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Name Change Law and Procedures

Adult Name Change in Texas: Summary of Court Procedures

Updated: January 17, 2015

Step One: Prepare Your Petition and Proposed Order

Draft and verify your Original Petition for Change of Name. The same name change petition for is used regardless of whether you are changing your first or last name. Standard name change petitions are generally not provided by district court clerks, so it is your responsibility to draft documents that comply with Texas name change law and procedure. The petition form must be verified in the presence of a Texas notary. The Family Law Committee of the Texas Young Lawyers Association has sample name change forms online that you can use as guides for drafting. Alternatively, you can download our do-it-yourself, Texas adult adult name change kit, from our website. Our kit is in MSWord format for easy editing and it includes detailed instructions and free telephone support.

Step Two: File the Petition

After verifying your petition, you file the original petition form, with a proposed name change order (also included in our forms kit) with the District Clerk's office in the county where you reside. As of this writing (January 15, 2015), the fee is between $215.00 and $240.00 in most Texas counties.

Step Three: Schedule an Appointment to Appear before a District Court Judge

In most counties, you can schedule an appointment by appearing in person before the presiding clerk of the District Court or by calling the Clerk's office. Step Four: Appearing In Front of a District Court Judge. The court must grant your name change petition if you show the court that:
  • You do not have a final felony conviction;
  • You are not required to register as a sex offender; and
  • The name change is in your interest and will not cause harm to the public.
When you appear before the judge, you will be required to testify, under oath, that you are not changing your name to hide from creditors or avoid paying debts.

After the District Court Judge signs the order granting your request to change your name, you will need to notify government agencies (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles), as well as banks and credit card companies with whom you conduct business.

Texas Name Change Procedure for Divorce Litigants Who Want to Resume Using Their Maiden Names:

If you are married and are seeking to change your last name as part of the divorce process, you do not need to file a separate name change petition. Instead, you can have your maiden name restored as part of your divorce. The name change is not automatic; you must request it (or agree to it) as part of your divorce petition, waiver, or answer form. You can only restore your maiden name, not get a new one. Typically, the court will grant permission for you to resume using your pre-marital name as part of the divorce decree.