What’s In A Name?

By Virginia Hammerle, Attorney

Name changes for adults are generally sought because of a change in marital status. But what if you are an adult and need to change your name for other reasons? Then the name change is a separate, independent action.

The process is fairly simple in Texas, but it requires strict compliance with the rules. You must meet legal requirements as well as make sure that each and every step of the necessary procedure is followed.

The law requires a showing that you are not changing your name to hide criminal history or evade duties or obligations. You will be required to submit a legible and complete set of fingerprints on a card format acceptable to the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All cards are required to contain specific information about the person seeking the name change as well as the court being petitioned.

Texas requires that a verified Original Petition for Change of Name be filed along with an Order for Change of Name. You will have to appear and give sworn testimony before the Court that you have not had a final felony conviction, are not required to register as a sex offender, and that the change is for your benefit or interest and in the interest of the public.

After the Court signs the order, be sure to follow up with the correct agencies to make sure all of your identification is in your new name. A name change certificate can be obtained from the district court clerk for a small fee to help prove the name to government agencies and organizations.

Hammerle Finley can help lead you through the process from start to finish.