How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Texas
If you recently changed your name due to a marriage, divorce or other circumstance, you are legally required to update your drivers license. Typically, you cannot complete a drivers license name change online. Most states require you to visit a DMV office in person with a marriage certificate, divorce certificate or court order. Nevertheless, it is important to know exactly what documents you need to bring and what fees you need to pay during the transaction. To help you be fully prepared for the process, our informative guide contains all the details you need to know to update your driving license with your new name. You will also get information on drivers license renewal, replacement and other important procedures.
2. By Mail
Certain states allow drivers to update their names on their drivers licenses via mail. If your state offers this method, you will need to send your completed application, payment (via check or money order), proof of ID and proof of name change to your local DMV. Some states may have additional rules regarding what documents you can and cannot send via mail, such as whether documents can be copies or originals, and whether such copies must be notarized. Mail-in name change requests typically take the longest to process, and delays are common if the DMV discovers mistakes on the application.
3. In Person at a DMV Office
Most states require you to visit a DMV office in person in order to change your name on your drivers license. Before you do this, you will have to update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It can take a few days for the SSA to process your request. When visiting the DMV to change your name, you must make sure to have all the proper identifying documents, including proof of your name change. This can include court orders, marriage certificates and divorce decrees. Note that not having all of the required documents, forms and payment will result in a rejected application.
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.