499 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.

To save yourself time, you can use an online service providing name change forms that work in Texas and other states.

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 don't need to 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)

499 Comments

  1. 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
  2. Nasim

    Hi,Thank you in advance for sharing your time to answer our questions.

    I had citizenship interview last month and requested to add my husband’s last name to my last name.two days ago it was my oath ceremony and my neutralization certificate was issued but because they didn’t have my photo on it,they asked me to go back to the office (the same place I had my interview) with the photo in order to get my neutralization certificate on the same day.

    Now I have changed my mind and I like to keep my original last name without adding my husband’s last name.

    1.Do you think when I go there, they accept my request to NOT Change my last name and issue a new certificate as I wish?
    2.In case they decline my request and add my husband’s last name to mine,

    A) Is it legal to NOT change my last name on Social security card,driver license and keep it as it is?
    B) I plan to apply for my First US passport immediately as I have an overseas trip in 2 weeks.so there is no time to change name on driver license. I have already checked with post office, I should present my Neutralization certificate and also my old Driver license is acceptable.Can I request for having my old name (without new change,the same as my driver license ) while my Neutralization has the new name?

    I hope I didn’t confuse you.I really appreciate your help.

    Nasim

    Reply
    1. Valera

      1.Do you think when I go there, they accept my request to NOT Change my last name and issue a new certificate as I wish?

      You can certainly request it, but you'll likely have to file and pay for a replacement certificate.

      A) Is it legal to NOT change my last name on Social security card,driver license and keep it as it is?

      Your social security record should match the name on your naturalization certificate. Your driver's license should match as well.

      Can I request for having my old name (without new change,the same as my driver license ) while my Neutralization has the new name?

      That's doubtful, as it wouldn't match the name on your citizenship papers.

      Reply
  3. Savannah Ramirez

    My husband and I have been married for almost 8 years now and I still haven’t changed my last name to his. I want to change my last name now but on our marriage license I signed it with my last name not his. How do I change my last name to his last name? And am I still able to after this long?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      How do I change my last name to his last name? And am I still able to after this long?

      It doesn't make a difference that your marriage took place many years ago. You can still change your name through marriage.

      Texas marriage licenses and certificates don't provide spaces to specify a new name post-marriage, so there's nothing for you to deal with there. Just use your certificate in its current state to change your name as you normally would.

      Reply
  4. C.S

    I divorced on Oct/2017 from my ex husband and remarried 30 days after my divorce in Nov/2017 to my new husband. Judge signed the divorce decree stating I could go back to my original name (maiden). Never went to SSA to change it though, but when I went to get my marriage license with my current husband I signed and used my maiden name for it…

    Is my current marriage valid since I never went to actually go change my ex husbands last name to my my maiden name at the SSA office or DMV? Will i get fined or have any legal action taken against me for doing it that way?……

    also I decided to keep my ex husbands last name due to our children and everything I have has his last name since I was 16 yrs old when we married, but I want to add my current husbands last name to it. Is that possible?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is my current marriage valid since I never went to actually go change my ex husbands last name to my my maiden name at the SSA office or DMV?

      Incorrect information shouldn't be knowingly placed on a marriage license application, but that doesn't mean it would invalidate your marriage. Unless the false information would have violated Texas law (e.g., underage marriage, bigamy), your marriage's validity shouldn't come into question.

      I want to add my current husbands last name to it. Is that possible?

      Hyphenation would normally be possible, but since your maiden name is reflected on the certificate, it could block you.

      You can inquire about having your marriage license application, license, and certificate amended with the correct name.

      Reply
  5. Nae

    Hello. My husband and I have been married for 17 years (here in Texas). I have finally decided to change my last name to his. My licence will expire at the end of this month, and I think this is the perfect time. Will there be a problem, since it's been so long? Do I just go to the SS office & DMV?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Will there be a problem, since it's been so long? Do I just go to the SS office & DMV?

      You won't face a problem as long as you take a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you.

      Reply
  6. Bryant S Brazeal

    we are same sex couple that was married in Boston, MA in September 2010. At the time I didn't change my surname and now I want to take my husband's last name.
    we live in Galveston County, TX

    Reply
  7. Constanza Fishel

    when I married my current husband I had not dropped my ex husband’s name and it appears on my marriage license. Can I change the name that appears on my marriage license to my maiden name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I change the name that appears on my marriage license to my maiden name?

