Name Change After Marriage in Texas
If you are in Texas and seeking a legal name change, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. It is important to know what the Lonestar State's name change laws allows. Here are a number of things you might want to know.
Marriage name change options
Your marriage certificate is the main legal document you need to change your name after getting married. Once your ceremony is over, file your marriage license pronto with the office that issued it. This results in a certified copy of your marriage certificate that will get mailed to you around 14 days later.
To save yourself time, you can use an online service providing name change forms that work in Texas and other states. This self-help tool works whether you are recently married or tied the knot many years ago.
Your marriage certificate is the right legal document to effect a name change. Alert the right government agencies afterward, as name change is not automatic. This includes the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and non-governmental institutions, such as credit card companies and banks.
To apply for a marriage license in Texas, arrive in person at the county clerk's office with government-issued photo ID. Your license remains valid for 90 days once issued. And issuance comes 72 hours after applying, unless waived.
Couples who complete the Twogether in Texas course on premarital education will pay lower license fees and get the 72-hour waiting period set aside.
Military personnel who are active will have their waiting time eliminated by default, including Department of Defense employees and those who have received a judge's waiver.
Fees for a marriage license vary across Texas' 254 counties, but fall within $60 and $90. A Texas license is valid across the state, regardless of which county you apply in.
After getting married, your officiant must complete the license and return it to the county clerk for filing. You can then ask for certified copies of your marriage certificate from the county clerk to get your name legally changed across government agencies.
You can opt to take your spouse's last name using just your marriage certificate. This is the most common and traditional name change preference in Texas.
Maiden name usage
You may go with the surname of your spouse on official records and identifications, but continue using your maiden name in professional circles, such as the workplace.
It's also possible to request a name change by taking your spouse's last name 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 married 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.
After getting the divorce decree copy, read through to ascertain if there is a provision granting a name change. In case it is 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 on your forms 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. 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 legal name change
If you do not have a marriage certificate or divorce decree, it is still possible to effect a name change in Texas. This requires filing court-provided name change forms for an adult petition for change of name. File your petition in your county of residence. If you do not live in Texas, you cannot change your name in the state's court system.
Your name change must be for good cause and not for nefarious means, such as trying to avoid creditors, evade warrants, disparage others, or commit fraud. You can file to change your name and gender marker together. Gender marker changes require a separate filing, though.
You must pay the filing fee of $150 to $300; filing fees vary across the state. If you cannot afford court costs to change your name, you can request a fee waiver by filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs or an Appeal Bond.
It means you must prepare a Name Change Petition and Order for Texas without signing any document. Take these legal forms 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. Do not sign the petition 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 name change case number is assigned.
A stamped copy of the petition will then be returned to you. Ensure you have the original copy of the court order to schedule your court hearing. You must know the court date assigned by the office of the clerk; to be on the safe side, call a few days before the hearing to know everything is as scheduled.
On the material court date, have the petition's copy the clerk gave you including the original order when attending 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 court order will be signed and you must file it with the court clerk's office. Request a name change certificate after you file the order with the clerk in the same manner used to submit the initial petition for the name change. For a small fee, the Texas Name Change Order certified copy, dully signed, can be provided.
Although you may seek assistance from a licensed attorney to help process your name change, it is not required.
Child's name change
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.
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 registered sex offender, 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 will be updated about an assigned court date, including a corresponding case number. Appear at the court as scheduled. If the judge is convinced the change of name is in the child's best interest, it will be approved. The name change order will then be completed by the court.
Request the court clerk issue a certified copy of the name change order to use to change the child's name on their social security card and birth certificate.
Change of name on birth certificate
Birth certificate amendments 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 to 30 days.
Amendments cost $15 with an additional $5 if you want expedited service. Estimated normal processing time for the birth certificate amendment takes 20 to 25 business days.
Name change with social security and DMV
After changing your name, you must notify the various relevant government bodies. In case of any name change, notify the Social Security Administration, whether you are newlyweds, lately divorced, or simply changed your name legally through court petition.
Even those who have reverted to their prior names need to let the Social Security Administration know. File the Application for a Social Security Card Form SS-5 by mail or at a 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. Thirty days after the name change, visit the office of Texas Department of Public Safety with your current ID card or driver's license, including the proof of name change. The license "replacement" fee is $11.
Name change with non-governmental institutions
Once you have 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 your passport, credit cards, and voter registration.
Congratulations! You are now well-equipped to change your name in Texas. While transitioning to a new name may seem complicated at first, following the required steps we have outlined should make it a cinch to carry out.
There are many different tracks to take when changing your name, so make certain you choose the path that suits your needs and circumstances best.
Good luck to you as you proceed on the grand journey of changing your name. Stay strong and brave, because after this experience, you will experience a clean slate with your new identity.
I am a Texas resident getting married in Florida. I am a widow. My current name is first name, late husbands last name. Can I have my name as first name, late husbands last name, new husbands last name?
