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What's in a name? Everything when it's yours! How to obtain a name change in Texas.

Texas Name Change

Why change your name?

Have you always used your middle name?  Are you named Riot or Jezebel—and don't share your parents notion that it was a cute idea?  Trying to hide from an crazy ex?  Maybe a name change is what you need. 

We talk to lots of folks who want to change their names for various reasons.  Sometimes individuals just want to change the spelling of their name or return to their maiden name.  If you are wanting to change your name as part of a divorce, you can generally incorporate your name change as part of the final decree of divorce.  Otherwise, the majority of name changes will begin with your attorney filing the original petition to request a name change in a Texas court. 

Background check required for name change

Once a case number is assigned, you will need to have your fingerprints taken and submitted for a background check.  You will need to have a legible set of fingerprints—which can be taken at a local police department.  While there are private agencies that conduct background searches (for various reasons)-- your background check must be done through a governmental agency for your name change—and most people choose Texas DPS.  You will need to disclose if you have every been convicted of a felony or if you are required to register as a sex offender, and other similar information regarding your past criminal history.

Name change process in Texas

Additional personal information is required in your original petition.   You must disclosure your social security number, driver's license number, sex, race, date of birth, etc.  You will need to state the full name you are requesting and the reason why you are seeking to change your name.  You will likely not be granted a name change if it is perceived you are seeking the change for impermissible reasons, for example, attempting to defraud creditors or to avoid criminal prosecution/apprehension. 

Once the background check is returned, and all other appropriate paperwork is submitted to the court for consideration, your lawyer will set a time to go to court to “prove-up” the request and seek a final order that will make your requested name your new legal name.  You will then need to obtain certified copies of your final order, complete with the judge's signature, to put your new name into effect—with the social security administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, to change your name on professional licenses, and with other important institutions such as banks and colleges. 

Our lawyers can walk you through the name change process.  Call the office of Laird & Associates, PLLC today to set up your consultation for a name change.  We serve all counties in Texas but focus primarily on Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County, Chambers County and Montgomery County.  

Lori Elaine Laird

Former police officer. Aggressive, experienced trial attorney.


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