155 Comments

If you are in Texas and seeking a name change there are a number of things you need to have in mind. It's always important to know everything you need to effect a name change for whatever reason in the State of Texas. Here are a number of things you might want to know.

Marriage Name Change and Options Available

Firstly, remember the marriage certificate will be the main legal document you need to change your name after getting married. Once the ceremony is over, file your marriage license as soon as possible in the county court house. This gives you a marriage certificate's certified copy that will be sent to you via mail in about 14 days.

For those who might not have a marriage certificate copy, but want to effect a name change, the Marriage Certificate Request Letter can be used. You might also not have your birth certificate with you and the Birth Certificate Request Letter can be used as well.

Know that the marriage certificate might give you the right legal document to effect a name change, but the right government agencies must be notified thereafter. This includes the department of motor vehicles, IRS, Social Security office and other non-governmental institutions such as credit card companies, loyalty clubs and banks.

To apply for a marriage license in Texas the couple should apply in person using a proof of a social security number and photo ID issued by the government at the office of the court clerk. After it has been issued, the license remains valid for about three months, 72 hours after it has been issued. For couples who have gone through the Twogether course on premarital education, lots of counties within the state will have the license fees reduced with zero waiting time. Military personnel who are active also have their waiting time eliminated including Department of Defense employees and those who have received a judge's waiver.

Fees for a marriage license vary from one county to the other but fall within $30 and $75. A marriage license issued in Texas is valid across the state. After marriage, the license is completed by the officiant before it's returned for filing to the county. A certified copy of the marriage license can then be requested from the court clerk to use in name change processes.

Those married in the state of Texas can include the change of name on the marriage license while making the application. The wife or husband can seek a number of changes to their name.

Husband's surname

Through the certified marriage license you can request to take the surname of the husband, which is the most common name change in the state.

Maiden name usage

You are also allowed to go with the surname of your husband on all records and identifications but continue using the maiden name in your professional circles such as the workplace.

Hyphenation

It's also possible to request a name change by taking the surname of the husband and adding it into your own with a hyphen or simply add without a hyphen.

Continue using your name as it is

Another option in Texas is to just continue with your marriage life without seeking a name change.

Divorce Name Change

For a legal name change to be done in Texas after divorce you need to gather a number of documents, the most important being a certified copy of a Texas divorce decree as well as a proof of your age and identification. The Divorce Records Request Letter can be used by those who might not have a divorce degree copy yet. The Birth Certificate Request Letter can also be used if a birth certificate copy is not easily accessible.

After getting the divorce decree copy, read through to ascertain if there's a provision granting a name change. In case it's there, the document remains the best name change legal proof you need. Sometimes the provision for a name change might be left out from the divorce decree and you should communicate with the court that finalized the divorce to request for an amendment of the document. Remember amendments can sometimes be denied by different courts in the state; you need to change tact and continue with a normal adult name change petition in Texas.

Together with the name change petition, you are also requested to provide fingerprints, a legible set of them on a fingerprint card approved by the state. The verification of the petition needs to be done, where you must swear and sign that the information provided with the petition is accurate before a notary. Remember to have the order for name change prepared for the judge to sign. Apart from containing similar information as that in the petition, Texas requires the order to also clearly state the change of name is in public interest and beneficial to you. A hearing is then scheduled by the court. It's possible that the judge will request a repeat of the information you have provided in the petition prior to the signing of the order declaring your change of name.

Once the name change has been effected, ensure you have approached all the right government agencies to update your name, from the Social Security Office, IRS to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Nonetheless, you might want to know that changing your name with the Social Security Office comes first and once this has been approved, simply take the certificate you will receive to the Texas Department of Public Safety to have your driver's license name changed.

General Adult Name Change

If you don't have a divorce decree or marriage certificate, it's still possible to effect a name change in Texas. This requires a change of name of an adult petition be filed including an order that grants name change of an adult. It means you must prepare a Name Change Petition and Order for Texas without signing any document. Take the petition to be signed by a notary, who will have your identity verified and allow you to sign it before the he has signed the document again to verify that you signed the petition in his presence. The Texas Name Change Order should not be signed at this time.

The next process requires you arrange with the local law enforcement for your fingerprints to be taken on either an approved FBI fingerprint card or DPS. After receiving the fingerprint card, the Order and Petition, make two copies of each. Take them to the local county courthouse to file with the county's court clerk in your local jurisdiction. Filing the paperwork comes at a cost and once you have paid it a case number is assigned. A Texas Name Change Petition stamped copy will then be returned to you. Ensure you have the Texas Name Change Order's original copy to await the court hearing. You must know the court date assigned by the office of the clerk; to be on the safe side call a couple of days before the hearing to know everything is as scheduled.

