adult, Sec. 45.105.]

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.  [Texas Family Code, Title 2 Child in Relation to Family, Chapter 45 Change of Name, Subchapter B.  Change of Name of Adult, Sec. 45.106.]

Other Name Change References:

Age of Majority:
The age of majority in this state is 18 years.  [Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, Title 6 Miscellaneous Provisions, Chapter 129 Age of Majority, § 129.001.]

Change of Name of Minor

§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.

§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.

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.

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 62.001, Code of Criminal Procedure.

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.