How to Change a Child's Name in Texas

By J. Johnson
Both parents, the child's name change

child image by Renata Osinska from

In the state of Texas, you can legally change your child's name. If both parents are the legal guardians of the child, then they both have to agree on the name change before it can be legally done. Also, if a court has ordered that the child's name be changed, it must be changed to what the judge decreed. In general, all you need are the proper forms and the right signatures for a child's name to be changed in Texas.

Discuss the issue of changing your child's name with her other parent or legal guardian. In the state of Texas, both parents and any legal guardian all need to agree on the name change before it can legally take place.

Locate a notary public. A notary public can be found in your bank or you can hire one privately.

Fill out the "Original Joint Petition for Child Name Change" form, located in "Forms" in Resources below.

Have the child sign the "Child's Consent to Name Change" form if they are over 10 years old. The form is located in Resources below.

Fill out the "Order to Change the Name of a Child" form, located in Resources below. All signatures must be notarized. File the forms in the child's home county. You will then be informed of the date for a hearing on the name change. At the hearing, once the judge signs the Order, the child's name will be legally changed. Get certified copies of the Order from the Clerk's office. You will need them to change the child's name on his or her birth certificate and Social Security records.

You will need to notify the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to amend the birth certificate. There is a $15 fee to file the legal name-change amendment and a certified copy of the new birth certificate will cost $22. Their toll-free number is 888- 963-7111. You will need to submit the certified copy of the Order of the Name Change along with the Application to Amend a Birth Certificate (see Resources below). Mail these along with a check or money order for the fees to: Texas Vital Statistics Department of State Health Services P.O. Box 12040 Austin, TX 78711

Contact your local Social Security office to change the child's name in their records and get a new card. You will need to fill out an application for a social security card (Form SS-5) and show documents proving your child's U.S. citizenship, legal name change and identity and proof of your identity. You can use a child's passport or birth certificate as proof of citizenship and identity. You will need to show the Order for a Name Change or the amended birth certificate plus one identity document in your child's old name and one with the new legal name.

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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