284 Comments

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

Marriage Name Change and Options Available

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

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

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

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

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

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

Husband's surname

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

Maiden name usage

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

Hyphenation

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

Continue using your name as it is

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

Divorce Name Change

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

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

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

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

General Adult Name Change

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

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

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

Child Name Changes

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

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

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

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

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

Change of Name on Birth Certificate

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

Name change on Social Security, DMV, Passport, IRS

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

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

Name Change on Non-governmental Institutions

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

Name Change Documents

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

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

284 Comments

  1. Barbara

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
      1. Anna

        Hi Valera, I have a similar question. My mother in law has married total of 3 times. She now wants to use her first married name. (Not her maiden name). I do not get along with her what so ever. Is she allowed to now be using my husband and my last name? If so, it is possible for me to change my last name back to my maiden name while still being married?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          I do not get along with her what so ever. Is she allowed to now be using my husband and my last name?

          If she gets a court-ordered name change, she can.

          If so, it is possible for me to change my last name back to my maiden name while still being married?

          Same answer. You'll have to petition the court.

          Reply
  2. Ree

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  3. May

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

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
      1. May

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

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

        Reply
        1. Valera

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

          Reply
  4. Hannah

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  5. Cristina Baily

    Hello.

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  6. Jennifer

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

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

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

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Thank you.

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

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

        Reply
        1. Valera

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

          Reply
  7. K. Jones

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

    Reply
      1. Latasha Jordan

        Hello…I also leave in Texas. And I also have a same sex marriage. My last name is jordan which is my ex husband name..but my maiden name is Akins and her last name is Brown. We want both Our last names to be Akins-BROWN. We went to the SS office today. And they would only change my name to Akins-BROWN and not her. We had a official marriage licence.. the woman told her she needed a name change for them court..this is crazy! Want to do.Is this clerk correct , because I dont feel she is?

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Latasha. Some clerks interpret the standards differently when the rules are ambiguous. The SSA provides its agents with documentation with how to proceed with name changes, so you may want to ask them to provide written documentation to justify their decision. If it can't be provided, request the name change be processed.

          Reply
  8. Gabriel

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

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

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

      Reply
      1. Gabriel

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

        Reply
        1. Valera

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

          Reply
  9. Maria Abigail Reyna

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

    on this name I used my married last name

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  10. Vince

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

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  11. Angela

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

    -Help

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

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

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

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

      You filled it out right.

      Reply
  12. Dora Casiano

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  13. Andrew rui

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

    Reply
  14. Lara

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

    FirstName MiddleName MaidenName to FirstName MaidenName Husband'sSurname

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

    Thank you for the help!

    Reply
      1. Theranique

        I did the same as Lara but I heard from someone that you have to petition the court as well since you're using your maiden name as middle name. Is this true? I don't see why it would be true when the SSA and DMV used my marriage certificate with no problem.

        Reply
        1. Valera

          Hi Theranique. There have been some who had to petition the court to modify a portion of their name after they already underwent a marriage-related name change, but it shouldn't happen if the move from maiden to middle represents the initial name change.

          Reply
  15. Mackie

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  16. Mazzde

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

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

      Reply
  17. Marsh

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  18. Joshua

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  19. Desiree Ilo

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  20. Yvonne Herrera

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  21. Kimberly Oliver

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  22. Tracy Jones

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  23. Chelsea

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  24. Veronica

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  25. Nhu

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  26. Maria

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  27. Thi

    Hello,

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  28. Jaclyn

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  29. Amanda

    Hi Valera,

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  30. Stephanie

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

    Reply
  31. Jamie

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  32. Steven

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  33. Kaitlyn Delph

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      No, it shouldn't be a problem.

      Reply
  34. Joseph Mayberry

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  35. Ashley

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      No, there isn't.

      Reply
  36. Barbara

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  37. Trina

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  38. Dich-park

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  39. Jeremy

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  40. Yuri

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  41. Oyindamola

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  42. Richard Tutt

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

    Reply
    1. Richard Tutt

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

      Reply
    2. Richard Tutt

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

      Reply
    3. Valera

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

      No, that's unlikely.

      Reply
  43. Philippa Dodson

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  44. Mireille

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

    Reply
  45. Adriane Rhodes

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

    Let me know.

    Reply
  46. Kevin

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  47. Jessica

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  48. Lynsey

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  49. TexAfricanQueen

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  50. MBH

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

    Reply
  51. tammy

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

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  52. Trisha L Johnson-Wood

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  53. Ness

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

    Reply
  54. Rose

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

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

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

      Reply
  55. Agonzal

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  56. Nancy Lavkner

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      It must be a certified copy.

      Reply
  57. Ari

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  58. John

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  59. John

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  60. Anum Raza

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  61. Kayla

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Yes, it'll work perfectly fine.

      Reply
  62. gasper

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

    For example: her birth certificate has

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

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

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

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  63. Jeremy

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      No, first name changes require a court petition.

      Reply
  64. Vee Jones

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

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  65. Lynn

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

    Reply
    1. Lynn

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

      Reply
    2. Valera

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

      No.

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

      No.

      Reply
  66. Hal Right

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      That's unlikely.

      Reply
  67. Emily Rose

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  68. Carmen

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

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

      No.

      Reply
  69. Brooke

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  70. A. Mills

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  71. Sara

    Hi!

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

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

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

    Is this possible? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
      1. Sara

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

        Reply
  72. Samir Ragsdale

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

    Reply
  73. Vince Cobalis

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

      Can she use his surname when filing the marriage certificate?

      No, she must use her surname.

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

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

      How does she change her name to take his surname?

      By using a certified copy of her Texas marriage certificate.

      Reply
  74. Debra Primrose

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

      Reply
  75. joy

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

    Reply
  76. Lorena Ruiz

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

    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply
  77. Vanessa

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      No, you'd have to petition the court.

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

      No, you'd file separately.

      Reply
  78. MR

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

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

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

      No impact.

      Reply
  79. MD

    Hi,

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      You would indeed have to petition the court.

      Reply
  80. Sondra Torres

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

    Reply
    1. Valera

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

      Reply

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