Name Change After Marriage in Texas
If you are in Texas and seeking a legal name change, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. It is important to know what the Lonestar State's name change laws allows. Here are a number of things you might want to know.
Marriage name change options
Your marriage certificate is the main legal document you need to change your name after getting married. Once your ceremony is over, file your marriage license pronto with the office that issued it. This results in a certified copy of your marriage certificate that will get mailed to you around 14 days later.
To save yourself time, you can use an online service providing name change forms that work in Texas and other states. This self-help tool works whether you are recently married or tied the knot many years ago.
Your marriage certificate is the right legal document to effect a name change. Alert the right government agencies afterward, as name change is not automatic. This includes the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and non-governmental institutions, such as credit card companies and banks.
To apply for a marriage license in Texas, arrive in person at the county clerk's office with government-issued photo ID. Your license remains valid for 90 days once issued. And issuance comes 72 hours after applying, unless waived.
Couples who complete the Twogether in Texas course on premarital education will pay lower license fees and get the 72-hour waiting period set aside.
Military personnel who are active will have their waiting time eliminated by default, including Department of Defense employees and those who have received a judge's waiver.
Fees for a marriage license vary across Texas' 254 counties, but fall within $60 and $90. A Texas license is valid across the state, regardless of which county you apply in.
After getting married, your officiant must complete the license and return it to the county clerk for filing. You can then ask for certified copies of your marriage certificate from the county clerk to get your name legally changed across government agencies.
You can opt to take your spouse's last name using just your marriage certificate. This is the most common and traditional name change preference in Texas.
Maiden name usage
You may go with the surname of your spouse on official records and identifications, but continue using your maiden name in professional circles, such as the workplace.
It's also possible to request a name change by taking your spouse's last name and adding it into your own with a hyphen or simply add without a hyphen.
Continue using your name as it is
Another option in Texas is to just continue with your married life without seeking a name change.
Divorce name change
For a legal name change to be done in Texas after divorce you need to gather a number of documents, the most important being a certified copy of a Texas divorce decree as well as a proof of your age and identification.
After getting the divorce decree copy, read through to ascertain if there is a provision granting a name change. In case it is there, the document remains the best name change legal proof you need.
Sometimes the provision for a name change might be left out from the divorce decree and you should communicate with the court that finalized the divorce to request for an amendment of the document. Remember amendments can sometimes be denied by different courts in the state; you need to change tact and continue with a normal adult name change petition in Texas.
Together with the name change petition, you are also requested to provide fingerprints, a legible set of them on a fingerprint card approved by the state. The verification of the petition needs to be done, where you must swear and sign that the information provided on your forms is accurate before a notary.
Remember to have the order for name change prepared for the judge to sign. Apart from containing similar information as that in the petition, Texas requires the order to also clearly state the change of name is in public interest and beneficial to you. A hearing is then scheduled by the court. It's possible that the judge will request a repeat of the information you have provided in the petition prior to the signing of the order declaring your change of name.
Once the name change has been effected, ensure you have approached all the right government agencies to update your name, from the Social Security Office, IRS, to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Nonetheless, you might want to know that changing your name with the Social Security Office comes first. Once this has been approved, simply take the certificate you will receive to the Texas Department of Public Safety to have your driver's license name changed.
General adult legal name change
If you do not have a marriage certificate or divorce decree, it is still possible to effect a name change in Texas. This requires filing court-provided name change forms for an adult petition for change of name. File your petition in your county of residence. If you do not live in Texas, you cannot change your name in the state's court system.
Your name change must be for good cause and not for nefarious means, such as trying to avoid creditors, evade warrants, disparage others, or commit fraud. You can file to change your name and gender marker together. Gender marker changes require a separate filing, though.
You must pay the filing fee of $150 to $300; filing fees vary across the state. If you cannot afford court costs to change your name, you can request a fee waiver by filing a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs or an Appeal Bond.
It means you must prepare a Name Change Petition and Order for Texas without signing any document. Take these legal forms to be signed by a notary, who will have your identity verified and allow you to sign it before the he has signed the document again to verify that you signed the petition in his presence. Do not sign the petition at this time.
The next process requires you arrange with the local law enforcement for your fingerprints to be taken on either an approved FBI fingerprint card or DPS. After receiving the fingerprint card, the Order and Petition, make two copies of each. Take them to the local county courthouse to file with the county's court clerk in your local jurisdiction. Filing the paperwork comes at a cost and once you have paid it a name change case number is assigned.
A stamped copy of the petition will then be returned to you. Ensure you have the original copy of the court order to schedule your court hearing. You must know the court date assigned by the office of the clerk; to be on the safe side, call a few days before the hearing to know everything is as scheduled.
On the material court date, have the petition's copy the clerk gave you including the original order when attending the hearing. Expect the judge to ask a couple of questions; be as brief and honest as possible in your answers.