      No. Modifications are reserved for errors. This wouldn't apply.

      Reply
  8. Paty

    I am married and have two kids with my husband but we had them before we got married. We have been married 9 years now and I am thinking about changing my last name to my husbands but I wanted to know If when I change my last name do I also have to change it on my kids birth certificate or that can stay the same?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I wanted to know If when I change my last name do I also have to change it on my kids birth certificate or that can stay the same?

      No, you don't have to update their birth certificates.

      Reply
      1. Paty

        One more question i dont work but i have read that i need to let irs know also about last name change is that a must?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          When you update your name with the Social Security Administration, they'll automatically notify the IRS of the change. The IRS and name change article explains the importance of having the name on your tax filings match what's on SSA's and IRS's records.

          Reply
          1. Paty

            Do you think they will say anything to me being that since i dont work i havent been able to do taxes?

          2. Valera

            Do you think they will say anything to me being that since i dont work i havent been able to do taxes?

            Unlikely, as the purpose of the SSA notifying the IRS of your name change is to make sure records are up-to-date.

  9. Amber

    I changed my name with the social security office a couple of months ago (added husband's last name to my own). I was on vacation for a bit so I did not change my driver's license within 30 days. Is that a problem? Is there an extra fee or will I have to re-do anything?

    Reply
  10. Patricia N Rutledge

    I will soon be divorced in Texas. I want the divorce decree to give me the option to revert to my maiden name. Would I be obligated to change my name after the divorce? If so, is there a time frame limit for me to do it? I'd rather wait a couple of years until my passport is about to expire. My current legal name (in the US) is FirstName MaidenName HusbandLastName. I am contemplating retirement – is it advisable to I change my name back before I retire (i.e. less chance for problems with social security and pension)? I am also dual citizen and my other country's passport still shows my maiden name because that country requires a lot of paperwork (at the country) prior to change a passport's name. Eventually I'd have matching names in both countries. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would I be obligated to change my name after the divorce?

      No, you can ignore what's in your divorce decree.

      If so, is there a time frame limit for me to do it

      Not applicable, as you're not obliged. Still, there's no time limit to change your name.

      I'd rather wait a couple of years until my passport is about to expire. My current legal name (in the US) is FirstName MaidenName HusbandLastName.

      That's fine.

      I am contemplating retirement – is it advisable to I change my name back before I retire (i.e. less chance for problems with social security and pension)?

      Doesn't matter.

      Reply
  11. Jen

    I was married to my late husband, he passed in 2015. I remarried in 2017 and took my new husbands last name. We are now divorcing. Can I change my name back to my previous last name from my late husband?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I change my name back to my previous last name from my late husband?

      Yes. Just ask the judge to include a declaration in the decree to reinstate your late husband's last name.

      Reply
  12. Whitney

    I'm sure that has been answered but I just wanted to make sure. We are a same-sex couple and on our marriage certificate, it has my maiden name. Is the marriage certificate enough (with her last name) for me to change to her last name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is the marriage certificate enough (with her last name) for me to change to her last name?

      Yes, it's sufficient.

      Reply
  13. Chloe

    Hello, and thank you in advance for your answer! I’m getting married this weekend and I am still on the fence about changing my name. If I choose to take his last name without hyphenating (keeping my maiden name and his last name), am I correct in my understanding that I would sign legal documents with both, but for pretty much everything else, I can choose which name to go by?

    I plan on going to graduate school in the next few years, and I want to graduate as with my maiden name. Would I have to use both names with schooling? I really want to keep my maiden name as what I go by professionally, but I know my fiancé would really love if I took his name. What kind of things would I have to use both names on? I’m not sure I understand what exactly I would be required to use both on.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      am I correct in my understanding that I would sign legal documents with both, but for pretty much everything else, I can choose which name to go by?

      You'd use your legal name on formal documents (e.g., legal, government, taxes) and you can choose to use either name interchangeable for informal, social situations.

      I plan on going to graduate school in the next few years, and I want to graduate as with my maiden name. Would I have to use both names with schooling?

      That's something you'll have to work out with your school. They'll have your full legal name on file, while printing your preferred name on documents. There's no guarantee they'll allow it or even be set up to implement such a request.

      I really want to keep my maiden name as what I go by professionally, but I know my fiancé would really love if I took his name.

