Texas Name Change Laws
To obtain a legal name change in Texas, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. No publication is required. The applicant must be fingerprinted. Criminal records are required for individuals with a felony conviction; however, they may change their name if more than two years have passed since the end of the sentence and if not under probation or parole, or if the individual has been pardoned. Registered sex offenders must notify local law enforcement of the proposed name change. (Tex. Fam. Code Ann. §§45.101 to 45.106)
For instructions on legal name changes for adults 18 and over, see Texas Law Help Name Change Instructions.
For instructions on legal name changes for minors under 18, see NCTE's Name Changes for Minors in Texas resource.
If you need to update the gender marker on a TX driver's license/state ID or TX birth certificate, you will need a court order recognizing your gender change as well as your name change. For instructions on obtaining a court order for name and gender change, see Texas Law Library Gender Identifier and Name Guide. Please note that these instructions are for Travis County as they have the most streamlined gender change process. You do not need to travel to Travis County to file, you can file electronically.
Texas Drivers License Policy & Procedures
To change the name on a Texas driver's license or state ID, the applicant must submit a document demonstrating the name change, such as a birth certificate or court order. Applicants must inform DPS of a legal name change within 30 days of the name change.
To change the gender on a Texas driver's license or state ID, the applicant must submit a court order certifying the gender change. The court order changing the legal name may be the same court order certifying the gender change.
The Texas Department of Public Safety addresses name and gender change here.
Texas Birth Certificate Laws
Texas Vital Statistics will issue a new birth certificate with an updated gender marker upon receipt of a court order for change of sex. Tex. Health & Safety Code Ann. § 192.011.
Obtaining a Court Order for Gender Change
Texas does not have a specific gender change provision in statute, and therefore some counties and judges are averse to issuing the necessary court orders. You may be able to use court orders from another state, but please note that the order must specify 'sex change', the vital records office will not accept 'gender change'. Travis County has good resources and procedures to change your gender marker. You do not have to live in Travis County; you can file remotely through e-file.
Applying for an Updated Birth Certificate
To apply for an updated birth certificate, the applicant should submit to the Vital Records office:
- Form VS-170: Application to Amend a Certificate of Birth
- Certified copy of the court order for change of sex and/or name
- Applicable fees ($47 for a new record)
Send the application materials to the following address:
DSHS – Vital Statistics Section
P.O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040