On the material court date, have the Texas Name Change Petition's copy the clerk gave you including the original order of the Texas Name Change with you for the hearing. Expect the judge to ask a couple of questions; be as brief and honest as possible in your answers. Once the legal change of name has been granted by the judge, the Texas Name Change Order will be signed and you must file it with the office of the court clerk. Request a name change certificate after tendering to the court clerk the Texas Name Change Order in the same manner you filed the petition for the name change. At a small fee, the Texas Name Change Order certified copy, dully signed, can be provided.

Child Name Changes

Within the Texas Family Code are all the regulations needed to effect a name change of a child within the state. The name change can be requested due to custody proceedings, adoptions, among others, by managing conservators, legal guardians or parents. It's important for parents to file the name change petition within the county court where the minor lives before parting with some filing fees.

The first thing is requesting the petition for the name change of a child, including the order to change the name of a child and consent to change the name of a child. All these are found at the local county's district court and can also be downloaded online. The petition has to be filled with the signature of the guardians and parents of the child, has to show how they relate to the minor, child's legal status, case numbers to previous judgments relating to the minor, name change details, the reason for the name change, and the vital statistics of the child.

In case the minor is a sex offender already registered, the Sex Offender Update form needs to be filled out and a copy attached to the petition. The petition should then be signed before a notary public who also signs on the form before officially stamping it. The reason for the Consent to Change the Name of the minor has to be explained clearly to the child if above ten years of age, who then must add his/her current name and the name proposed before the signing of the form.

The document should be taken to the office of the district court clerk for filing. You'll be updated about a court date assigned to you including a corresponding case number. You must appear on the court as scheduled and if the judge is convinced the change of name is for the child's best interest, it will be approved. The name change order will then be completed by the court.

Request the court clerk for a certified copy of the name change order to use to change the name of the minor with the Social Security Administration.

Change of Name on Birth Certificate

Amendments on birth certificate are done by the Department of State Health Services in Texas with each application clearly reviewed by a professional if the name change can be done. In case the birth took place in the last 180 days, you should expect the name change to be effected within 20-30 days. Amendments cost $15 with an additional $5 if you want an expedited service. Estimated normal processing time for the birth certificate amendment takes 10-15 business days.

Name change on Social Security, DMV, Passport, IRS

After changing the name for whatever reason, you must notify the various relevant government bodies. In case of any name change, notify the Social Security Administration, whether you are newly weds, lately divorced or simply changed your name legally. Even those who have reverted to their previous names need to let the Social Security Administration know. File the Application for a Social Security Card Form SS-5, at the Social Security office in your locality and include the legal proof of the name change.

Once you have changed the name with the Social Security Administration only then can you request a name change with the Department of Motor Vehicles. 30 days after the name change visit the office of Texas Department of Public Safety with the current ID card and driver's license, including the proof of name change. Changing your name with the Social Security Administration is free, but a new driver's license after a name change will cost you $11.

Name Change on Non-governmental Institutions

Once you have a legal proof of name change you can change your name with just about anyone, including non-governmental institutions such as financial institutions, insurance providers, employers and other professional documents such as passports, credit cards and loyalty club membership.

Name Change Documents

To make the name change process easier you need all the documents required. These includes:

  • Certified copy of Texas marriage certificate for marriage name change
  • Certified copy of Texas divorce decree for divorce name change
  • Court order for general adult name change
  • Proof of identification (passport, driver's license or state ID)
  • Proof of age (decree of adoption, birth certificate or hospital record)

155 Comments

  1. John G

    I got married and my wife still had her ex last name on her id when we applied for marriage license in texas but the clerk didn't ask us if we wanted to change names after marriage. We haven't mailed the signed marriage license to get a certified copy and I wonder if she can change her last name to mine without getting married again (read that in NY you have to remarry)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi John. She should be able to change her last name using the marriage certificate as-is.

      Reply
  2. Mickey

    Am I able to change my middle name to my maiden name after marriage in TX? I am finding conflicting information online. Who should I call to verify the laws? We have already obtained the license in my maiden name. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Mickey. Yes, you can do a maiden to middle name change in Texas.

      Reply
      1. Katrina Brown

        Do you have to file for a name change petition, or can you do this through the marriage certificate?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Katrina. If you're referring to maiden to middle, then the marriage certificate will suffice.

          Reply
          1. Nicole

            I want to get married to my fiancée but I don't want my last name and she don't want hers. I want to take my mother maiden name is that possible through marriage

          2. Valera

            Hi Nicole. No, that wouldn't be possible for a marriage-related name change. You'd have to go to court, as that would be considered a general adult name change.

  3. Karin

    In Colorado, I signed my marriage license with my husband's surname making the first step to legally change my name. My friend was married in Texas over a year ago and there is no signature line or indication of her changing her name to her husband's surname. I understand that the marriage license is the document she needs to change her name with gov't agencies etc but if her name is not changed on her marriage license, couldn't she continue using her maiden name? Could she change her name later in their marriage should she decide to take his name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      but if her name is not changed on her marriage license, couldn't she continue using her maiden name? Could she change her name later in their marriage should she decide to take his name?

