322 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)

322 Comments

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Maria

    With my first divorce I kept my ex husband s last name because of the kids. Remarried and getting divorce again. The paperwork says to not makes changes to last name or makes changes to the last name you had before marriage. Does that mean my ex husbands last name before i married the second. Since I kept his name at that time.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      The paperwork says to not makes changes to last name or makes changes to the last name you had before marriage. Does that mean my ex husbands last name before i married the second. Since I kept his name at that time.

      It typically refers to any prior last name, including your ex-husband's or your maiden name.

      Reply
  9. Thi

    Hello,

    I was born in Vietnam, but have been a naturalized citizen of the USA since I turned 18 years of age (this was 10 years ago). My husband and I are both residents of Texas and were married in Texas. I would like to take his last name but am concerned about my birth certificate. Since my birth certificate is originally from Vietnam, will this cause any issues with the name change process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Thi. No, your birth certificate won't cause a problem.

      Reply
  10. Jaclyn

    My husband was born in Mexico and has his fathers last name and mother's last name as his legal name. Our children only have his fathers last name as is traditional in American. I want to change my last name to be same as children. Will Texas DMV let me change it to only his fathers last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jaclyn. Dropping a portion of the name may be a problem.

      Reply
  11. Amanda

    Hi Valera,

    I live in Texas and I will be getting re-married early next year. After my divorce 20 years ago, I kept my ex husbands last name. When I get married can I use my maiden name hyphenated with my future wife's last name? Or will i only be allowed to take my wifes last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Amanda. AFAIK, TX statutes doesn't discuss hyphenating with a prior surname, so it's unlikely.

      Reply
  12. Stephanie

    I am getting married in September and would like to take my future husband's middle name as my last name. Would this be permitted by using the marriage license? Or would I have to do a court petition?

    Reply
  13. Jamie

    Same sex couple. I want to take my wife's last name but I also want to keep my maiden name for work purposes. If I keep my maiden name and add her last name to it with no hyphen, will I be able to just use the dual last names at work and then just my wife's name for everything else (bank accounts, credit cards, etc.). I know that any legal documents would have to be signed with both.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jamie. Yes, you should be able to accomplish that by communicating your preference with your bank, credit card companies, etc.

      Reply
  14. Steven

    We got same sex married in May. My husband has decided to take my last name. Do we have to petition the court, or will the marriage license be enough. I'm sorry if you've already answered this question. I didn't see it in the thread. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Steven. A certified copy of your marriage record is enough.

      Reply
  15. Kaitlyn Delph

    I got married in 2009. I'm an idiot & didn't realize I had to actually go and change my last name on my social myself. So I stupidly changed my name on my license. Is this going to cause an issue with getting it changed on my social?I'm going on Thursday so I just want to be sure I have what I need when I go.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is this going to cause an issue with getting it changed on my social?I'm going on Thursday so I just want to be sure I have what I need when I go.

      No, it shouldn't be a problem.

      Reply
  16. Joseph Mayberry

    Is there a cost in Texas for my wife to change her last name? We were married in Oklahoma. We read that there was a $277 cost affiliated with this process. Help please

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Joseph. You appear to be referring to a court petitioned name change, which is different from a marriage name change.

      Reply
  17. Ashley

    Is there a fee in Texas for not changing my last name after a year of marriage?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a fee in Texas for not changing my last name after a year of marriage?

      No, there isn't.

      Reply
  18. Barbara

    I got married in 1997. I changed my SS card but not DL. Separated for 20 years. My license are in my ex husband and my children's names.have to renew shortly. Is there going to be a problem?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Barbara. You may be required to renew with whatever name is currently on your SS card.

      Reply
  19. Trina

    I was married on the 14th of July. I was getting my ss hangs application done and realized that our marriage lic still has my maiden name vs my husband's surname. Do I need to do anything to change that with the county? Or will the SSA know that I want my husband's name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Trina. You're fine. You don't have to change anything beforehand.

      Reply
  20. Dich-park

    Hi,
    My husband and I got married in France, in 2012, we live now in Texas, I have 2 kids from my previous relationship and I want my kids and I take my husband's name. My kids still minor. Did we have to go through adoption or have we another way to change my kid's name? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Dich-park. You'll have to go to district court to change your children's names.