Hi Lisa. I don't believe middle name change options extend beyond your maiden name.
I recently got married for the second time but have not changed my legal last name with social security or DMV. I was married before and kept my married last name and agreed with court to keep same as my children with my divorce. I am now needing to sign some legal documents with an attorney. Can I sign with my current last name since I have not changed it as of yet?
Yes, as that's still your current legal name.
Thank you so much for your quick response and help with this!
at time of my divorce I elected not to change back to my maiden name. I now want to change it. How do I do that in the state of Texas
Hi Jurea. If your divorce decree doesn't contain authorization for you to go back to your maiden name, you'll either have to contact the court for an amendment or petition the court.
I got married in Dec 2012 and did not change my name at the time, but want to now. I'm also wanting to take his last name, but make it a non-hyphenated 2 last names. For instance: If I was Jane Mary Smith, I now want to be Jane Mary Doe Smith (want his before mine). Do I need a court petition for that? Do I need any extra documents for it being almost 6 years since I was married?
Yes, I do believe so.
My wife's last name is Burnett and I want to change my name from…
Tracey Leigh Greenup
Tracey Leigh Burnett-Greenup
Do I need to petition the court since her name would be first but it is hyphenated?
It doesn't matter whose last name comes first in the hyphenation sequence.
Hi had a question me and wife got married about a week ago how would she change her last name to mine ??
Hi Mario. If the marriage took place in Texas, order a certified copy of the marriage certificate from the county clerk's office that recorded it. The clerk's office that records your license is the same one that issued it. Your wife can use that certificate to change her name to yours.
If the marriage took place out-of-state, the procedure is the same. Order a certified copy of the certificate from the recording office, then use it to facilitate the name change.
I got married in 2013 and he passed away in 2014. I had taken his last name. I never changed my last name back. I just recently got remarried and would like to take his last name. Is this as simple as taking my marriage license to social security and dropping my previous married name to my new married name? I'm supposed to get my marriage license back in the next few days.
Maiden: First Middle Maiden
Now: First Maiden 1st Husband
Would like: First Maiden 2nd Husband
Yes, that's all there is to it.
I live in Dallas texas I am getting a divorce can my husband forced me to change my last name to my maiden name.
No, he cannot.
I remarried and kept my ex husband last name. How can I drop his name and add my maiden name instead
Hi Angela. If your divorce decree provided you the option to return to your maiden name, then use that. Otherwise, you'll have to get a court-ordered name change.
I got married Nov 2017. I have not changed my last name to my husbands. He is the the process of changing his last name to reflect his mother’s madian name. Once this is completed with the court, am I able to change my last name to reflect his new last name as his wife? I’m hopping I won’t need to do a legal name change with the court. Please advise. Thank you.
Hi Pippa. That's problematic, because his new name won't be reflected on your marriage certificate.
So after he completes his name change I will need to go through the same process to change my name with the court, is this correct ? I am still using my madian name, because he was not sure what he was going to do. Thanks for the reply.
I am looking to change my maiden name on birth certificate to my stepfather's last name. He is not a US citizen but my mother is. I am also married and have taken my husbands last name. Is this even possible? My biological father has never been apart of my life in any form or fashion yet I carry his last name as my maiden on my birth certificate.
Hi Kim. You'd have to obtain a court order to change the surname on your birth certificate, even if it's the only document you plan to update.
Hello. My ex-wife recently got divorced and I noticed that she has changed back to my last name including on her bank account. Is she allowed to do that? Just wondering what would prevent her from using my name for other things.
Yes, assuming her divorce decree permitted it.
I am married and am getting divorced but I'm currently engaged . Can I change my last name to my fiance's last name before my divorce is even final ?
Only through a court order.
I'm getting married June 2019. Since I was little I've always gone by my middle name as my first name is in Chinese and hard for people to pronounce. I would like to legally change my first name to my current middle name, use my maiden name as my middle name, and take my fiance's last name.
Should I need to petition for a name change, would I do it before we get our marriage license or can I do it after? If after, can I put my "updated" name on the marriage license?
It doesn't matter.
No, you'd put your current legal name.
HI! My husband and I eloped just a few weeks ago and we are in the process of changing my last name. I was wondering if it was possible to take his last name and mine after his. So for example it would be My first name, middle, his last name, my last name rather than just simply adding his to my last name at the end? I don't plan on hyphenating our names because I just want to go by his last name but want both our names on my official documents in that order. I was wondering if I can do this with our marriage license or if l'll need to go to court to get it changed that way.
Hi Steph. I don't believe a space-separated surname is possible using just your marriage certificate.
My wife and I got married last month and want to change our last name to her mothers maiden name which neither of us currently have. My question is, A: would we both have to petition for a general name change or could one of us take it and the other one change our name under the spousal rule afterward? and B: Will we have to have our marriage certificate changed if we both change our last name?