      Correct on both counts.

      Reply
  4. kayce lesperance

    Creative piece – I am thankful for the insight , Does anyone know where I could get access to a template IRS W-2 copy to use ?

    Reply
  5. Joseph

    If my wife did not take my last name when we got married 10 years ago, (her maiden name is on the marriage certificate) how do we change her name now? do we need a new marriage certificate or do we just start changing it in the respective government agencies with the same certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Joseph. Change it using the same certificate the regular way.

      Reply
  6. Edna

    I want to drop my first name and keep my middle name as my first name after marriage as well as take my future husband's last name. Is this possible? Can I change this all at once when I take my husbands last name? What is the process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Edna. First name changes would have to go through a court petitioned name change.

      Reply
  7. Emi

    This may be a little tricky, but I want to know if I can change my middle name to another name with my maiden name added or hyphenated and take my husband's last name as my new last name.

    Reply
    1. Emi

      So… I want to see if I can do the following without filing a court petition:
      First, Middle which I currently don't have, Last
      to
      First, New Middle + Maiden, Husband's Last Name

      Sorry for being difficult; just want to see what my options are.

      Reply
    2. Valera

      Hi Emi. Adding another name along with your maiden wouldn't be recognized as part of the married name change process through use of your marriage certificate. That kind of name change would require you to petition the court. Once you get a court order you can change your name however you prefer.

      Reply
  8. Annie

    How do I petition the court for a first/middle/last name change after marriage in Texas? I have
    First Middle Maiden I want to change to First+Middle as first, Maiden to middle, and take my husbands last name. We have our marriage license.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Annie. You can read more detail about what a name change petition entails. The process is similar in each state. In Texas, you'll have to visit the court and file a petition to get a judge to grant a name change order. See the "general adult name change" section in this article that discusses it further.

      Reply
  9. Andrea

    Hi! I have two questions:
    1) I got married in a legal destination wedding but am a resident of Texas. Will the official marriage certificate still work the same as the Texas marriage certificate listed above?
    2) Is it possible to drop your middle name and use your maiden name as your middle name and husbands name as surname? So it would be FirstName MaidenName(now middle) HusbandsName(now last)

    Thanks!
    –Andrea

    Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Bren. Get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. If you got married abroad and your certificate is not written in English, you may need to get it translated to English and notarized. Take your certificate to the SSA, DMV, and other government/non-government institutions to complete your name change.

          Reply
  10. Macy

    My wife and I got married about a month ago and want to combine our last names to make a new last name. Is that possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Macy. While a few states do provide the option to combine (or segment) last names, Texas does not appear to be one of them.

      Reply
  11. Elle Gee

    Hi,
    My wife and I(same sex) got married in NYC in 2012. On the marriage license she did not take my last name. We now live in Texas and would like to have her last name changed to mine. Do we have to file a petition with the court, since the marriage license doesn't show her name to be changed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Elle. The marriage certificate as-is should suffice, preventing you from having to go to court.

      Reply
  12. Kyrie Ous

    Husband/wife would like to have the same middle (wife's maiden) and last (husband's last) names. Can both spouses file for a Marriage Name Change?
    Also, can a license be obtained in TX but the wedding performed/officiated in a different state?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Husband/wife would like to have the same middle (wife's maiden) and last (husband's last) names. Can both spouses file for a Marriage Name Change?

      The husband would need to get a court order.

      Also, can a license be obtained in TX but the wedding performed/officiated in a different state?

      No, a marriage license obtained from Texas can only be used in Texas.

      Reply
  13. Frank Burciaga

    Hi..

    So my wife has had an expired Mexican Passport for awhile. We have been married for some time. Now she went to get a new PP, but has MY last name on it. It seems that Mexican law has changed. Our marriage certificate has her old married last name on it, not her maiden name, which is required now by Mexico (I think that's dumb, oh well). So now we have to get her name changed on our marrage certif. Couple of questions:

    We go married in one Texas county, but now live in another, do we have to do all this naming changing at the county we were married at???

    Thank you for taking time to help. :-)

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Frank. Getting a name modified on a marriage certificate is difficult, unless there's a mistake on the clerk's part. If you were going to try to change it, you'll go to the county where's it's been filed, which is typically the same county where the license was acquired.

      Reply
  14. J

    Hi. Im from Texas but currently living in Nevada. I got married and wanted to change my name. I want to use my maiden name as my middle name and take my husbands last name. In the state of Nevada this is possible with the social security card. When it comes to my drivers license i was told they would have to hyphenate my maiden name with my husbands last name. I do not want that. Is this the same in Texas? Would they have to hyphenate my maiden with my husbands last name on my license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is this the same in Texas? Would they have to hyphenate my maiden with my husbands last name on my license?

