If you have a Texas driver's license or identification card, the law requires you to notify the Department of Public Safety within 30 days if you move or change your name. You may apply for a duplicate license in person or by mail if you live out of state or overseas. If you do not apply for a name change within 30 days, you may incur late fees or receive a ticket.
Name on License
Your driver's license must show your full and current name for purposes of identification. A married woman may continue to use her maiden name after marriage or she may adopt the surname of her husband or of a previous husband. If she adopts her husband's surname, she may use her maiden name as her middle name if she wishes. A married woman may also change her name if the marriage ends in annulment or divorce, or if her husband dies. All other name changes in Texas require a court order.
Proof of Name Change
Texas officials will issue a license in your new name if you prove that you changed it legally. Acceptable documents include a marriage license, final decree of divorce, amended birth certificate, death certificate of a spouse or a certified court order. Marriage certificates and divorce decrees from other countries must be in English or you must attach a certified English translation. Same-sex marriage certificates are not accepted in Texas.
If you live in the state of Texas, go to any office that issues driver's licenses, complete an application in person with proof of your name change. At the time of publication, the fee for this service is $11.00. If you live in another state or overseas, you may apply for a name change by mail. The necessary forms may be downloaded from the Texas Department of Public Safety website, or you may request a packet to be mailed to you. If you are in the military, complete and sign the RIS-50, Out of State/Country Application and the DL-43, Texas Driver License & Identification Card Renewal Duplicate Application. You must also complete and sign form DL-15, United States Selective Service Registration, if you are not in the military and a male between the ages of 18 and 26. Attach proof of the name change along with the applicable fee.
After 30 Days
If you fail to request an updated driver's license within 30 days of the date of the name change, follow the usual procedure of applying in person or by mail, but be prepared to pay a late fee if necessary. If you receive a ticket for failing to update your name on your driver's license within the required 30-day period, the judge may dismiss the charges as long as you correct the matter within 20 days of receiving the ticket. You may also need to pay an administrative fee of up to $20.00 as of the date of publication, but the judge has discretion to waive the fee.
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Replace or Change a Driver's License/ID Card
- 7 Texas Transportation Code Ch. 521: Driver's Licenses and Certificates
- 37 Texas Administrative Code Section 15.23: Names
- 37 Texas Administrative Code Section 15.36: Applications for Duplicates and Corrections
- Texas Driver's Handbook
- Texas Department of Public Safety Forms: Name Change: Non-Military
- Texas Department of Public Safety Forms: Name Change: MIlitary
Marcy Brinkley has been writing professionally since 2007. Her work has appeared in "Chicken Soup for the Soul," "Texas Health Law Reporter" and the "State Bar of Texas Health Law Section Report." Her degrees include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; a Master of Business Administration; and a Doctor of Jurisprudence.