You'd both have to file separate name change petitions. One couldn't piggyback on the other.
No, you can leave it unchanged.
I am about to be divorced and would like to not take my maiden name, I just want to drop my last name altogether. Is that possible?
That's up to the divorce judge. It's unlikely anything beyond returning to a prior name will be accepted.
Hello, I’m getting married in 3 weeks. I’ve never liked my middle name, and was wondering if I could legally drop it after marriage. Just use my first name and husband’s last name.
Hi Alejandra. You wouldn't be able to drop your name using with a name change through marriage.
Im getting married soon (Texas) and my future husbands middle name was hyphenated with his last name therefore making it seem like he has 2 last names. Do I legally have to take both names since one is really suppose to be his middle name??
Hi Marie. You couldn't take both names anyway as it's not his legal surname.
Hello, I hope you can answer my question.
So I'm getting married in Mexico with an american citizen, when exaclty can I change my last name to take his?
Hi Karen. You can change your name once you obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
My future husband both live in TX, he wants to take on my last name after we’re married instead of me taking on his. Do the rules change at all in this case?
This sort of name change probably won't be accepted, but your mileage may vary. Let me explain…
It would make sense for the rules to be the same considering Texas statutes do not rule it out, nor do SSA's operating guidelines, nor does TxDPS. However, in most states a husband taking his wife's name is really considered an independent name change that's not tied to marriage.
That's where people get tripped up. Unless state law explicitly permits it, the outcome can be blurry. There have been reports of men completing such name changes in Texas, but that may very well come down to the flexibility or obliviousness of the agent that processed it. And what might work with the SSA might not work with DPS.
So, basically his name change with our marriage certificate may not qualify? He’ll have to apply for a name change separately if that’s the case?
Hi LD. That's correct.
Hi I'm from Texas I got divorced in 2010 kept my ex-husband last name remarried 2011 still married never changed my last name to my new husband's last name we separated weeks after are marriage but remain good friends he is now sick and wants me to change my name but he is on SSI will my name change affect his SSI and do we have to report it .
Hi Patty. Since you're no longer married, using your marriage certificate to complete a name change would no longer be applicable.
Me and my husband want to change his name to my last name so instead of me being julia smith to Julia Thomas married to Chris Thomas we want to be Chris and Julia Smith (my maiden name which is what I go by now) is that the same process as it would be for me to take his name and just go to SS and DL office with same procedure? Please answer ASAP we live in Texas.
Hi Julia. He'd have to file a court petition.
I will be getting married later this year in Texas. I would like to change my LastName to my MiddleName, and then take on my future husband's last name as my new last name:
My current: [FirstName] [MiddleName] [MyLastName]
I want to change it to: [FirstName] [MyLastName] [HusbandLastName]
Can I do anything in advance before my marriage to make the process easier for when I get my marriage certificate? What is the easiest process?
You don't have to do anything in advance. You can just use your eventual marriage certificate as-is.
I have been married for 10 years now. My husband has 2 last names, and when we got married I was told i had to keep both of his last names.
Is it possible to drop one of his last names?
Would i have to file a petition to do so?
Yes, that is what you'd have to do.
I was married and divorced twice and approved by judge in last divorce to make my legal name: my first name, my maiden name, my 1st husband’s last name. Now I am getting married a 3rd time. I want my new name to be: my first name, my first husband’s last name combined with my new husband last name for my last name with no hyphen. My maiden name would be dropped altogether. Is this allowed and legal for the marriage license name?
Example- Diane Smith Jones would change to Diane Jones Johnson, no middle name, Jones Johnson would become my new last name.
Hi Diane. You wouldn't be able to drop your middle name.
I live in Texas and am getting married this month and recently got my marriage license. The clerk instructed me to sign my maiden name and told me that I could not sign my husbands last name on the license (she said I just change it after), however everything that I read says that I should have signed my new last name so the process will be easier once I get my certificate.
Is this true? And If so will the office let me get a new or corrected marriage license before I get married with the correct information?
I want to take my husbands last name and want to avoid any additional petitions in order th change my name.
It's not true for Texas. It's not true for most states. You can review why it's not important that your marriage certificate omits your married name.
When I got married 8 years ago, I dropped my middle name and used FirstName MaidenName NewLastName. When I got divorced, it was included in the divorce decree that I was allowed to change my name back, but for professional reasons, I found it easier not to.
I am engaged now, and when we marry, I want to add my old middle name back and take my new husband's name, so it will be FirstName MiddleName NewlastName. Do I need to change my name back to my maiden before the marriage, or can i take all my documents up to the SS office after the wedding and get it all changed at once?
That's probably the safer route, as Texas' statutes is fairly vague on this subject.
That may not be possible considering your marriage certificate wouldn't reference your original middle name.