      No, I don't believe that's required.

      Reply
  15. T

    Can I take my husbands maiden name and last name as my married name(As our last pre-married surname is the same)?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi T. I don't believe that's an option. While state statues don't appear to explicitly prohibit it, that doesn't mean it's a supported and recognized option.

      Reply
  16. Erica

    Hello,
    I wanted to ask if there would be any way to have my 3 daughters' last names changed. I got divorced from my ex in 2015, part of the final decree has name changes listed for my daughters. He is incarcerated for sexual crimes. I already went to the social security office and changed their social security cards to my last name but I need to have their birth certificates changed for new school enrollment purposes. Can this be done? I live in Texas.

    Reply
  17. Rachelle Davila

    My fiance and I are getting married in November. We are both Texas residents. He would like to take on my maden name instead of me taking his. Is that possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rachelle. That would require getting a name change by petitioning the court.

      Reply
  18. Jeffrey

    My wife and I were married and still live in Texas in 2009. We kept our last names as they were for the time. I would now like to my last name to my wife's. Do I have to do the name change petition or is the fact that we're married and trying to have the same last name enough? If not, would I have still had to do a name change petition were I the female in the marriage in this situation?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I have to do the name change petition or is the fact that we're married and trying to have the same last name enough?

      You'll have to do a petition.

      If not, would I have still had to do a name change petition were I the female in the marriage in this situation?

      If the roles were reversed, a petition would be unnecessary.

      Reply
  19. Ksmith

    I am married and chose to hyphenate my name. My husband expressed a year later that he was hurt by my decision. What is the procedure in changing my last name again?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What is the procedure in changing my last name again?

      Since you've already undergone a legal name change due to marriage, you'll have to petition the court to do it a second time.

      Reply
  20. Alyssa D

    Hello!
    I got married earlier this month my home state of WI, although we currently live in TX. I was planning on changing my name to FirstName MiddleName Maiden Name (as an addition to my middle) HusbandsName. On our WI Marriage Certificate, I'm listed as FirstName Middle Name Maiden Name. Will I have any issues getting my name changed in Texas, since my married name is not on the certificate?

    Reply
  21. Sharon

    Is there a statute of limitations regarding sending in the documents to change your name after getting married? My niece got married several years ago in TX and never sent the paperwork in. She's legally married but never took care of it afterward

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a statute of limitations regarding sending in the documents to change your name after getting married?

      No, there is none.

      Reply
  22. NICHOLE S FLINT

    Per my husband's culture (originally from Kenya, now US citozen) his MIDDLE name is our children's last name and is suppose to be mine as well. We did marry but I've yet to change my name from previous marriage. I want to carry the same name as OUR children and abide to his culture as well. Will the state of Texas allow this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nichole. It would have to be the last name, either hyphenated or not hyphenated.

      Reply
  23. Paul

    Hi,
    I live in Texas and got married back in May. I want to change my last name but I hear that men don't have the same process as women in Texas. Is this true and I'm originally from Massachusetts and have lived most of my life there, could that in any way make it easier? I was married in Texas. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to change my last name but I hear that men don't have the same process as women in Texas. Is this true and I'm originally from Massachusetts and have lived most of my life there, could that in any way make it easier?

      It is true. In Texas, you'd have to get a court petitioned name change. If you were changing your name in Massachusetts, you could just use your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  24. Judith Ivane Villarreal

    I have a question.

    My fiance and I live in Texas and would like to change both of our names to an old family name, it is not either of our surnames.

    What will the process be for both of us? Adult name changes?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Judity. Neither of you could accomplish this through a marriage-based name change. It would require going through a court-petitioned name change, which can be done before or after marriage.

      Reply
  25. Cindy

    If my father in law and my husband are changing there last name to the biological families names, do I need to do a legal change of name also or does mine change when my husbands does?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      do I need to do a legal change of name also or does mine change when my husbands does?

      No, you are not required to change your name also. Your name does not and will not change automatically just because your husband changes his name. If you want to change your name to match, you'd have to do it separately.

      Reply
  26. Evelynn Moore

    Me and my husband were just married in Texas. Is it possible for us to change our last name to his mother and step dads (who he considers his real dad) last name instead of his legal last name? He has always gone by their last name on everything except legal documents.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Evelynn. No, that sort of name change wouldn't be possible through marriage. You'd have to get a court order.

      Reply
  27. Isaac

    Can a man change his surname with a marriage certificate to drop his mother's maiden name (this was done by a traditional Mexican mother who named her son the way she would have in Mexico but is beginning to cause problems now that he is an adult)?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can a man change his surname with a marriage certificate to drop his mother's maiden name

      Not in Texas. Not with a marriage certificate. He'd have to petition the court.