      Reply
  21. Jeremy

    If i want to change my last name back to my birth name im Texas, what do i need to do and the cost?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jeremy. You'll have to go to district court to change your name in Texas. The filing fee varies, but can be as high as $300.

      Reply
  22. Yuri

    I'm getting married in September, is it possible for my future husband and I to create a new last name other than combining both of our last names?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      is it possible for my future husband and I to create a new last name other than combining both of our last names?

      No, not in Texas. Even the states that do allow creative name changes require some segment of the current or former name be applied.

      Reply
  23. Oyindamola

    hi, i got married recently in Texas, bt I have my ex husband last name on my marriage licence.. Can i have it changed to my maiden name on marriage licence, before changing it to my new husband name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Oyindamola. Unless it's an error, amending the certificate is unlikely to be accepted.

      Reply
  24. Richard Tutt

    I recently obtained a Global Entry that required fingerprinting and an interview for international travel. Would this be acceptable instead of having to go through the finger print process again?

    Reply
    1. Richard Tutt

      My wife and I have been married for almost 8 years. What would be the process for me to take my wife's last name? We do have a legal marriage license.

      Reply
    2. Richard Tutt

      I forgot to mention that we have been married for almost 8 years and I would like to take my wife's last name. We do have a legal, certified marriage license. What would be my process for changing my name to my wife's last name? Sorry, I have added a separate request below for this information.

      Reply
    3. Valera

      Would this be acceptable instead of having to go through the finger print process again?

      No, that's unlikely.

      Reply
  25. Philippa Dodson

    My same sex partner and I would both like to change our last names to my maiden name when we marry. Can we do that through a marriage certificate? If not, should we change both our names through the court BEFORE we marry or after?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Philippa. You'd have to go to court, which can be done before or after marriage. The order makes no difference.

      Reply
  26. Mireille

    I got marriage but didn't change to my husband name. It that the cause of me not receiving my social security card but my child's got theirs. I enter us as a dv2 , my husband is the dv1 lottery ( the winner ) . We got married in our country. He traveled first and I later came with our 2 daughters . Can someone please tell me why my social security card wasn't send? And what do I do? Thanks

    Reply
  27. Adriane Rhodes

    How do we go about having my future husband take MY last name here in Texas? I've heard some people have had to cause a stink over it (the cali man who took the dmv to court) citing unfair name equality. I'm hoping to avoid all that.

    Let me know.

    Reply
  28. Kevin

    How do I get my ex wife to change her last name when our divorce decree specifically states she must change it. She continues to use it on all of my children's documents and it's causing issues with my wife's name in medical and educational systems. Can I personally have her name changed to eliminate these confusions?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Kevin. There's not much of anything you can do. She could choose not to change it.

      Reply
  29. Jessica

    My fiancée and I are getting married next month here in Texas (same sex couple) and we were not able to specify what our new last name would be on the marriage license. Both of us would like to take a completely different surname than our current surnames. Are we able to just list our new last name on the SS application and show our certified marriage certificate as proof for reason of name change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Jessica. You wouldn't be able to change to brand new surnames unless you opted for a court-petitioned name change.

      Reply
  30. Lynsey

    I just recently got married and am preparing everything I need to get my SS and license changed. I do not want to change my first name, just the spelling and then will be taking his last name. What kind of paperwork would I need for that? Would that be considered a general adult name change or is it simpler if its just the spelling? Thank you for any help/advice.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lynsey. Changing just one letter of your first name would be considered a general adult name change which requires petitioning the court.

      Reply
  31. TexAfricanQueen

    Hi. I am African and got married over 10 yrs ago back home. So I have a foreign marriage certificate. I never got around to taking my sweetheart's last name but now I really want to; especially cause our kids are asking why my last name is different. We are now US citizens & live in Texas. How do I go about changing my last name to his?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi TexAfricanQueen. You'll use the certified copy of your foreign marriage certificate to change your name. If it's not written in English, you may be asked to attach a notarized and certified English translation.