Im in a same sex marriage that took place in 2016, here in Texas. At the time we didn't choose to change any of our names. Our certified marriage certificate that arrived in the mail weeks after from the county clerks office is as follows:
Groom 1: Nicholas Wayne Doucet
Groom 2: Hector Javier Guajardo
I, Hector, would now like to take my husbands last name and go by Hector Javier Doucet. We're about to renew our drivers license and passports since they're about to both expire so, that is why we would now like to take this opportunity to make this change. How would I go about this?
Hi Hector. You'd use your marriage certificate to do a typical name change.
I got married almost a year ago in Texas and I did not at the time say I wanted to change my last name. Can I use my marriage certificate to change it now to match my husbands? even though I did not choose this when we filed for our marriage document? would I just go to the social security office to make the first change?
Yes, not every state asks you to choose a new name when you apply, including Texas.
My future husband and I are going to do a joint hyphenated last name. Meaning we will both share the exact same hyphenated last name.
I know that shouldn't be an issue when I go in and sign the certificate because I am a woman and what not, but what does he do in terms of the marriage certificate? Will he also need to claim his new name change on the marriage certificate, or will he just have to sign with his regular last name on the certificate and then we're going to have to go to the courts later on to get it legally changed??
Hi Sean. Neither would sign a new last name. That's not how the Texas marriage application, license, and certificate is designed. You could use the eventual marriage certificate to change your name, while your husband would have to go to court.
Hello I am Canadian, married to a Canadian-US citizen. I just got a job in Canada but the main office is in Taxes.
I use my married last name and have change my Driver’s License, SIN and Passport but they want me to get a Change of name certificate?
I am not sure why ? I have read a few things and everything saids once I have my passport, banks, DL and SIN that’s all I need.
Could you help? Am I missing something? They say is Required.
Who are you referring to? Your employer? Is is possible they're asking to see a certified copy of your marriage certificate? If not, you'll have to get clarification on what "change of name certificate" means.
My husband and I got married almost 2 years ago my last name was changed to his at the social security office but I never got around to the DMV to change it. Is it too late? What do I do?
It's not too late. Just walk in and make the change like you normally would. Bring a certified copy of your marriage record with you.
Hey Elizabeth, i am in the same boat and have an appointment tomorrow at the dmv to finally change my last name to my legal married name (ive been married for almost 5 years and have had my husbands last name for almost 5 years). I am curious about your experience changing your name and if they gave you a ticket or charged you any kind of fees?
My fiancé’s last name is hyphenated. I only want to take one of the names, and not both. Do I get to choose which last name I take, or do I have to take both legally?
Hi Meagan. You'd have to take the complete name.
Hi, I got married 3 years ago in Tx. I changed my last name on dL but have not changed ssc, what will I need to do to change last name on ssc?
Just change it as you normally would. Using a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
I married in Texas where my husband and I currently reside. I’ve decided to take his last name, but wanted to keep my maiden name. I was thinking of using my maiden name as a middle name, but I already have one. Do I have to petition to remove my current middle name in order to use my maiden name as my middle name?
No, you can drop your existing middle name and insert your maiden in its place using your marriage certificate.
I had a destination wedding in Florida but hold residency in TX. I would like to use my first name, drop my middle name and use my maiden name as new middle name and my husband's last name as my new last name. (current first name-current last name as middle name-husband's last name). Can I do this through the regular process or do i need a court process?
Thanks in advance!
You can do that with a regular marriage name change.
Hi i live in texas and I'm trying to get a copy of my marriage license but when i got married one letter was wrong in my name and when i got married about 9 years later I corrected that problem and I went and corrected my license and my social
Now they are saying I can't correct my marriage license I have to get married all over again..that's crazy I've been married for 27 years…what can I do?
Your marriage license is a historical document. A snapshot in time. Unless you have a specific reason for wanting your record updated, is it worth the trouble?
If you're adamant about getting your record amended, you may want to request an amendment form and just mail in your request.
Put it in writing. Get your affidavit done. See if they go through the trouble of rejecting it and mailing you a response saying so.
Worst case scenario, you'll have to consult an attorney or court clerk and request a judge override the county clerk with a court order.
Hello. I got married a year ago.. never changed anything.
I'm not wanting to be with him due to personal reasons..
Can I just go about my business or do I still have to file for a divorce?
What do you mean to just go about your business? To stay separated without divorce into perpetuity? Or are you asking if you can keep your name unchanged? You could do both.
Does the Marriage Certificate have to have the name you would like to take on it, or should it have my current First, Middle, Last name? I have seen mixed advice stating that the county should have your legal name before marriage on it vs. the county should have changed the last name if you will be taking it on the license prior to getting married.
In Texas, your marriage application, license, and certificate will only have your current first, middle, and last name.
That's true for some states, but not Texas.
Me and my husband just got married through the military. So our marriage license is from the state of Montana, we are from the state of Texas. I was wondering if when I go to change my last name if they will accept my state of Montana marriage license in the state of Texas, and do you change your name on your drivers license or social security card first?