      Reply
  28. Carrie

    I got married 23 years ago and kept my maiden name. I would now like to change my last bame to my husband's. Since it has been so long will I need to go through the court process or can I just send in my marriage certificate?

    Thanks

    Reply
  29. Nancy

    I'm getting conflicting information in my inquiries, so I'm hoping you can help clarify. In 1990, I changed my last name from my maiden name to my husband's last name. We divorced in 2005, but I kept his last name as we have a child together. I'm soon to remarry. I would like to drop my middle name and use my original maiden name and my current last name as a hyphenated middle name, then take my new husband's last name. So it would be First Name, Maiden Name-Current last name, New Last Name. The Knot states you cannot change your middle name with a marriage certificate name change in Texas though it seems in reading above that you state one can. And I'm not sure I can add my maiden name back into my name at all since it's currently not part of my name. Can you please confirm? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      So it would be First Name, Maiden Name-Current last name, New Last Name.

      This would require a court petitioned name change.

      Reply
  30. Jessica

    my husband found is father and is now changing his last name to his real fathers last name. will I have to petition to get his new last name or can we revise the marriage license? We also need to change my daughters last name. Help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      will I have to petition to get his new last name or can we revise the marriage license?

      Amending your marriage record that way wouldn't be accepted, so you will have to petition.

      We also need to change my daughters last name. Help!

      Petition as well.

      Reply
  31. Carol

    I am in Texas with children from my first marriage. Being divorced from a second marriage for over 10 years, I want to take back name from first marriage to identify with my children.

    What do I need to do this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Carol. If your divorce decree contained an order restoring your previous, first marriage name, then you could use that document to change your name. Short of that, you'll have to get a court order by petitioning the court.

      Reply
  32. Lisa

    I was married in 2015 and changed my last name to my husband's last name using the marriage certificate. I've decided I would like to hyphenate my maiden name with my husband's last name. Can I still do this with the marriage certificate or would I have to file with the court?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I still do this with the marriage certificate or would I have to file with the court?

      You'd have to go to court.

      Reply
  33. Elena

    Can my mother keep her married name, to maintain same last name as kids as she will be getting married in a few months time ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can my mother keep her married name, to maintain same last name as kids as she will be getting married in a few months time ?

      Yes, she can.

      Reply
  34. Belinda Mace

    How should my name be listed on my divorce decree? Divorce is in Texas. On my decree it has my maiden name as my middle name. Is that correct?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Belinda. You'd put your legal name as-is. If the judge is restoring your maiden/previous name, it'll be specified separately. The court clerk can advise you on this.

      Reply
  35. M.T

    I am about to entering into an informal marriage in Texas. What is the procedure for name change?

    Also, is it unlawful to use his last name (without legal name change) in informal situations (i.e. church, introductions, etc)?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am about to entering into an informal marriage in Texas. What is the procedure for name change?

      You'd have to petition the court.

      Also, is it unlawful to use his last name (without legal name change) in informal situations (i.e. church, introductions, etc)?

      As long as there's no attempt to defraud, it's fine.

      Reply
  36. Brandi

    My husband added his ex wife's maiden name to his last name without a hyphen. For example his last name on legal documents is first name jones smith. They are divorced but no name change order was included and the decree is only in his last name first name smith. Can he legally just drop the jones name without having to petition the court? If we get married and the license has both last names, am I able to just take one since it isn't hyphenated?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brandi. He'd have to petition the court to drop it. You would have to take the full name.

      Reply
  37. Heather Timmons-Lipari

    After marriage, I hyphenated my last name to contain my maiden and my husbands last name,

    Do I have to go to court to drop the hyphen and just keep my husband's name? We are not divorced or anything. I would like to add my maiden as a middle name and just have my husbands name as my last.

    Just for clarification purposes:

    Current name: First, Middle, Maiden-Husbands surname as last

    What I want: First, Middle, Maiden as 2nd middle, husbands surname as last

    Reply
  38. chris wesson

    My wife and I got married in Las Vegas about 4 months ago but we live in Texas. Do we simply need to take our Nevada marriage license to the local county clerk here in Texas in order to get my wife's last name changed to mine? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chris. You'll just need to get a certified copy of the NV marriage certificate to change her name.

      Reply
  39. MLS

    My husband and I got married in CA and I inserted my husband's last name as my middle name: I didn't have middle name before. My first and last name didn't change. It was ok in CA and our CA marriage certificate shows that. We are now living in TX and my TX drivers licrnse, social security has this new name. But when I applied for green card in TX, the officer said this name change (creating middle name) is not allowed in TX and rejected my name. So they issued green card having only my first and last name, no middle name. Is it true you cannot change middle name by marriage in TX? You can only change it to maiden name but not to anything else? Is name change law different for US citizen vs immigrants?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is it true you cannot change middle name by marriage in TX? You can only change it to maiden name but not to anything else?

