There may be many reasons for requesting a drivers license name change in Tennessee, but there is only one simple process for obtaining a new license. Whether you are recently married, divorced or adopted, a change of name on driving license records is easily obtained in person at any TN DMV license station with the proper documentation. Applicants may need to furnish paperwork that indicates the name modification is legal in order to receive a replacement drivers license with their new name.

However, before applying for a DMV name change in TN, drivers need to register their new legal name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Below, you will find details on how to change name on drivers license records, including the documents you must provide and the associated fee amounts.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your Tennessee Drivers License

Motorists will need to change name on driving license cards after certain qualifying events that result in a legal alteration in their first and/or last name. Most newlyweds request a name change on a drivers license when they get married. The same is true in the case of divorce or annulment. Sometimes a name alteration is court ordered by the judge and written into the divorce decree. In these instances, the change is back to your maiden name or another previous surname will indicate that you are no longer legally connected to your spouse.

Changing your name on driving license documents can also coordinate with adoption proceedings or transgender lifestyle adjustments. Although no one is required to obtain a legal name change for job purposes, some individuals choose a full name change if they believe it will advance them in their career.

Tennessee Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

Tennessee laws surrounding changing name on driving license cards do not stipulate a time limit for completing this action. It is still wise to apply for a name change with the DMV and SSA as soon as possible after the life event that triggered the change. That way, you will not run into problems later from having mismatched driving records across several government agencies.

How to Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

As mentioned above, your name change on drivers license should come after updating the SSA. Your Social Security card should always be the first document you change after getting married, divorced or otherwise legally changing your name. A valid Social Security card provides a valuable link between old and new names for changing names on drivers licenses and all types of future identification purposes.

You can change your name on your SSA record for free by applying by mail or in person. The DMV process requires the same documentation as SSA name change procedures, so this process provides practice for completing your driving record change later.

An SSA name change update is nearly identical to a change of name on TN drivers licenses, in that you must prove a link between your past name, your amended name and your current identity. This is accomplished with documents such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree and your current drivers license or other state-issued photo ID. You must also complete the SSA’s name change application to receive a new Social Security card. This vital document will feature your life-long Social Security number paired with your updated name.

Online Drivers License Name Changes

Online drivers license name change services are not available in TN, even though other DMV services are. The process requires appearing in person at a driver license station. However, you may make your appointment online to save time.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

You must appear in person to change name on driving license documents in Tennessee. When changing name on drivers license records, you will need your current TN drivers license and the certified or original document showing the reason for your name change. These include original or certified marriage certificates, divorce decrees and original court orders.

The TN DMV cannot accept faxes or photocopies of documents, even if they include the image of the original signature or seal. A certified copy will have an original seal attached to its front as proof of certification. All marriage certificates must include your date of birth and full new name. The TN DMV reserves the right to reject documents that fail to meet these guidelines.

Once the TN DMV name change agent processes your application, you will receive a receipt that will substitute as a license until you receive the new laminated card featuring your drivers license name change. The receipt will be valid for 20 days and your permanent license should arrive by mail well within that timeframe.

Tennessee DMV Name Change Fees

Tennessee DMV name change fees vary according to the number of times you have requested a license replacement during this renewal cycle and how close you are to needing a drivers license renewal. If it is not time for you to renew your license, then your drivers license name change fee will be a fixed amount of $8.

If it is not the first replacement you have requested during the current renewal cycle, then the fee may increase. Fees for changing your name on your driving license are payable by cash, check or major credit cards.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.