Yes, your Montana marriage certificate will be accepted in Texas.
Social security first, then driver's license.
I tried to read as many of the comments to find my answer but couldn’t be sure the situations were the same. I got married a few months ago and didn’t know to change my last name on the marriage license.
The marriage license says my complete legal maiden name: first, middle, two last names (I’m a naturalized US citizen and in my birth country it’s common to have two last names.)
I now want to add my husband’s last name at the end and drop my (second) last name. Can you point me in the right direction?
The Texas marriage license application does not provide a blank space for you to choose a new last name after marriage. You did not forget, omit, or miss anything when you applied to get your marriage license.
That's what it should say.
You can't do that in Texas. A few other states do allow you to take a portion of a last name, but not Texas. If you're adamant about this change, you'll have to file a name change petition at your Texas county courthouse.
Thank you for your quick response! Just to clarify, my husband only has one last name and rather than add it at the very end and have three last names. I wanted to drop my last one and add his.
Example: If I had the name Apple Banana Cat Dog.
Can I drop Dog and add my husbands last name instead?
To read: Apple Banana Cat Egg?
Same course of action? I’d have do it through a court?
You can't drop a part of your last name through marriage.
No, you couldn't slice it off. It's all or nothing.
Thank you so much for the clarification!
Hi my fiance is wanting to change his name to his stepfather's last name and we had heard somewhere previously that we could request a different name on our marriage license that is not our own that we have now is that true and if it's not what do we need to do about getting his last name changed to one that he's wanting cuz he wants his stepfather's name and not his bio dad's name because of of really bad family history and he does not want me taking his bio dad's last name when we get married
It's allowed in some other states (with limitations), but not in Texas.
He'll have to petition the court.
I currently go by my middle name and would like to change my name from
FirstName MiddleName MaidenName
MiddleName MaidenName HusbandsLastName.
Can I do this simply with the marriage certificate or do I have to do a court petition? Not sure what the process is and would love some guidance. Thank you!
You'll have to petition the court.
I divorced and have remarried but still use the last name of my ex-husband. My current husband and I have been married for over six years and are purchasing a plot of land. Although I have never changed my name to my current husband's last name, can I sign title documents with my husband's last name (have a marriage license to prove marriage) or do I need to sign them with the last name I use, that of my ex-husband?
Hi Debora. You'd sign your current legal name, which is the name from your prior marriage.
I have a common law license in Texas with my husband. It was filed about 3 years ago. I have always still used my last name, but would now like to use his last name and change my last name to his on all my legal documents (driver license, ss card, bank, etc). Can I do that now and if so what do I need to do?
Hi Debra. You can change your name if a Texas county clerk filed and recorded your "Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage" document. Use a certified copy of that document to complete your name change just like you would if it were a marriage certificate.
My husband and I are married but it's an informal marriage it will be a year in August can I take my informal marriage certificate to the social security office and change my last name to his? I sign using his last name on everything.
Yes, you can.
I got married and want to add his last name to last name WITHOUT hyphenating it. (Ashley Nicole Smith Jones) I have read that this will allow me to use either last name legally as they are not hyphenated and I would only need to write both on a legal document.
Hi Ashley. While there's a possibility that might work with the SSA, the TxDPS would probably resist.
Both Names would need to appear on my driver's license but I wouldn't have to hyphenated, correct? thank you!!
Hi Ashley. I believe you would have to hyphenate.
I'm getting married and would like to change my name from:
FirstName MiddleName MaidenName
FirstName MaidenName HusbandsLastName.
Can I do this simply with the marriage certificate or do I have to do a court petition? Not sure what the process is and would love some guidance. Thank you!
Just the marriage certificate would suffice.
I went to SS office to change my last name after marriage in August 2016. They didn’t accepted the marriage license saying it’s more than than 2 years it has to be current. What are my options now? Please help
It's not that they won't accept it. It's just that they need an identity document to complement it. If it was less than two years old, they could have used just the certificate as an identity document.
I recently posted in a different blog on this website, but this blog is more related to my state. I reviewed all other comments/post but I really do not see anything similar to my scenario.
I live in Texas and recently got married. The ceremony has already happened. The reason why I am posting this comment is I am looking for similar issues like my own.
The dilemma is when I applied for my marriage license my drivers license had my middle name misspelled and this is the identification I used when I applied for my marriage license. All these years my DL had my middle name misspelled also my middle name has been misspelled on my HS diaploma and my undergraduate diaploma. My middle name on my birth certificate is Nichole which this is the correct spelling on my SS and my passport and this is how it should been spelled on my driving license and marriage license. I might have been spelling my middle name wrong all this time. I’m just now taking notice of this since I now have to go through the name changing process.
