Texas residents who have a driver's license or state-issued identification card must notify the Department of Public Safety (DPS) within 30 days if their personal information changes due to a move or legal name change. If they do not take action within that time, they may incur the penalty of a late fee or incur a ticket if stopped by law enforcement. Any change to an ID or license requires the holder to pay a fee for the replacement showing the new name.
Name Change Process
Any driver who needs to change a name on their license must do so within 30 days of legally changing their name. They must provide original documents, not copies, as proof of the change. Those whose documents aren't in English must have them translated by a certified translator and bring them and the original documents to the nearest DPS office. If the name change is through marriage, the DPS needs one of these documents:
- Marriage license.
- Divorce decree.
- Record of annulment.
- Marriage verification letter from the Department of State Health Service.
If the license or cardholder has a name change that isn't due to marriage, the DPS requires different documents. These must also be original and translated by a certified translator if they are not English. They will need one of these documents:
- Certified court order.
- Amended birth certificate.
- Certificate of naturalization (DPS accepts Forms N-550, N-570 or N-578).
Changing an Address Online in the State of Texas
An address change must also take place within 30 days of its occurrence. To make the change online, the applicant must go through the DPS renewal portal. Applicants must meet these requirements for address changes online:
- Their Texas driver's license or ID has not yet expired.
- Must be at least 18 years old and have a full license, not a permit.
- Applicant's browser must support a 128-bit encryption.
- Applicant is a U.S. citizen.
- Applicant's Social Security number is already on file with the DPS.
The same requirements apply to those filing by mail or in person. However, applicants must print out and complete an Application for Change of Address before mailing it to the Texas Department of Public Safety, PO Box 149008, Austin, TX, 78714-9008 for processing, or by taking it to their nearest DPS office. There will be a processing fee.
Alternative Address for Special Occupation
Those who are peace officers, special investigators or judges at the state or federal level can have an alternate address placed on their ID or license instead of their actual address. To do this, they must:
- Verify their employment in person at a driver license office.
- Pay the processing fee. (This varies depending on the type of license they have.)
- Surrender their current license or ID.
- Provide the DMS with their current residential address.
Peace officers must show proof of current employment by a Texas law enforcement agency, their Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) license, and their ID and badge. Special investigators must show their federal ID card and badge – if they cannot copy or scan the card legally, they can present an official letter with the needed information included.
Federal judges and their spouses must show their Administrative Office of United States Courts-issued ID cards. State judges and their spouses must show official identification from the Texas Secretary of State or provide the DPS with a business card issued by a state agency.
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Application for Change of Address or Replacement on Valid Texas Driver License (DL), Commercial Driver License (CDL) & Identification Card (ID)
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Driver License Fees
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Driver License Renewal, Replacement, Change of Address or Change of Emergency Contacts
- Texas Department of Public Safety: How to Change Information on Your Driver License or ID Card
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.