A drivers license name change in Texas is handled by the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). Because a Texas drivers license is a primary form of personal identification, it is important to request a DMV name change when necessary in order to keep the document updated.

No matter the reason for updating your name on your DMV records, it is important for all documents, particularly your license, to accurately reflect your name and match the name recorded with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Learn more about how to complete this name update process in Texas and with the Social Security Administration (SSA) by reviewing the information detailed below.

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

Obtaining a TX name change on drivers license documents is the second task you should complete do after legally changing your name and updating your SSA account. Marriage is the most common reason you might have to update your name, since most couples choose to use the same last name, whether it belongs to one spouse or both spouses, as is the case with a hyphenated surname.

In the event that a marriage ends, many divorcees choose to return to their maiden or previous last names as a sign of starting over. Adoption, or reconnecting with a birth parent, are also common reasons that adults pursue a change of name on driving license and other legal documents.

Transgender individuals may opt to legally change their names to solidify their new identities, while many other individuals pursue a Texas drivers license name change after switching to a new name that better reflects their religious, professional or ethnic affiliations.

Texas Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

Texas drivers license name change limits require licensed drivers to update their information with the DMV within a certain amount of time after legally acquiring their new name. In addition to the peace of mind gained from obeying the law, when you change your name in a timely manner on all your DMV documentation, especially before renewing your drivers license or attempting a title transfer, you can rest assured that your information is correct in the event of a law enforcement traffic stop later on or if you need to use your documents for any other reason.

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Because the forms you file for a Texas drivers license name change include a space for your Social Security Number (SSN), you must change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before pursuing a TX DMV name change. The name on your Social Security record must match the name on your new driver’s license paperwork. An SSA name change is free and may be completed in person at your local SSA branch office or through the mail.

Note that like the DMV office, the SSA only accepts original documents. While applying by mail sounds convenient, you may find it easier to apply in person rather than have your original documents out of hand for a few weeks.

The basic documents you need for a TX DMV name change are the same ones needed by the SSA. This includes your current Texas drivers license or another form of photo identification and the document that links your old and new names together. Such documents include marriage certificates, adoption or divorce decrees and court-ordered name change records.

When applying for a drivers license name change or a new Social Security card, some individuals must provide proof of legal immigration status. Every SSA applicant requesting a card with a new name must complete an application for a Social Security card.

Online Drivers License Name Changes

All TX drivers license name changes must happen in person at a TX DPS branch office. However, you may save time by making an appointment online when you are ready to change name on driving license documents.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

To update your records in Texas by updating your name on the relevant accounts, bring the documents from this list that correspond with the reason for your TX DMV name change:

  • A marriage license
  • A divorce decree or annulment decree
  • Your spouse’s death certificate, if applicable
  • A certified court order verifying your legal name change
  • An amended birth certificate

Licensed drivers wishing to change their gender along with their DMV name change must bring an original certified court order or amended birth certificate verifying the sex change status.

Regardless of the reason you are updating your DMV files, every document you bring to the TX DMV agent should be an original copy. While at your DMV name change appointment, you will complete the relevant name change form.

The DMV agent will process your request and issue you a temporary document that will allow you to drive until your new drivers license card arrives. After updating your records, your new license will arrive in the mail within two to three weeks.

Texas DMV Name Change Fees

Your TX drivers license name change process requires payment for a fee to obtain your new replacement drivers license card. Overall, it costs $11 to obtain a duplicate license after changing your name on the credential. Regardless of how much time is left on your current renewal cycle, your name change will not affect the license’s expiration date. It will remain the same as it was before the name change was issued.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.