Since I got married I was able to update my SS and DL to my new name. I was able to update my name with SS and the DMV. Now my SS and DL will have the correct spelling of my middle name and my new married last name. I called the county clerk office to see if my marriage license could be corrected to display my middle name with the correct spelling. Instead of Nicole (incorrect spelling) change it to Nichole ( correct spelling). I was informed that by the county clerk that modifications can not be made to my marriage license and this is permanent.
I am still in the process of updating other documents. One document is my passport which leads me to the following questions.
Since my middle name is misspelled on my marriage license will this impact me when I apply for a name change on my passport?
Is this a common thing that happens?
What other documents would I need to provide to the passport agency to ensure my passport gets updated to my new name?
After reading other people comments, on other post about updating a name I see that they had to get a petition to the court to get a name changed is this something I would have to do since my marriage license will have the incorrect spelling of my middle name?
I do appreciate your time to answer my questions.
The U.S. State Department deals with name corrections and data errors as part of their normal passport duties. It's not a rare event.
Driver's license with the correct name should be enough. You could bring more supporting docs, such as your updated social security card or existing passport.
You should be fine, since your have updated ID in your new name.
Thanks so much for responding to all of my questions.
As a newly wedded bride it’s so many documents to change. This in itself is a hassle given that I am a simple person that likes to do and be done.
I appreciate this blog page and it is such a blessing to know that there is a website to keep newlyweds mind at ease during this time. Please continue this service and continue to provide your helpful knowledge.
I know that some questions are self explanatory, but as a first time marriage (by the Grace of God the only marriage) the process can sometimes be complicated, especially for someone who has a clerical error like I did or maybe even more complicated than myself.
No one doesn’t just give you a book that tells you this process you just go out and get it done and research and look for yourself. I found this website and I am happy that I did , again it has put a lot of my mind at ease. If I know of anyone who is getting married I will definitely refer them to this website/blog page.
Thanks again for your help.
Thanks for stopping by. Glad you found the website useful.
Hi, first thank you for answering these questions. I got married in Nov of 2017 in Harris County and did not change my name on my marriage license. I would now like to take my husbands last name. Does this require a name change petition?
Hello, I am getting married next weekend in Texas. I would like to change my last name to my husbands last name but would also like to drop the first 3 letters from my first name. Do I need to petition the courts for such a minor change?
Yes, you would have to petition to change your first name.
I thought so, thanks for the confirmation.
We are planning on getting.married next month in Texas and we are wanting to change our.last name to a new last name. Neither my last name or my wife to be last name, a completely new one. Is this possible?
This isn't possible through marriage. You'd have to petition the court for a name change.
I am getting married and will plan to change my last name to my husbands last name. I have always had the desire to change my first name, and will be moving forward with this as well. My question is (1) can I change my first name along with my last name on the marriage certificate and proceed having all other documents changed with it (2) if no, which would be better to process first, the last name change with the marriage certificate or the first name change prior to the marriage.
I have quite a few things to change with this (i.e passports, IDs, mortgages, notaries, government information) if that makes a difference. I would hope to do it all in one with all the changes to be made following but if not, want to know my best option.
Not through marriage. Not on the application, license, or certificate.
Either sequence would work. However, you could forego changing your name through marriage and change everything through the courts instead: first, middle, and last name. This would allow you to update your credentials once.
Once we are married, my fiancé and I are looking to change both of our last names to a new, shared last name. What are the steps we need to take to do this?
It's not possible to do that through marriage in Texas. You'll have to make that change at the county courthouse.
On TxDPS website it says that in order to request or make a name change on Texas DL through marriage, we must provide proof within 30 days of the change. We married and got our certificate in 2016. It is now 2019. Will this be a problem?
Hi Khumphan. This won't be a problem when you renew your license. Many states have such declarations, but they're typically toothless. They're meant to serve as reminders to nudge people to update their records. It applies to changes of address as well.
I was widowed a few years ago and, of course, still carry my late husband's last name. I am about to get married again. I would like to use my current last name as my middle name and my soon-to-be husband's surname as my new last name.
Since I am a writer and own a business, I thought it would be easier for legal and professional purposes. Is this possible without having to petition the court to remove my middle name?
And, how would I write this when we go to apply for the marriage license and/or sign the marriage certificate? Thank you for your response.
Hi Rachelle. If it were your maiden name going back to your middle, that would be fine, but I don't believe you can replace it with another. When you apply, they'll only ask for your current name, not your eventual new name. Same goes for your marriage certificate.
Can I change my first name when I get married. I was born Carmon but want to change it to Carmen. Just one letter. I never liked the spelling and have to always correct people. I'll take my husband's last name too.
Hi Carmon. You can't change your first name in Texas through marriage. You have to go to court for that.
Interested in changing my last name to my wife’s last name.
I am currently paying child support will that affect my chances to change my last name?
Our marriage license has both of our original last names. How easy will the process be?
Husband's have to petition the court to take their wife's last name.