Once the legal change of name has been granted by the judge, the court order will be signed and you must file it with the court clerk's office. Request a name change certificate after you file the order with the clerk in the same manner used to submit the initial petition for the name change. For a small fee, the Texas Name Change Order certified copy, dully signed, can be provided.
Although you may seek assistance from a licensed attorney to help process your name change, it is not required.
Child's name change
Within the Texas Family Code are all the regulations needed to effect a name change of a child within the state. The name change can be requested due to custody proceedings, adoptions, among others, by managing conservators, legal guardians or parents. It's important for parents to file the name change petition within the county court where the minor lives.
The first thing is requesting the petition for the name change of a child, including the order to change the name of a child and consent to change the name of a child. All these are found at the local county's district court and can also be downloaded online.
The petition has to be filled with the signature of the guardians and parents of the child, has to show how they relate to the minor, child's legal status, case numbers to previous judgments relating to the minor, name change details, the reason for the name change, and the vital statistics of the child.
In case the minor is a registered sex offender, the Sex Offender Update form needs to be filled out and a copy attached to the petition. The petition should then be signed before a notary public who also signs on the form before officially stamping it.
The reason for the Consent to Change the Name of the minor has to be explained clearly to the child if above ten years of age, who then must add his/her current name and the name proposed before the signing of the form.
The document should be taken to the office of the district court clerk for filing. You will be updated about an assigned court date, including a corresponding case number. Appear at the court as scheduled. If the judge is convinced the change of name is in the child's best interest, it will be approved. The name change order will then be completed by the court.
Request the court clerk issue a certified copy of the name change order to use to change the child's name on their social security card and birth certificate.
Change of name on birth certificate
Birth certificate amendments are done by the Department of State Health Services in Texas with each application clearly reviewed by a professional if the name change can be done. In case the birth took place in the last 180 days, you should expect the name change to be effected within 20 to 30 days.
Amendments cost $15 with an additional $5 if you want expedited service. Estimated normal processing time for the birth certificate amendment takes 20 to 25 business days.
Name change with social security and DMV
After changing your name, you must notify the various relevant government bodies. In case of any name change, notify the Social Security Administration, whether you are newlyweds, lately divorced, or simply changed your name legally through court petition.
Even those who have reverted to their prior names need to let the Social Security Administration know. File the Application for a Social Security Card Form SS-5 by mail or at a social security office in your locality and include the legal proof of the name change.
Once you have changed the name with the Social Security Administration only then can you request a name change with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Thirty days after the name change, visit the office of Texas Department of Public Safety with your current ID card or driver's license, including the proof of name change. The license "replacement" fee is $11.
Name change with non-governmental institutions
Once you have legal proof of name change, you can change your name with just about anyone, including non-governmental institutions, such as financial institutions, insurance providers, employers, and other professional documents, such as your passport, credit cards, and voter registration.
Congratulations! You are now well-equipped to change your name in Texas. While transitioning to a new name may seem complicated at first, following the required steps we have outlined should make it a cinch to carry out.
There are many different tracks to take when changing your name, so make certain you choose the path that suits your needs and circumstances best.
Good luck to you as you proceed on the grand journey of changing your name. Stay strong and brave, because after this experience, you will experience a clean slate with your new identity.
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?
Hi Philippa. You'd have to go to court, which can be done before or after marriage. The order makes no difference.
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
Hi Mireille. You'll have to contact the SSA to get the status of your social security card.
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.
Hi Adriane. He'd simply file a name change petition with the court.
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?
Hi Kevin. There's not much of anything you can do. She could choose not to change it.
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?
Hi Jessica. You wouldn't be able to change to brand new surnames unless you opted for a court-petitioned name change.
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.
Hi Lynsey. Changing just one letter of your first name would be considered a general adult name change which requires petitioning the court.
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?
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.
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?
Hi MBH. No, you shouldn't have to petition the court.
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!
Hi Tammy. I do believe you'll have to go to court to change the middle portion.
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?
Hi Trisha. Since you've already legally hyphenated your name, you'll have to get a court order to reverse it.
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.
Hi Ness. Yes, it's normal.
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?
Before, if you want to change your name through marriage.
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.
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?
Hi Agonzal. You'll have to petition the court for a name change in your daughter's county of residence.
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?
It must be a certified copy.
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
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.
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?
Hi John. If the original has been signed and recorded by the county clerk, you can use it.
My wife wants to take my last name, but with a slight spelling alteration by dropping two double consonants. Is this possible?
Hi John. No, it's not possible for her to take your name with a minor alteration. She'd have to petition the court.
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?
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.
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?
Yes, it'll work perfectly fine.
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?
Hi Gasper. She'd have to petition for it. Such a first name change wouldn't be accepted just using your marriage certificate.