      Reply
  32. MBH

    Hi,
    My husband and I are both Texas residents and got married in April. Our marriage certificate shows my maiden name. I would like to change my middle name to my maiden name and take my husband's last name. Will I need to petition the court to do this?

    Reply
  33. tammy

    Hi Valera! I divorced several years ago and did not change my name back to my maiden name. I'm getting married again, and I would like to use my original middle name and my new husband's last name.
    Currently: firstname maidenname exs-last name
    Wish: firstname middlename newlast name

    Does this require a court order or can I do this with the marriage certificate? Or is all I can do with the
    marraige certificate is firstname maidenname newlast name? Thank you very much!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Tammy. I do believe you'll have to go to court to change the middle portion.

      Reply
  34. Trisha L Johnson-Wood

    I was married about a year and a half ago in Vegas.. At that time, I hyphenated my name. I have since decided that was not the best idea. How can I change my name to my spouse's last name and un-hyphenate my name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Trisha. Since you've already legally hyphenated your name, you'll have to get a court order to reverse it.

      Reply
  35. Ness

    Hi, I got married in Texas last month and the marriage certificate only shows my maiden name. Nowhere shows my married name. Is this normal in Texas? If so, how do I get my name changed to my married name? Note: I'm a foreigner in the process of applying for a greencard.

    Reply
  36. Rose

    Hi, my fiancé and I want to hyphenate both our last names. We are aware that this would require him to go before the court and legally change his name. Should we start this process before or after we have the marriage license? Also, just to make sure, being a woman, to hyphenate my last name I would only have to sign my name the way I want it on the marriage license and it would legally be my new name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Should we start this process before or after we have the marriage license?

      Before, if you want to change your name through marriage.

      Also, just to make sure, being a woman, to hyphenate my last name I would only have to sign my name the way I want it on the marriage license and it would legally be my new name?

      Texas marriage license applications don't provide a space to specify a new surname, so you'd sign your current name. That won't prevent you from changing your name later.

      Reply
  37. Agonzal

    Recently got married and would like to change our daughters last name. Currently her last name is my husbands last name then my maiden name, no hypen, but would like to drop my maiden name and leave just his. Where to go from here?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Agonzal. You'll have to petition the court for a name change in your daughter's county of residence.

      Reply
  38. Nancy Lavkner

    I got married in Nigeria resently. I came back to Texas for awhile to take care if somethings. I only have a copy of our civil marriage (not the original because he needs original for immigration purposes). Is a copy of my marriage certificate good enough to change my drivers license?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is a copy of my marriage certificate good enough to change my drivers license?

      It must be a certified copy.

      Reply
  39. Ari

    I have 2 middle names and one is spelled wrong on my Texas drivers license. I just got married and I want to take my husband's last name. And drop the misspelled middle name
    So it would go from first name, middle name, middle name maiden name to first name middle name new last name

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ari. You should be able to have your name change processed, but you may have to bring a certified copy of your birth certificate to prove the misspelling of your middle name.

      Reply
  40. John

    We just received our original marriage certificate in the mail. Do we use the original certificate or a certified copy to take to the various agencies to change the name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi John. If the original has been signed and recorded by the county clerk, you can use it.

      Reply
  41. John

    My wife wants to take my last name, but with a slight spelling alteration by dropping two double consonants. Is this possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi John. No, it's not possible for her to take your name with a minor alteration. She'd have to petition the court.

      Reply
  42. Anum Raza

    Hi i am wanting to change the spelling of my first name, however we are currently working on my husband's immigration stuff and they need a lot of stuff from me like my medical records which are in my original name. Is it possible to obtain all those stuff if i legally change the spelling of my first name and would it cause issues with my husbands case?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Anum. It shouldn't be an issue. As a precautionary measure, you can maintain documents, copies, and references in your prior name to respond to any possible name mismatch inquiry.

      Reply
  43. Kayla

    My husband and I married in 2013 in North Carolina, therefore we have a NC marriage license. Will this marriage license work to change my last name here in Texas?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will this marriage license work to change my last name here in Texas?

      Yes, it'll work perfectly fine.

      Reply
  44. gasper

    Valera, please how would my wife change her name in Texas?

    For example: her birth certificate has

    Mary Rice John as 1st,middle and last name.