      That's correct.

      Is name change law different for US citizen vs immigrants?

      It's the same.

      Reply
  40. Claudette

    I just got married 2months ago and had my marriage certificate still on my last name. Can i change it to my husbands last name. How much fees? And what i need to do? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Claudette. Marriage certificate amendments wouldn't be accepted unless there's a mistake on the part of the issuing clerk.

      Reply
  41. Anthony

    Hi Valera. I'm getting married next month. I'm a in a male same sex couple. The situation seems complex. I hope you can help me know if I can do this name change in Texas.
    Current name Married Name:
    FIRST: Anthony FIRST: Anthony
    MIDDLE: no middle name MIDDLE: Cruz (I just want to keep one word of the two)
    LAST NAME: Cruz Hernandez. LAST NAME: Flores (my future husband's last name)
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Anthony. While taking the full last name as the middle should be okay, a partial/segment isn't likely to go through.

      Reply
  42. Lee

    I have a Texas drivers license and don't have a middle name so when I changed my license years ago to add my married name I was told I had to keep my maiden name because I had no middle name. My Texas drivers license shows my married name as last name, no middle name is shown and my first name is shown along with my maiden name. This has caused a lot of problems since I don't use my maiden name. Can I have my maiden name remove?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lee. You can return to your driver's license office to explain your circumstance and request an amendment. You can ask them to produce the directive that says your name change was done properly. If it can't be produced, you can argue it was an error or misinterpretation on the clerk's part and you'd like for your license to be amended and reissued.

      Reply
  43. Barbara

    Hi.. how can my husband go about requesting his exwife to remove his last name… she takes advantage and sometimes poses as his wife to obtain information about him, myself and our children..

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Barbara. Typically, an ex-spouse cannot compel a name change or name reversion. If there's fraud involved, he'll have to contact an attorney to determine if there's any legal recourse available.

      Reply
  44. Ree

    I recently got married and I submitted information to SS to take my husbands last name. If I want to change and hyphenate my name with his, can I simply resubmit a new form with required documentation?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ree. That's unlikely, since it's already in the queue. Unless you're able to rescind your request, you'll end up having to get a court order to change it again.

      Reply
  45. May

    Could I make my maiden name a second middle name, and take married name as last name, without going through court process?

    Currently: First Middle Maiden
    Would like to be: First Middle Maiden(as 2nd middle name) Married

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi May. You would be looking at a court petitioned name change for that.

      Reply
      1. May

        Can you help me understand how this works? From what I've read SSA would allow this change; Texas would not. But once I got an updated SS card, wouldn't DPS have to recognize that as my legal name?

        Also heard a rumor that DPS only allows 3 names on a driver license. Is that true? So if I had 4 names I would have to leave one off?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi May. It's different, as one's federal and the other's state. The DPS may query the SSA database for a name match/mismatch, but that doesn't mean it's required to match what's returned. It's more for verification.

          Reply
  46. Hannah

    I got married and got my new social security several months ago. I didn't know that I only had 30 days to change my name at the DMV! I was planning on doing that tomorrow. What is going to happen since I waited longer than the permitted 30 days?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What is going to happen since I waited longer than the permitted 30 days?

      Most likely nothing. Such rules are meant more to motivate people to update their records in a timely manner. It's not something that's often enforced or penalized.

      Reply
  47. Cristina Baily

    Hello.

    I am a Texas resident. I got divorced 3 years ago and have three kids with my ex-husband. I legally changed my name from my married last name to my maiden name a couple months ago through the courts. I want to hyphenate my kids last name so that keep their father's last name but also add my maiden name. He pays child support and gets them about 30% of the time. He is not delinquent. I take care of 100% of their private school tuition and do almost all the majority of caring for them. What re the chances that the courts will grant the order request to hyphenate under my circumstances?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Cristina. With the father's consent, it wouldn't be a problem. Without the father's consent, it's unlikely. You'd have to contact an attorney or court for a more definitive answer.

      Reply
  48. Jennifer

    I got married (same-sex) in Texas last year. Both of us still use ex-husbands last name (that name is on our marriage license as well) to keep it the same as our kids.

    Now, we want to change our names back to our maidens name and use are maiden names with a hyphen for our last names. Does this have to be a petition filed with the court?

    And will we be able to have our last name changed to both maiden names with a hyphen with the courts approval?

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jennifer. You should be able to just use your marriage certificate to effect such a name change. Incorrect. See follow-up.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Thank you.

        The names on our marriage license reflect the last names from our ex-husbands.

        Are you referring to our maiden names on the 1st marriage license to the ex-husbands that we can use?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Jennifer. Apologies. My previous statement was incorrect. I now realize that your maiden names weren't actually restored following your divorce. In that case, you would have to petition the court. If you restored your names, then you could use your certificate.