      Consider a DBA in your maiden name for such purposes.

      What kind of things would I have to use both names on? I’m not sure I understand what exactly I would be required to use both on.

      Same as mentioned far above. Use your preferred name in informal situations and your legal name for everything.

      Reply
  14. Rinalyne

    Hello,

    How are you doing? I just got married 2 weeks ago and I checked my marriage certificate it is under my single name(Smith).I am on fiancee visa and will apply for adjustment of status. And I am confuse on what to write in the forms. I don't have any US documents yet like SSN, driver's license only the marriage certificate. So my question is, I can use a hyphenated surname , (my last name) smith-william (his) as I filled out the forms? or should I go back to the courthouse or bexar county to correct the name on my certificate or I should be fine? Thank you for your help.

    Reply
  15. Linda

    Hi, my daughter is getting married in March 2018. She would like to switch her middle and first name and then drop her last name and take her husbands name. We have always called her by her middle name instead of her first. Can she make this change when she gets married or will she have to make an adult name change to switch her first and middle name?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      my daughter is getting married in March 2018.

      I take it you meant March 2019.

      She would like to switch her middle and first name

      Not possible through marriage. She'll have to go to court.

      and then drop her last name and take her husbands name.

      Yes, this can be done through marriage.

      Can she make this change when she gets married or will she have to make an adult name change to switch her first and middle name?

      Already answered above, but if she's going to court anyway, she could change all three names simultaneously.

      Reply
  16. God reigns

    Hi,
    Please i need help on how to change my maiden name to my husband's last name. i got married in Africa so i have a foreign marriage certificate. Please what are the steps i'l need to take to change my last name here in Texas. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      i got married in Africa so i have a foreign marriage certificate. Please what are the steps i'l need to take to change my last name here in Texas.

      The process is the same. Just use your foreign marriage certificate.

      Reply
  17. Mariana

    Hi, I was wondering if you knew the process to add back my maiden name to married name after 3 years of marriage. I was really young when I got married and just wanted to get rid of my long hyphenated name but this is something I regret now so I would like to go back and add my maiden name. We would also like to change my daughters name. Do we have to go to the court or?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I was wondering if you knew the process to add back my maiden name to married name after 3 years of marriage.

      We would also like to change my daughters name. Do we have to go to the court or?

      You'd have to file separate name petitions: one for you and one for your daughter.

      Reply
  18. Rose

    Hi, I am trying to find what paperwork I need in order to change or at least add to change my sons last name. Got married 3 years ago, son is 9 and wants badly to have the same last name as me and "Dad". His biological dad is incarcerated and has been for 6 years, my son does not know him but I do have minimal contact with him. Does he need to sign something saying its ok? Son only has my maiden last name currently, never had bio Dads and he is not on the BC either. Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Rose. You'll have to go to your county district court to file a name change petition for your child. Normally, both parents are served notice of the name change petition unless one has had parental rights severed. You'll have to ask the court clerk or judge about waiving notification of an imprisoned biological parent.

      Reply
  19. Bhaskar

    Hi, my wife and I have been married for 12 years and have a certified marriage certificate from Harris county, TX. My wife now wants to change her last name to match mine. Can she still use the same marriage certificate and request for a name change or does she have to go through the whole petitioning process?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can she still use the same marriage certificate and request for a name change or does she have to go through the whole petitioning process?

      Your wife can use the certified marriage certificate. There's no need to petition.

      Reply
  20. Yuki

    Hello I am a Transgender individual who still hasn’t had My legal name change. My partner is also transgender and hasn’t had their name changed if we get married before legally changing our names would it be possible to later change our legal names First, middle and last? (Only he would be getting my last name so only his last name would change) also do you have information on how long the legal name change will take even if we don’t get married before?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      would it be possible to later change our legal names First, middle and last?

      First name change would have to take place through court petition. Going with a court-petitioned name change allows you and your future spouse to change any aspect of your first, middle, and last names.

      (Only he would be getting my last name so only his last name would change)

      This can be done just using the marriage certificate.

      also do you have information on how long the legal name change will take even if we don’t get married before?

      It's hard to say. You have to fill out your petition, get it notarized, have the fingerprinting done, get your hearing scheduled. That's a mix of things you'll have to do and what the court does. Hearing scheduling can vary from county to county. You can call ahead to get an idea of how soon they can schedule you.