    During baptism in church, she took the first name Elizabeth.So her foreign passport and official documents hasve Elizabeth Mary John.That is, her first name in her birth certificate became her middle name on her passport and documents. She never go/went by Rice but Mary as middle name and Elizabeth as first.

    We got married and i did Green Card application for her and she would like to go by my last name(Jones). USCIS says they will only honor the 1st,middle on her birthday certificate and then my last name for her on the Green card.That is Mary Rice Jones.Her green card has that name now.

    She wants to be known as Elizabeth Mary Jones.Can we use marriage license to change this or petition for it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gasper. She'd have to petition for it. Such a first name change wouldn't be accepted just using your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  45. Jeremy

    Hello, I would like to change my first middle and last name at the same time as I get married. Is that possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I would like to change my first middle and last name at the same time as I get married. Is that possible?

      No, first name changes require a court petition.

      Reply
  46. Vee Jones

    Hello,
    When I divorced in 2010, I kept my ex-husband's last name for the sake of our small child. I am about to get married again, however, I would like to go back to my maiden name instead of my new husband's name. Is it possible for me to go back to my maiden without having to go the special court route and just do it as I would if I was taking his last name?

    Thank you so much for your help. This site is great!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Vee. I don't believe that's an option. If your divorce decree contained an order restoring your maiden, you could use that to change your name, before or after you remarry.

      Reply
  47. Lynn

    Hello, I am planning to get marry in Vegas in February 2018. I planned to have the name as: Maiden – Husband's last name. However, I wasn't planning to change the name on document such as driver license, social security, or passport yet for other reasons. Would that be a problem for not changing the name and keeping my maiden name for the time being? Is there a statute of limitation in Texas for a name change if I decide to change the name on these such documents later in the year?
    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    1. Lynn

      the main reason for not making the changes on these documents is because i don't want people to know that i'm married. thanks again!

      Reply
    2. Valera

      Would that be a problem for not changing the name and keeping my maiden name for the time being?

      No.

      Is there a statute of limitation in Texas for a name change if I decide to change the name on these such documents later in the year?

      No.

      Reply
  48. Hal Right

    My wife and I are getting divorced in Texas, she signed a waiver, our divorce is uncontested. Can I request in the petition for divorce she change her name back to her maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I request in the petition for divorce she change her name back to her maiden name?

      That's unlikely.

      Reply
  49. Emily Rose

    I am due to marry soon. My fiance has had his name dragged through the mud by his ex wife and published online.We are interested in changing his last name to my middle name and my middle name to my last. Being in Texas, is this likely to incur an expensive process to change names?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Emily. It can be quite expensive. Nearly $200-300 for a court-petitioned name change, which must be paid separately.

      Reply
  50. Carmen

    I was just married in France to my French husband. We received a “livret du famile” official family book issued by the French government. Is this sufficient for my name change? I would just like to add my husbands last name to my full name . It will read my name last name his last name. I’m also a naturalized citizen. Do I have to change my name on my naturization certificate before I change it on my SS and passport? I will be moving to France soon so I need to have documents in order . Thanks for your help

    Reply
    1. Valera

      We received a “livret du famile” official family book issued by the French government. Is this sufficient for my name change?

      Hi Carmen. Although that's an official record, it's not a marriage certificate (a.k.a. extrait d'acte de mariage).

      Do I have to change my name on my naturization certificate before I change it on my SS and passport?

      No.

      Reply
  51. Brooke

    Me and my husband are going to get an Informal Marriage Declaration soon because we’ve been presenting ourselves and living together as married for a few years and figured we’d make our common law marriage official, how would I change my last name to his?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Brooke. It's not possible to change your name using a certificate of informal marriage. You'll either have to obtain a marriage license and subsequent certificate, or change your name through the courts.

      Reply
  52. A. Mills

    I was married before and had my name changed for Social Security and Drivers License here in Texas and my maiden name was put as my middle name. First Maiden new Last
    I am divorced and never changed my name back to my maiden name.
    Now I am getting remarried and would like to change my middle name back to my real middle name and drop my maiden name. First Middle new Last.
    We are getting married in Las Vegas and the application asks for the name on my ID which has my maiden name as my last name, and asks what I would like to change my name to (changing last name). So, am I stuck with my maiden name as my middle name forever since my real middle name is not on my ID?
    Can I change it back to my middle name at SS and DL if I present my birth certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi A. Mills. You'd have to obtain a court order to change your middle name back.