          Reply
  49. K. Jones

    Hello!
    My same sex female partner and live in texas and will be getting married in August. My last name Jones and her last name is Mccoy. We would both like to hyphenate as Jones-Mccoy. Is this name change covered for us both using our marrige certificate?

    Reply
  50. Gabriel

    Hi – my fiancee got divorced a few years ago. She was able to revert to her maiden name in her SS card but not with the Texas DNV (nor passport office) because she didn't have a certified copy of the divorce decree, which apparently the SS office didn't ask for but Texas did. We're due to marry soon here in Texas and are wondering if we can just apply for the marriage licence under her married name and after the wedding she could just change straight to my last name. However if the marriage licence and certificate don't state her maiden name then is that going to be a problem with SS? It just seems as I'm marying one and not the other…Thanks

    Reply
    1. Valera

      We're due to marry soon here in Texas and are wondering if we can just apply for the marriage licence under her married name

      There's nothing stopping her from applying under her maiden name. Texas doesn't require the driver's license be used as the only form of acceptable ID. There are other documents they'll accept, such as a certified copy of her birth certificate.

      However if the marriage licence and certificate don't state her maiden name then is that going to be a problem with SS?

      It's more straightforward to apply in the maiden name. This way, it'll match the SSA and the certificate.

      Reply
      1. Gabriel

        Thanks – could she apply then using her SS Card which is under her maiden name?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Gabriel. No, the social security card isn't a valid identity document. She could use a state ID, passport, birth certificate, insurance policy, or car title. All those are acceptable ID documents.

          Reply
  51. Maria Abigail Reyna

    Hello I got married last November and I wanted to change my last name. so far its just changed on my email, how can I start this process.?

    on this name I used my married last name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Maria. Order a certified copy of your marriage record from the county clerk. Get it from the same county clerk office where you originally applied for your license. Use that document to change your name with the SSA, TxDPS, passport office, etc.

      Reply
  52. Vince

    Hi! I'm a resident of the Netherlands, and I'm marrying a woman from Texas who wishes to have her name changed to mine (no maiden name). She's on vacation and will have to return to Texas soon after, however.

    My question: what does she have to do in order to have her name officially changed in Texas as well after we're married? Do we have to do anything beforehand, or does the marriage certificate itself need any special requirements (legalization of the document in the US, etc.)?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Vince. Once you're married, she can order a certified copy of the marriage record from the county clerk's office that issued the license. That document is what's needed to change her last name to yours. The marriage license/certificate doesn't need anything extra.

      Reply
  53. Angela

    I am in Texas. I got married about 2 weeks ago and received our Certificate of Marriage in the mail. I am confused on what i need to do next in order to change my last name to his. Also, when we went to get our marriage license i was not aware i had to put the name i wanted to use after i got married. I put my maiden name on the license. Did i do this wrong?

    -Help

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am confused on what i need to do next in order to change my last name to his.

      You got the document you need. Take your certificate of marriage to change your name at the SSA, then DMV, etc.

      Also, when we went to get our marriage license i was not aware i had to put the name i wanted to use after i got married.

      Texas marriage licenses don't provide a space to specify a new name after marriage. The certificate is what you'll need to change it.

      I put my maiden name on the license. Did i do this wrong?

      You filled it out right.

      Reply
  54. Dora Casiano

    I need some help!! When we applied for our marriage license they applied both last names from my husband to my name. So now I have my last name, my husbands dad's last name and my mother in laws last name. In Mexico they register the kids with both last name. I am having issues and need to have my mother in laws last name off the license and my documents but is there a way to do this without having to go through the court and paying lots of $$ to have a name change done. please help me.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Dora. Short of getting your license reissued or reapplying, you'd have to go to court.

      Reply
  55. Andrew rui

    I am male and wish to change my last name to my soon to be husbands last name does the state of Texas allow that? We will not be married in the state of Texas.

    Reply
  56. Lara

    I live in Texas and was married in Texas last month. I would like to change my name from:

    FirstName MiddleName MaidenName to FirstName MaidenName Husband'sSurname

    Can this be done by just taking my marriage certificate and SS-5 to the social security admin, or will they not allow this kind of change without a court petition?

    Thank you for the help!

    Reply
  57. Mackie

    I currently have my fathers last name and I want to change it to my mothers maiden last name. Can my fiancé and I change our last name to my mothers maiden last name when getting married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can my fiancé and I change our last name to my mothers maiden last name when getting married?

      No, you'd both have to petition the court.