      Reply
  21. Debbie Beresford

    I came to the US under my previous married name, I am remarried in Texas and applying for my greencard. What name should i use on the application? Also my name on my current married certificate has my previous married name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      What name should i use on the application?

      You can put married name.

      Also my name on my current married certificate has my previous married name.

      That's fine.

      Reply
  22. Mer

    My husband and I got married four years ago. I kept my original legal name (first,middle and last) and added his right behind my maiden. There is no hyphen. My question is.. do I need to change anything other than my drivers license(did this already). We haven’t run into any problems thus far and I’m still using my original name for things and sometimes with his following mine. Appreciate the help!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      do I need to change anything other than my drivers license

      Social security card and passport, if applicable.

      Reply
  23. Lisa

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Lisa. I don't believe middle name change options extend beyond your maiden name.

      Reply
  24. Brenda

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  25. jurea thompson

    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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  26. Annonymous

    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?

    Reply
      1. Tracey Burnett-Greenup

        My wife's last name is Burnett and I want to change my name from…
        Tracey Leigh Greenup
        to…
        Tracey Leigh Burnett-Greenup

        Do I need to petition the court since her name would be first but it is hyphenated?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          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.

          Reply
  27. Mario

    Hi had a question me and wife got married about a week ago how would she change her last name to mine ??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  28. GB

    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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Is this as simple as taking my marriage license to social security and dropping my previous married name to my new married name?

      Yes, that's all there is to it.

      Reply
  29. Joann Sanchez

    I live in Dallas texas I am getting a divorce can my husband forced me to change my last name to my maiden name.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I am getting a divorce can my husband forced me to change my last name to my maiden name.

      No, he cannot.

      Reply
  30. Angela Jackson

    I remarried and kept my ex husband last name. How can I drop his name and add my maiden name instead

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  31. Pippa

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Pippa. That's problematic, because his new name won't be reflected on your marriage certificate.

      Reply
      1. Pippa

        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.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          So after he completes his name change I will need to go through the same process to change my name with the court

          That's correct.

          Reply
  32. Kim Salinas

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  33. Charles Mann

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      Yes, assuming her divorce decree permitted it.

      Just wondering what would prevent her from using my name for other things.

      Nothing.

      Reply
  34. Patricia

    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 ?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I change my last name to my fiance's last name before my divorce is even final ?

      Only through a court order.

      Reply
  35. Carol Kuan

    Hi!

    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?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      It doesn't matter.

      If after, can I put my "updated" name on the marriage license?

      No, you'd put your current legal name.

      Reply
  36. Steph

    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.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Steph. I don't believe a space-separated surname is possible using just your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  37. Alayna

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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?

      You'd both have to file separate name change petitions. One couldn't piggyback on the other.

      and B: Will we have to have our marriage certificate changed if we both change our last name?

      No, you can leave it unchanged.

      Reply
  38. Keli

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  39. Alejandra V

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Alejandra. You wouldn't be able to drop your name using with a name change through marriage.

      Reply
  40. Marie

    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??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Marie. You couldn't take both names anyway as it's not his legal surname.

      Reply
  41. Karen

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Karen. You can change your name once you obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

      Reply
  42. LD

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
      1. LD

        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?

        Reply
  43. Patty Briones

    Patty
    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 .

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Patty. Since you're no longer married, using your marriage certificate to complete a name change would no longer be applicable.

      Reply
  44. Julia smith

    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.

    Reply
  45. HL

    Hello,

    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?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  46. Nelida

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Would i have to file a petition to do so?

      Yes, that is what you'd have to do.

      Reply
  47. Diane Wise

    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.

    Reply
  48. Jeane C

    Hello,

    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.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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)

      That's right.

      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?

      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.

      Reply
  49. Angela

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Do I need to change my name back to my maiden before the marriage

      That's probably the safer route, as Texas' statutes is fairly vague on this subject.

      or can i take all my documents up to the SS office after the wedding and get it all changed at once?

      That may not be possible considering your marriage certificate wouldn't reference your original middle name.

      Reply
  50. Hector J Guajardo

    Hi,
    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Hector. You'd use your marriage certificate to do a typical name change.

      Reply
  51. Teri Cazorla

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I use my marriage certificate to change it now to match my husbands?

      Yes.

      even though I did not choose this when we filed for our marriage document?