      Reply
  53. Sara

    Hi!

    I am in a same-sex relationship and we want to combine our last names to make a new last name.

    Ideally we would each have our First, Middle, Maiden New (with no hyphen).

    For example Bride A: Jessica Ann Roberts Robbins
    For example Bride B: Michelle Elaine Hobbins Robbins

    Is this possible? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sara. Such last name combinations aren't permitted in Texas using just the marriage certificate. You'd both have to file separate name change petitions with the court instead.

      Reply
      1. Sara

        Thanks for your help. With a marriage certificate could we both hyphenate our names?

        Reply
  54. Samir Ragsdale

    Is it possible to get remarried if my current wife doesn't carry my last name???

    Reply
  55. Vince Cobalis

    My son is a U.S. citizen, born in Texas. His fiance has a Russian passport. They live/work in Germany, but want to marry in Austin, Texas. She wants to take his last name. Can she use his surname when filing the marriage certificate? Does she need any other documents besides a passport (difficult to get copy of birth certificate). How does she change her name to take his surname?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can she use his surname when filing the marriage certificate?

      No, she must use her surname.

      Does she need any other documents besides a passport (difficult to get copy of birth certificate).

      Her foreign passport alone is sufficient to fulfill the ID requirements.

      How does she change her name to take his surname?

      By using a certified copy of her Texas marriage certificate.

      Reply
  56. Debra Primrose

    We were married in Texas 43 years ago. My maiden name on our marriage license is not correct, our parents wanted all 5 of us kids to have our step fathers last name to make school easier. Now I find out that was not legal to use our stepfathers last name without legal adoption. We are now retired in NM where the “Real ID Act” will soon be in force. What do I need to do to get an amendment with my real birth name on it?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Debra. Either you or your spouse would have to submit a notarized affidavit with the Texas county clerk's office that recorded your marriage license. You can contact the office to fax, email, or postal mail you a correction form.

      Assuming they're willing to approve the correction, you can obtain a new marriage certificate with the correction attached to the original as an addendum.

      Reply
  57. joy

    I am currently going through a divorce and my husband/ex to be is requesting that I change my last name back to anything but his last name. I have professional licenses and too many other items that would require a name change and simply do not want to go through the hassle of changing everything. Can he force me to change it?

    Reply
  58. Lorena Ruiz

    Hi,
    I currently only have a first name and maiden last name. I want to change it to First Name, Maiden last name as middle name, and husbands last name as my new last name. Is this possible to do or is it a more difficult process?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lorena. It is possible through a standard marriage name change.

      Reply
  59. Vanessa

    Hi,
    I want to hyphen my last name with my boyfriends last name is that possible without getting married? And if it is will we have to file taxes as married?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I want to hyphen my last name with my boyfriends last name is that possible without getting married?

      No, you'd have to petition the court.

      And if it is will we have to file taxes as married?

      No, you'd file separately.

      Reply
  60. MR

    Hi, couple years back I got married, but since then I haven’t changed my last name to his. Can I just leave it as is or do I have to change it? Would it affect me in any other way if I don’t change my last name to his last name? Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I just leave it as is or do I have to change it?

      You can leave it alone. You don't have to change it.

      Would it affect me in any other way if I don’t change my last name to his last name?

      No impact.

      Reply
  61. MD

    Hi,

    We’re residents of Texas and married in California (destination wedding) in 2002. At the time, I wanted to hyphenate my last name, so the CA marriage license is first name maiden-married last name. The same is on my SS card and DL, as well as all other nongovernmental entities. After 15 years of marriage, I’ve decided I’d like to drop the hyphen and use only my husband’s last name. Do I need to petition the courts to have this changed, or is there another route I can take. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      After 15 years of marriage, I’ve decided I’d like to drop the hyphen and use only my husband’s last name. Do I need to petition the courts to have this changed, or is there another route I can take.

      You would indeed have to petition the court.