Hello, 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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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?
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?
Hi Emily. It can be quite expensive. Nearly $200-300 for a court-petitioned name change, which must be paid separately.
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
Hi Carmen. Although that's an official record, it's not a marriage certificate (a.k.a. extrait d'acte de mariage).
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?
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.
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?
Hi A. Mills. You'd have to obtain a court order to change your middle name back.
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!
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.
Thanks for your help. With a marriage certificate could we both hyphenate our names?
Hi Sara. Yes, that shouldn't be a problem.
Is it possible to get remarried if my current wife doesn't carry my last name???
Hi Samir. Texas does permit remarriage marriage licenses.
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?
No, she must use her surname.
Her foreign passport alone is sufficient to fulfill the ID requirements.
By using a certified copy of her Texas marriage certificate.
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?
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.
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?
No, he cannot compel you to change your name.
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?
Hi Lorena. It is possible through a standard marriage name change.
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?
No, you'd have to petition the court.
No, you'd file separately.
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
You can leave it alone. You don't have to change it.
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!
You would indeed have to petition the court.
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.
Hi Sondra. You cannot change your first name at the same time. You'll have to petition the court.
Hi I got married in Texas. And
It's been three years since i got married and have been using my maiden name.
But I want to change it to my husband's last name.
Will I have any problems at the DMV office to change my name on my DL even tho it's been past 30 days.? I did not know I had a 30 day limit.
This won't prevent you from changing your name.
When I got married I removed my maiden name and kept my middle name as my middle name without giving it much thought. Now I would like to have my maiden name as my middle name. Is this possible?
You'd have to petition the court for a secondary name change.
I was married in Texas but never filed with the court to change my last name (I figured that I would go and do it on my own). Is there a requirement to file paperwork with the court to LEGALLY change my last name (hyphenated)?
Hi T Mack. You don't have to go through the court when changing your last name through marriage.
Hi, me and my boyfriend want to get married, but his ex-wife kept his last name. Can I still add his last name to mine even though she also has it? Can that bring us any problems?
I recently went to the SS office to change my last name, but was told since I had been married over two years (been married for 4 for that matter), that the SS system would not accept the name change. For whatever reason, I was told to go to the DMV to change it first. I am fully aware that the DMV requires my social to show the name change before they themselves can change it.
The other choice I was given by the SS (if DMV was unable to do it) was to have it court petitioned…. I was never aware of this "regulation" or "rule" and I have never heard of anyone else having this issue before.
I forgot to mention I live in Texas. I work at a bank, so I have a lot of customers who came in well after their date of marriage to change their names on their accounts (with social security # changed over to the married name). Do I in fact have to get a court petition for the legal name change due to marriage? Or was the SS office incorrect with information?
(Mind you, the representative asked me if I had anything in the new name, which I held of on adding to ANY of my documents since I wasn't sure if I wanted to full take my husband's last name.)
Hi Alex. You shouldn't have to go to court. You'll either need to show an identity document in your old name (expired or unexpired). If you have none, an identity document in your new name would suffice.
Thank you for being so active on this thread!
My fiancé currently has:
FirstName MiddleName HerLastName
We’re getting married soon, and she would like to have:
She would like to have:
FirstName MiddleName HerLastNameSecondMiddleName MyLastName
Is it possible to have two middle names in the state of Texas? Is there a loophole like hyphenating the middle names together or initialing one and allowing the other to be a full name? Thank you!
No, the middle name can't be hyphenated, space-separated, or initialized using a marriage certificate initiated name change. Such a name change would require petitioning the court system.
Hello my name is Ale, I got married with a US Citizen, we did it in México then our certificate is from Mexico, in the certificate I have my maiden name, we already took the certificate to record it at the court house. I would like to change it to my husband's, we live in Texas, how can I do it? I already have my SSC with my maiden name….
Hi Alejandra. Yes, you should be able to change it fine using a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Hi. I am a legal resident and got married. How do I change my last name, and what steps do I need to take?
Hi Gabriela. You'll use a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your name. You'll need to use form I-90 to update your green card. Once that's done, you can get your social security card updated, followed by another other documents, such as a driver's license and state-issued ID.
Hi I was divorced 15 years ago and kept my husband's last name. I am now getting married again and instead of taking his name would like to revert to my maiden name. What do I need to do if getting married in a private ceremony but not before a judge.
After you get married again, you can take your spouse's name or hyphenate, but returning to your maiden name requires one of the two approaches:
1) If your divorce decree from 15 years ago contains an order to restore your maiden name, then you can use that document to change your name.
2) If your divorce decree doesn't contain language that allows you to reestablish your maiden name, you'll have to petition the court for a name change.
Who officiates your marriage or how the ceremony is solemnized doesn't make a difference when it comes to changing your name.
I was married in tx 1988 and still married! I want to change my maiden surname to my birth surname, they're different. The name on the license isn't correct. Can I do that and what documents are needed?
Hi Michelle. You'll have to petition the court for such a surname change.
Hi there! My fiancée and I are getting married soon and want to choose a new surname that suits us both and I will also be changing my first name at the same time. Would I need to petition the court for this change?
Yes, that sort of name change would require you to go to court.
I just got married last week and I want to change my last name to my husbands last name and keep my maiden name but I want to change that to my mother's maiden name. However, on the marriage certificate I have the current maiden name and not the new one I want to use. Do I have to petition the court to change my maiden name? And if granted do I need to change the name on my marriage certificate?
No, at that point the marriage certificate no longer comes into play.
Thank you so much for this blog. Is there a limit for the number of characters in a name? I will have two last names and will be going from 3 to 11 letters!
No, there's no limit. If you had an extraordinarily long name, some database systems might clip X-number of characters after a certain point. Eleven characters isn't enough to put you in the danger zone.
Me and my fiance will be getting married this weekend. I want to take her maiden name for my last name. We are in Corpus Christi, Texas and would like to know what exactly needs to be done for this process.
Hi Lamont. You'd have to petition the court for such a name change.
My husband had a correction on his birth certificate after we married. On my marriage license it shows g.e.l. and now his drivers license shows e.g.l. is my marriage still legal ? Will I have rights as a wife, God forbid, my husband gets sick and I have to make decisions for him ? Or vice versa I get sick?
Hi Lia. Yes, your marriage is legal and valid.
I got married last month and I have change my last name to my husband last name, but right now I want to change my husband last name to my own last name, how would I go about it
And I already change my driver license to my husband last name the question now is can I change my driver license back to my last name
Hi Omobolanle. Since you've already changed your name once, you'll have to go to court to change it a second time.
I got married in April and since then changed my last name to my husbands on both SSN and DL. I now want to add my maiden name before his for many reasons. How would I go about this?
You'll have to start over with a new adult name change at your county courthouse.
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.
Yes, request it in your divorce papers.
This inconsistency can vary from clerk to clerk.
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.
You can certainly request it, but you'll likely have to file and pay for a replacement certificate.
Your social security record should match the name on your naturalization certificate. Your driver's license should match as well.
That's doubtful, as it wouldn't match the name on your citizenship papers.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
You won't face a problem as long as you take a certified copy of your marriage certificate with you.
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
Hi Bryant. You can still take your husband's name.
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?
No. Modifications are reserved for errors. This wouldn't apply.
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?
No, you don't have to update their birth certificates.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Hi Amber. I'm not aware of any late fee penalty despite TxDPS's 30-day declaration. Their website references no late fee or penalty nor does the Texas Administrative Code.
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.
No, you can ignore what's in your divorce decree.
Not applicable, as you're not obliged. Still, there's no time limit to change your name.
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?
Yes. Just ask the judge to include a declaration in the decree to reinstate your late husband's last name.
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?
Yes, it's sufficient.
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.
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.
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.
Consider a DBA in your maiden name for such purposes.
Same as mentioned far above. Use your preferred name in informal situations and your legal name for everything.
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.
Hi Rinalyne. You don't need to change the certificate to hyphenate.
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?
I take it you meant March 2019.
Not possible through marriage. She'll have to go to court.
Yes, this can be done through marriage.
Already answered above, but if she's going to court anyway, she could change all three names simultaneously.
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.
The process is the same. Just use your foreign marriage certificate.
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?
You'd have to file separate name petitions: one for you and one for your daughter.
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.
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.
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?
Your wife can use the certified marriage certificate. There's no need to petition.
Hi, if my marriage license is from Mexico and my ID is from Texas can i change my last name in colorado?
Hi Ashley. Yes, foreign marriage certificates are valid for name change purposes
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?
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.
This can be done just using the marriage certificate.
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.
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.
You can put married name.
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!
Social security card and passport, if applicable.
I am a Texas resident getting married in Florida. I am a widow. My current name is first name, late husbands last name. Can I have my name as first name, late husbands last name, new husbands last name?
Hi Lisa. I don't believe middle name change options extend beyond your maiden name.
I recently got married for the second time but have not changed my legal last name with social security or DMV. I was married before and kept my married last name and agreed with court to keep same as my children with my divorce. I am now needing to sign some legal documents with an attorney. Can I sign with my current last name since I have not changed it as of yet?
Yes, as that's still your current legal name.
Thank you so much for your quick response and help with this!
at time of my divorce I elected not to change back to my maiden name. I now want to change it. How do I do that in the state of Texas
Hi Jurea. If your divorce decree doesn't contain authorization for you to go back to your maiden name, you'll either have to contact the court for an amendment or petition the court.