      Yes, not every state asks you to choose a new name when you apply, including Texas.

      would I just go to the social security office to make the first change?

      Correct.

      Reply
  52. Sean M

    Question,

    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??

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  53. Lesly Balderas

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      they want me to get a Change of name certificate

      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.

      Reply
  54. Elizabeth

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  55. Meagan

    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?

    Reply
  56. Nette

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  57. Jas

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  58. Natalia

    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!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I do this through the regular process or do i need a court process?

      You can do that with a regular marriage name change.

      Reply
  59. Zo

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Now they are saying I can't correct my marriage license I have to get married all over again

      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.

      Reply
  60. Lauren

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  61. Diana

    Hello,

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Does the Marriage Certificate have to have the name you would like to take on it

      In Texas, your marriage application, license, and certificate will only have your current first, middle, and last name.

      the county should have changed the last name if you will be taking it on the license prior to getting married

      That's true for some states, but not Texas.

      Reply
  62. Kelbie

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      when I go to change my last name if they will accept my state of Montana marriage license in the state of Texas

      Yes, your Montana marriage certificate will be accepted in Texas.

      and do you change your name on your drivers license or social security card first?

      Social security first, then driver's license.

      Reply
  63. Angy Garza

    Hi!
    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I got married a few months ago and didn’t know to change my last name on the marriage license.

      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.

      The marriage license says my complete legal maiden name

      That's what it should say.

      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?

      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.

      Reply
      1. Angy Garza

        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?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          I wanted to drop my last one and add his.

          You can't drop a part of your last name through marriage.

          Can I drop Dog and add my husbands last name instead?

          No, you couldn't slice it off. It's all or nothing.

          Same course of action? I’d have do it through a court?

          Correct.

          Reply
          1. Angy Garza

            Thank you so much for the clarification!

  64. Shayla NeAnn Howard

    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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      we had heard somewhere previously that we could request a different name on our marriage license that is not our own

      It's allowed in some other states (with limitations), but not in Texas.

      he wants his stepfather's name and not his bio dad's name

      He'll have to petition the court.

      Reply
  65. Sara R

    Hi!

    I currently go by my middle name and would like to change my name from

    FirstName MiddleName MaidenName
    To
    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!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      You'll have to petition the court.

      Reply
  66. Debora

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Debora. You'd sign your current legal name, which is the name from your prior marriage.

      Reply
  67. Debra Heins

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  68. Barbara nelms

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I take my informal marriage certificate to the social security office and change my last name to his?

      Yes, you can.

      Reply
  69. Ashley

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Ashley. While there's a possibility that might work with the SSA, the TxDPS would probably resist.

      Reply
      1. Ashley Massey

        Both Names would need to appear on my driver's license but I wouldn't have to hyphenated, correct? thank you!!

        Reply
  70. Jade

    Hi!

    I'm getting married and would like to change my name from:

    FirstName MiddleName MaidenName
    To
    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!

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can I do this simply with the marriage certificate or do I have to do a court petition?

      Just the marriage certificate would suffice.

      Reply
  71. Mansoor

    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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      hey didn’t accepted the marriage license saying it’s more than than 2 years it has to be current. What are my options now?

      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.

      Reply
  72. Sandy

    Hello,

    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.

    Best Regards,

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Since my middle name is misspelled on my marriage license will this impact me when I apply for a name change on my passport?

      Unlikely.

      Is this a common thing that happens?

      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.

      What other documents would I need to provide to the passport agency to ensure my passport gets updated to my new name?

      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.

      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?

      You should be fine, since your have updated ID in your new name.

      Reply
      1. Sandy

        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.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          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.

          Thanks for stopping by. Glad you found the website useful.

          Reply
  73. Mia

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      I would now like to take my husbands last name. Does this require a name change petition?

      You don't need to file a petition. Use your Texas marriage certificate to change your name.

      Reply
  74. Ke

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  75. Tom

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  76. Ash S

    Hello,

    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.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Valera

      can I change my first name along with my last name on the marriage certificate and proceed having all other documents changed with it

      Not through marriage. Not on the application, license, or certificate.

      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.

      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.

      Reply
  77. Nena

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  78. Khumphan Amaratana

    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?

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  79. Rachelle

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      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.

      Reply
  80. Carmon

    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.

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Hi Carmon. You can't change your first name in Texas through marriage. You have to go to court for that.

      Reply

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