      Reply
  62. Sondra Torres

    Hi, I’ve begun the process of changing my last name to my husband’s last name in the process I was also hoping to change my first name from Sondra to Sandra. Can I do this at the same time I’m chanig my last name? Or do I have to petition the court to change my first name seperate from changing my last name? I live in Texas.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Sondra. You cannot change your first name at the same time. You'll have to petition the court.

      Reply
  63. Cynthia Garcia

    Hi I got married in Texas. And
    It's been three years since i got married and have been using my maiden name.
    But I want to change it to my husband's last name.
    Will I have any problems at the DMV office to change my name on my DL even tho it's been past 30 days.? I did not know I had a 30 day limit.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will I have any problems at the DMV office to change my name on my DL even tho it's been past 30 days.?

      This won't prevent you from changing your name.

      Reply
  64. RP

    When I got married I removed my maiden name and kept my middle name as my middle name without giving it much thought. Now I would like to have my maiden name as my middle name. Is this possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now I would like to have my maiden name as my middle name. Is this possible?

      You'd have to petition the court for a secondary name change.

      Reply
  65. T Mack

    I was married in Texas but never filed with the court to change my last name (I figured that I would go and do it on my own). Is there a requirement to file paperwork with the court to LEGALLY change my last name (hyphenated)?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi T Mack. You don't have to go through the court when changing your last name through marriage.

      Reply
  66. Agatha Mara

    Hi, me and my boyfriend want to get married, but his ex-wife kept his last name. Can I still add his last name to mine even though she also has it? Can that bring us any problems?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I still add his last name to mine even though she also has it?

      Yes.

      Can that bring us any problems?

      No.

      Reply
  67. Alex

    I recently went to the SS office to change my last name, but was told since I had been married over two years (been married for 4 for that matter), that the SS system would not accept the name change. For whatever reason, I was told to go to the DMV to change it first. I am fully aware that the DMV requires my social to show the name change before they themselves can change it.
    The other choice I was given by the SS (if DMV was unable to do it) was to have it court petitioned…. I was never aware of this "regulation" or "rule" and I have never heard of anyone else having this issue before.

    Reply
    1. Alex

      I forgot to mention I live in Texas. I work at a bank, so I have a lot of customers who came in well after their date of marriage to change their names on their accounts (with social security # changed over to the married name). Do I in fact have to get a court petition for the legal name change due to marriage? Or was the SS office incorrect with information?
      (Mind you, the representative asked me if I had anything in the new name, which I held of on adding to ANY of my documents since I wasn't sure if I wanted to full take my husband's last name.)

      Reply
      1. Valera

        Hi Alex. You shouldn't have to go to court. You'll either need to show an identity document in your old name (expired or unexpired). If you have none, an identity document in your new name would suffice.

        Reply
  68. DJ

    Thank you for being so active on this thread!
    My fiancé currently has:
    FirstName MiddleName HerLastName

    We’re getting married soon, and she would like to have:
    She would like to have:
    FirstName MiddleName HerLastNameSecondMiddleName MyLastName

    Is it possible to have two middle names in the state of Texas? Is there a loophole like hyphenating the middle names together or initialing one and allowing the other to be a full name? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a loophole like hyphenating the middle names together or initialing one and allowing the other to be a full name?

      No, the middle name can't be hyphenated, space-separated, or initialized using a marriage certificate initiated name change. Such a name change would require petitioning the court system.

      Reply
  69. Alejandra Martinez

    Hello my name is Ale, I got married with a US Citizen, we did it in México then our certificate is from Mexico, in the certificate I have my maiden name, we already took the certificate to record it at the court house. I would like to change it to my husband's, we live in Texas, how can I do it? I already have my SSC with my maiden name….

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alejandra. Yes, you should be able to change it fine using a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  70. Gabriela

    Hi. I am a legal resident and got married. How do I change my last name, and what steps do I need to take?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Gabriela. You'll use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your name. You'll need to use form I-90 to update your green card. Once that's done, you can get your social security card updated, followed by another other documents, such as a driver's license and state-issued ID.

