First, create the Texas Name Change Petition and Order. Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create this document through our simple interview process. Do not sign either document. You will need to take the Texas Name Change Petition to a notary for signature. The notary will verify your identity and have you sign the petition. The notary will then sign the document verifying that you signed it in front of them. Do not sign the Texas Name Change Order.
Next, you will need to contact your local law enforcement and arrange to have your fingerprints taken on an approved DPS or FBI fingerprint card. After you obtain your fingerprint card, make two copies of the Petition, Order, and fingerprint card. You will then need to go to the county courthouse with the Texas Name Change Petition and fingerprint card and file them with the Clerk of Court in the county where you live. There will be a fee to file the paperwork and the Clerk will assign you a case number. Have the Clerk return a stamped copy of the Texas Name Change Petition to you and you should keep the original Texas Name Change Order for the hearing. Before you leave, ask the Clerk’s office to assign you a court date. It is a good idea to call a few days in advance of your date to ensure you are still scheduled for an appearance.
On your court date, take the stamped copy of the Texas Name Change Petition you received from the Clerk and the original Texas Name Change Order with you to court. The Court Clerk will call out your case number. The judge may ask you a few simple questions. Answer honestly and briefly. If the judge grants your legal name change, he will sign the original copy of the Texas Name Change Order. It is your responsibility to file the signed Texas Name Change Order with the Clerk of Court’s Office. You will need to file the signed Texas Name Change Order and request your Certificate of Name Change the same way you filed the Texas Name Change Petition. You may also request a certified copy of the signed Texas Name Change Order for a small fee.
Although the Texas Name Change Order will grant you the legal right to change your name, it is your responsibility to change your name with the government agencies like the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor vehicles. To save time, you may fill out Social Security form SS-5 in advance. Take the form, along with your proof of identity (like your current driver’s license or passport) and proof of age (like your birth certificate) to your local Social Security Office. The staff there will verify your personal documents and give you a certificate showing that the Social Security Office has approved your name change. Alternatively, you can mail form SS-5 to your local Social Security Office with a certified copy of your proof of identification, name change certificate or order, and proof of age and your documents will be returned to you with your new social security card by mail.
Note: If you don’t have a copy of your birth certificate, you can use the Birth Certificate Request Letter. It takes only minutes to complete your request on Rocket Lawyer.
Your certified court Texas Name Change Order or Certificate of Name Change can also be used at the Department of Public Safety to change your name on your driver’s license while you wait for your new social security card. You have to do this step in person at your nearest Texas Department of Public Safety Office. Your new license and Social Security Card should be mailed to you within six weeks. Use these new forms of identification and your certified Texas Name Change Order or Certificate of Name Change to change any further legal identification like your passport.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.