      Reply
  58. Mazzde

    Hello, I was married in Texas and also divorced in Texas. My ex husband had a lawyer, but I did not. I was aware of some tweaks made to our divorce/custody paperwork…but I was not aware that he ordered me to have my last name revoked and changed back to my maiden name. (Not happy about that) we have a 5 year old son together. When I approached and talked to him about it, he said that he only did that to be spiteful and that he doesn't care if I change it or not. That it's up to me. Which of course I want to keep it because of our son. I'm now worried that if he gets spiteful again or angry at all, that he will try to use that against me and get me for "contempt of court". What do I need to do in order to keep my last name as it is and NOT go back to my maiden name? My license, social, and really everything important has my married last name. Please help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What do I need to do in order to keep my last name as it is and NOT go back to my maiden name?

      You may have to contact an attorney, as I can't speak on what's written in your decree nor its context. Even people who request their prior name be restored through divorce aren't obligated to follow through. It doesn't matter what's specified in a divorce decree or marriage certificate if you don't actually follow through and notify the SSA, DMV, etc of the name change. A divorce decree isn't going to do the notifications for you.

      I'll give you another example. For a person who successfully petitions the court to change their name, the issued order means nothing unless that person actually notifies the various government institutions and executes the change.

      Reply
  59. Marsh

    Hi, I got married in Texas 2015, on my divorce decree it didn't show that my ex husband last name was taken off so when I explain to the clerk that I didn't want my ex last name on my current marriage certificate she explains that it have to stay because the decree didn't state it could be taken off now I have all my government IDs is in my correct name can I go back to the court house where I get married and request for my ex husband last name to be taken off my marriage certificate please help

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I go back to the court house where I get married and request for my ex husband last name to be taken off my marriage certificate please help

      No, your marriage certificate is a historical document that can only be amended if it contains an error.

      Reply
  60. Joshua

    My wife and I married in October of 2008. She intended to change her name, but never did get around to it and has continued to use her maiden name since. Now that our first daughter is going to be born soon, we'd like to get it done as we'd like our whole family to have the same name. Can this be done with our marriage license now at an affordable rate or is there a limitation in the amount of time after marriage that one can affect a change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Joshua. It can be done with a certified copy of the marriage license. There is no time limit.

      Reply
  61. Desiree Ilo

    Hello, I was recently married in Texas and when I went to the DMV to have my name changed, because I was taking my husband's surname, but I also wanted to just go without a middle name all together. The DMV said I could not just "remove" my middle name and take his last name – it would have to be replaced with my maiden name, which I did not want. So they ended up keeping the middle name on my DL. However, when I went to the SS office, removing my middle name was no problem and the representative said that when you get married in Texas, removing your middle name (without replacing it) is fine while taking the surname of your husband. Can someone please verify this and the statue/code/law that this comes from so I may take it back to the DMV and have my DL fixed? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Desiree. The discrepancy is due to the SSA being federal and DMV being state. Different standards.

      Reply
  62. Yvonne Herrera

    My spouse and I registered for an informal marriage certificate in Texas in 2015, and kept my maiden name. We have recently had a religious matrimony at our church, will the state recognize the ceremonial marriage in the church? Will I be able to use that certificate to change my last name to his?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Yvonne. If the religious ceremony was solemnized using a Texas-issued marriage license, then you could use a certified copy of the marriage record/certificate after it's been recorded.

      Reply
  63. Kimberly Oliver

    I signed my marriage license with my maiden name was I suppose to sign my future last name and will that affect me changing my social an driver license cause it my maiden name on the license

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kimberly. You signed with the right name. It won't negatively affect your name change prospects.

      Reply
  64. Tracy Jones

    I got divorced and kept my ex-husband's last name. I am now engaged to be married again, however I do not want to take my new husband's last name. I want to revert to my maiden name. I live in Harris County, Texas – is this possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tracy. No, I don't believe reverting is an option without a court order.

      Reply
  65. Chelsea

    I was recently married in Nevada, I'm originally from Texas and reside in Texas, how do I go about changing my name in Texas with my Nevada marriage certificate? Or do I need to apply for a Texas marriage license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Chelsea. Obtain a certified copy of your marriage record from Nevada.

      Reply
  66. Veronica

    My husband divorce his wife in the state of Texas, on the wavier she sign she has to change her last name back to her maiden name. On the divorce decree also she sign to have her last name change back to her maiden name and also my husband wrote on the decree that she change her last name back to her maiden name on everything and it is final and sign by the judge, but after she found out he was getting re marry she refuses to change her last name now and will not change it and has brought several cars after the divorce using that last name and will not change her last name back. Are we able to file contempt of court on her to change her last name back to her maiden name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Are we able to file contempt of court on her to change her last name back to her maiden name

      It's unlikely, unless restoration of the maiden name was part of the marital settlement agreement (MSA).

      Reply
  67. Nhu

    Hi. I took my husband's last name and maiden as middle when we got married. The process went smoothly at SS office and DMV and every where else. But recently I heard someone said that I also have to change it on my US Citizenship certificate. Do I really have to go through this with the USCIS to have to current name? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Nhu. It is advised to update your name. Form N-565 is used for that purpose.

      Reply

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