      Reply
  71. Ronda Pederson

    Hi I was divorced 15 years ago and kept my husband's last name. I am now getting married again and instead of taking his name would like to revert to my maiden name. What do I need to do if getting married in a private ceremony but not before a judge.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am now getting married again and instead of taking his name would like to revert to my maiden name. What do I need to do…

      After you get married again, you can take your spouse's name or hyphenate, but returning to your maiden name requires one of the two approaches:

      1) If your divorce decree from 15 years ago contains an order to restore your maiden name, then you can use that document to change your name.
      2) If your divorce decree doesn't contain language that allows you to reestablish your maiden name, you'll have to petition the court for a name change.

      …if getting married in a private ceremony but not before a judge.

      Who officiates your marriage or how the ceremony is solemnized doesn't make a difference when it comes to changing your name.

      Reply
  72. Michelle Herzberg

    I was married in tx 1988 and still married! I want to change my maiden surname to my birth surname, they're different. The name on the license isn't correct. Can I do that and what documents are needed?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Michelle. You'll have to petition the court for such a surname change.

      Reply
  73. Alex

    Hi there! My fiancée and I are getting married soon and want to choose a new surname that suits us both and I will also be changing my first name at the same time. Would I need to petition the court for this change?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      want to choose a new surname that suits us both and I will also be changing my first name at the same time. Would I need to petition the court for this change?

      Yes, that sort of name change would require you to go to court.

      Reply
  74. Gabby

    Hi,

    I just got married last week and I want to change my last name to my husbands last name and keep my maiden name but I want to change that to my mother's maiden name. However, on the marriage certificate I have the current maiden name and not the new one I want to use. Do I have to petition the court to change my maiden name? And if granted do I need to change the name on my marriage certificate?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I have to petition the court to change my maiden name?

      Yes.

      And if granted do I need to change the name on my marriage certificate?

      No, at that point the marriage certificate no longer comes into play.

      Reply
  75. Megs

    Thank you so much for this blog. Is there a limit for the number of characters in a name? I will have two last names and will be going from 3 to 11 letters!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is there a limit for the number of characters in a name? I will have two last names and will be going from 3 to 11 letters!

      No, there's no limit. If you had an extraordinarily long name, some database systems might clip X-number of characters after a certain point. Eleven characters isn't enough to put you in the danger zone.

      Reply
  76. Lamont Hicks

    Me and my fiance will be getting married this weekend. I want to take her maiden name for my last name. We are in Corpus Christi, Texas and would like to know what exactly needs to be done for this process.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lamont. You'd have to petition the court for such a name change.

      Reply
  77. Lia

    My husband had a correction on his birth certificate after we married. On my marriage license it shows g.e.l. and now his drivers license shows e.g.l. is my marriage still legal ? Will I have rights as a wife, God forbid, my husband gets sick and I have to make decisions for him ? Or vice versa I get sick?

    Reply
  78. Omobolanle salawu

    I got married last month and I have change my last name to my husband last name, but right now I want to change my husband last name to my own last name, how would I go about it

    Reply
    1. Omobolanle salawu

      And I already change my driver license to my husband last name the question now is can I change my driver license back to my last name

      Reply
    2. Valera

      Hi Omobolanle. Since you've already changed your name once, you'll have to go to court to change it a second time.

      Reply
  79. yvette

    Hello,
    I got married in April and since then changed my last name to my husbands on both SSN and DL. I now want to add my maiden name before his for many reasons. How would I go about this?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I now want to add my maiden name before his for many reasons. How would I go about this?

      You'll have to start over with a new adult name change at your county courthouse.

      Reply
  80. Michelle

    Hi, I got re-married 2015. 2016 I had my TDL changed from (first, maiden, first husbands last) to my new married name (first, maiden, current husbands last). I never had my SS card, IRS, or anything else changed. I am now getting divorced and want to get my TDL changed back to how it was (first, maiden, first husbands last). Do I need to request a name change in the divorce papers since I never changed my SS card? After reading these comments, it sounds like the DL Office should not have changed my TDL without a name change with SS. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need to request a name change in the divorce papers since I never changed my SS card?

      Yes, request it in your divorce papers.

      After reading these comments, it sounds like the DL Office should not have changed my TDL without a name change with SS.

      This inconsistency can vary from clerk to clerk.

      Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *