Residents of Bexar County, Texas, who want to legally change their name for reasons other than a marriage or a divorce, must obtain permission from a civil court judge to do so. State laws, rather than local county laws, dictate whether you are eligible to change your name, but you must initiate your civil suit by filing documents with the Bexar County District Clerk. It’s beneficial to familiarize yourself with the county's specific procedures to avoid unnecessary delays.
Draft “Original Petition for Change of Name” and “Order for Change of Name” documents. The Bexar County District Clerk does not provide standard forms for the petition and order, so it’s your responsibility to draft the original documents. The State Bar of Texas provides examples of the petition and order on its website that you can duplicate for use in drafting the court documents.
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Verify your petition. You must sign the petition in the presence of a Texas notary and confirm that all statements in the document are true. After witnessing your signature and reviewing your identification, the notary must also sign the document.
File the petition and order with the Bexar County District Clerk. You can file these documents at the downtown San Antonio office by mail, fax, e-filing or in person. As of this writing, Bexar County requires the payment of a $232 fee at the time of filing and will accept a money order, cashier’s check, Discover card or cash.
Schedule an appointment to appear before a judge for a hearing on your petition for a name change. You can schedule this hearing by appearing in person before the presiding court clerk or by calling 210-335-2000. The court clerk will provide you with the location of the civil court where you must appear and the time of your hearing.
Appear before the judge at the scheduled time. The judge will approve an Order for Change of Name if there are no felony convictions on your record, you aren’t required to register as a sex offender and you can convince the judge that your name change is in your and the public’s best interest. Once the judge signs the order, your name is legally changed.
Notify the Social Security Administration and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles of the legal name change. Texas law requires that you obtain a new social security card and state driver’s license with your new name soon after the judge signs the order.
Civil court judges in Bexar County will grant your petition for a name change only if the reason for doing so is legitimate. In the event the court suspects illegitimate motives, it can deny your petition.
Filing a petition in Bexar County is unnecessary if your name change relates to a recent marriage or divorce. Legally changing your name in Bexar County for either reason is done at the time of obtaining a marriage license or filing a divorce decree.
Jeff Franco's professional writing career began in 2010. With expertise in federal taxation, law and accounting, he has published articles in various online publications. Franco holds a Master of Business Administration in accounting and a Master of Science in taxation from Fordham University. He also holds a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School.