That's standard in Texas.
It's not as simple a name change through marriage, but isn't a Herculean task. You'll have to file a court petition, get fingerprinted, then show up to the hearing to make your case to the judge (a formality). Afterward, you'll get your court ordered name change. Take that document to change your name everywhere.
Can I take my first husbands name back in Texas? I re-married and divorced requested Madden name back but would like to have first husbands name. Can I change my name with our marriage certificate?
Hi Judy. If you've already updated your various IDs (e.g., SS card, driver's license, etc) to your maiden name, you'd have to file a court petition to go back to any prior name.
My boyfriend and I want to get married. Is there any way we could take my mother's maiden name as our last name instead of mine or his?
Unfortunately, no, not through marriage.
Can I remove my married last name off my dl even if we are still married? I have his last name and mine on the dL but not on BC or SSC.
Hi Rocio. You'd have to get a court order first.
How do I change my last name if I’m not a us citizen, I’m about to get married and apply for a residence.
Hi Dani. For the SSA, you'd fill out the same SS-5 form. Use your foreign passport and U.S. immigration document as proof of identity.
My husband has 2 last names and I am just wondering if have to take both of his last names or if I can just take one? They aren't hyphenated.
Hi Brittany. You'd have to take both last names.
I assumed an alias a few years before getting married; I am now divorcing and want to drop the spouse's last name. Can I go back to either my last name by birth or that of my alias?
Given: First – Middle – Last
Alias: New first – First became middle – New last
Married: " – " – Spouse last name
Hi Ana. The judge isn't likely to approve a first name change during or after proceedings. Even if it were granted, state and federal institutions wouldn't accept it. However, you can drop your spouse's last name. Just tell the judge.
I was granted my divorce with a petition for name change. However, I am thinking that it was a mistake to change back to my maiden name (since my children still have my married last name) so I have not yet done anything with my social security card or drivers license. Is there any way I can just do nothing and keep my married last name instead?
Yes, doing nothing keeps your name unchanged. The divorce court/judge doesn't care if people follow through on their post-divorce name change.
I have two last names, my fathers then my mothers, no hyphen. When I moved to Texas in 2007 I was told i could either put 1 last name on my drivers license or hyphenate it if i wanted to keep both.(which i did). With the hyphen is not my name. Its two last names separated by a space. That's how my ss card, passport and birth certificate have it.
Will i be allowed to fix it now?, 13 years later. The excuse they used in 2007 was that their system didn't let them leave a space. It's 2020, has their system been updated? Also, its Texas, half the population has two last names. Thank you in advance.
Hi Leonard. Bring as much ID as you can showing your proper name format. If the change is refused, ask for it in writing. Request a supervisor if necessary. At worst, they'll ask you to obtain a court order. There would also be nothing to stop you from going to another office.
My future husband and I want to create a completely different last name when we get married in Texas. Can we sign our new last name on the paper and it will become our last name? Or does our name change have to relate to the current last names we have and we cant just make up a new one?
Hi Anyssa. You wouldn't be able to create a new last name through marriage. You'll have to go to court for that.
Although we are getting married at the end of next year, I am impatient and would like to change my last name to my maiden + his last. I still haven't changed my last name from the last marriage so I was wondering if I could do the hyphenated name change using just the divorce decree or will I need s petition since it will include a name unrelated to a marriage?
Hi Ana. You'll need to petition.
Hello! Can you file a common law marriage affidavit and then later have a legal marriage ceremony with a marriage license and everything with the same person? Im filing a common law marriage affidavit with my fiancé so I can be added to his work health insurance. We do eventually want to be "legally" married (I know a common law marriage is just as legal) with a ceremony. But Im wondering if you can do both. Thank you!
Yes, you can.
I have been married for 5 years, I changed my last name on my SSC to my husbands name shortly after getting married, but I never changed my name on my DL. My DL expired last month and I have an appointment tomorrow at the dmv. I am reading online that I could potentially get a ticket, so needless to say I am a little worried. Can they ticket me or add fees?
Hi Sydney. There's a max penalty of $20, as stated here in TX's statutes. The fee can be waived "in the interest of justice."
Hi there! I'm having a terribly hard time finding (straightforward, up to date) answers to a few questions. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Background: I'm in Travis County. My husband and I signed a Declaration and Registration of Informal Marriage with the Clerk's Office.
Question #1: Am I able to use the D&RoIM for name change purposes?
Question #2: Am I able to change my name from *First (Middle) Maiden* to *First (Middle Maiden) Married* (no hyphens) without petitioning the court?
Question #3: Am I able to change my name from *First Middle (Maiden)* to *First Middle (Maiden Married)* (no hyphens) without petitioning the court?
Question #4: If the answer to #3 is Yes, what is my legal requirement for using the full (Maiden Married) name…when is it allowable to use (Married) only or (Maiden) only? e.g., do I have to update to the full name on my Netflix account, or can I leave that at (Maiden) only?
Question #5: Apologies for the length on this one – My step-father took over parental rights from my bio-father when I was 8. At that time, my last name was changed to his and I was issued a new birth certificate. When we signed our Declaration, the Clerk asked about "other names you've gone by" and I disclosed the name change due to adoption (I was always told to disclose that fact since the old name was still attached to assorted records from ages 0-8, like medical and school records).
I didn't realize until afterwards that the Clerk listed my adoptive name as "current last name" and my original last name as "maiden name" on the document. I'm a touch concerned, as that's not technically my maiden name, and my birth certificate does not indicate as such (nor does any other documentation relevant to establishing identity, as it was all changed when I was 8).
Will this cause issue for me in the future? Will it prevent me from using my adoptive name as either my middle name or a hyphenated last name without petitioning the court? Or will its presence on my birth certificate be proof enough that it's my proper last name?
Thank you so, so much for any help you can provide!
It's just a historal marker for vital records purposes.
No, it won't cause a problem.
That's good enough. It's also listed as your current name on your declaration, which is good.
My husband and I did an informal marriage in 2013 and I never changed my last name. I now want to change it to his. Could I still do this?
Hi Ashley. You can still change your name after all these years. There's no name change deadline.
When i get married and change my last name to take my partner's, can i change my middle name at the same time?
Hi Cora. You can change it to your maiden name.
So I got divorced but never went back to my maiden name. But I am getting married in December and want to change my last name to his. How do I do that?
Hi Sarah. Skip over the name change you never took during divorce and just go straight to changing your name through marriage with your upcoming marriage. Use your marriage certificate as your normally would.
I was not given a middle name at birth. I am divorced but kept my ex’s last name so I am FirstName ExLastName. I never used my maiden name anywhere afterward. I am getting remarried and new husband has an incredibly common last name — when we marry his aunt and I will have the exact same name (both with no middle names)).
Could I keep my ex’s last name as a middle name and add on my new husband’s last name? Also as another option, is re-adding my maiden name as a middle name with new last name possible?
Firstname ExLastname NewLastname
Firstname Maidenname NewLastname
I'm trying to avoid identity issues down the line. My fiancee is a “junior” with a super common last name and has had hell with billing issues and debt confusion between his dad and many other people in the state.
No, not through marriage.
Yes, that would work.
My husband wants to take my last name (female fiance) – will he go through the social security office just like I would if I would be taking his last name? or is the process different?
Hi Holly. He would have to petition the court for a name change.
I have a question I never married the man we lived in Texas right before we broke up he went to the sis change. My last name to his I didn’t till I got the new card. How can I fix’s this it has been like that from 1988 now I am legally I hope married my husband in 1993 but the got my dads name wrong on my marriage license.
So what do I do to get this fix. The man is dead and I never knew where he was I now know he die some time back. I just want his name gone off me since we where never legally married at all.
Hi Mary. I'm not following what's going on with your name. Could you please clarify with an example. What are you trying to change from and to?
I have a question about changing the spelling of a first name in Texas. I have read on some legal sites that in Texas you can legally change your first, middle and last name on your marriage certificate (if eligible) and no other name change documentation is required.
Earlier in the comments above I believe I saw you say this is not the case.
Hi Marc. You need a court order to change your first name in Texas. A marriage certificate wouldn't work for such purposes.
Thank you for the response. My issue is that my 88 year old mother's first and middle name are spelled differently on her birth certificate than on all other documentation she has ever had (1 letter).
She married at 17 (1952) and never had a drivers license or social security card till after she was married. Her mother told her as a kid that her name was spelled differently than it was on her birth certificate so her name on her marriage license, social security card, medicare, drivers license, mortgage, insurance, car title, etc. are all spelled one way which is different from her birth certificate.
Now that she is 88 she had to bring in her birth certificate for her drivers license renewal (for proof of us citizenship) and when they noticed the name spelling difference they made her change her license.
This means she can't use it as identification at here bank, pharmacist or anywhere else that requires state id. We were hoping to avoid filing a name change but it looks like we might have to.
Hi Marc. You may want to contact the Texas vital records office about amending your mother's birth certificate to reflect the correct spelling.
My drivers license expired back in June and I've been dragging my feet on getting to the DMV for renewal because I need to get a name change done too – was thinking I could get it all done in one trip.
In order to change my name with SSA more than 2 years after the court order was issued, does my drivers license have to be current? Or is it okay if it's less than 1 year expired?
We have some international trips coming up so we're needing to wait until April to start the name change process with SSA etc.
Thank you so much for your articles, they are so helpful! -B.
Your driver's license must be unexpired. The alternative is to provide a secondary form of ID. The SSA does make expired ID exceptions for adults age 70 and older, provided they can offer supplemental identifying documents, such as a medical record.
Waiting until after your travels makes sense.