If you are recently married or divorced, you may change your name at a Driver Service Center in Tennessee by paying the required fee and showing an original or certified marriage certificate or divorce decree. However, if you want to change your name for any other reason, you must petition the court and obtain a court order legally changing your name. The process of petitioning the court is not complicated, but it can vary from county to county.
Why Does One Need a Name Change?
The following are some of the reasons why an individual may decide to change his/her name:
- Dislike current name.
- Changing name following divorce.
- Husband taking wife's name upon marriage.
- Changing a child's surname to mother's or father's.
- Couples combining or H
- Hyphenating S
- Surnames to form a new one.
- Transgender name change
How to Change Your Name in Tennessee?
The process of changing a name is simple. Here on our website, we have sample name change forms you can go through to learn the process.
Step 1: Obtain a Petition for Change of Name from your county's Clerk of Court.
Firstly, you need to obtain a Petition for Change of Name from your county's Clerk of Court. The petition must be completed in full and returned to the clerk of court with the applicable filing fee. You are required to provide your current name and residency information.
Step 2: Include the name you want to use
You must also include the name you want to use and the reason for the change. By signing the petition, you are certifying that you are not changing your name for illegal purposes such as to evade arrest or avoid paying debts.
Step 3: Supply a copy of your birth certificate and other documents
When you submit the completed form to the clerk of court, you must also supply a copy of your birth certificate, photo identification (i.e. driver's license or passport), and Social Security card. Most counties require proof of residency such as a recent utility bill, payroll stub, or a similar document proving you reside in the county.
Step 4: Submit a proposed order with the petition
The clerk of court schedules a hearing date and notifies you of any requirements related to notice of your petition. In most counties, you must also submit a proposed order with the petition. The form for the proposed order is also available from the clerk of the court's office.
Step 5: Attend the hearing
You must attend the hearing and answer questions under oath about your desire to change your name. The judge may question you about your reasons to make sure you are not changing your name for fraudulent purposes. If the judge is satisfied with your answers, the judge grants your petition and issues an order.
Step 6: Obtain certified copies of the court order
You need to obtain certified copies of the order with the court's official seal. A Driver Service Center does not accept copies without the original court seal. You need this document to change your name on your driver's license.
Changing your name for whatever reason is simple if you live in Tennessee. If you can follow through with the processes we have highlighted above, you are good to go. Here on our platform, we have some name change form samples you may wish to go through before you kick-start the processes.
Tennessee Name Change Forms FAQs
How do you change your name for free?
All you have to do is complete and file a petition for name change with the court. There are many reasons for officially changing your name. The most common are marriage and divorce. But if your birth name is Mergatroid or something like that, you might not need any other reason.
Can you use a different name without legally changing it?
Legally, you can use any name you want, as long as you are not using it for an unlawful purpose. There are many people who have one name in government and bank records and they are commonly known amongst their friends and relatives by another name.
How long does it take to process name change?
When you have your Name Change Court Order signed by the judge, you can get a Certified Copy of it that day from the same court. You need the Certified Copy to get your most important records changed. It will take you from 6 weeks to 6 months to get your Court Order.
Why would a judge deny a name change?
The main reasons why a judge would not agree to change your name are: If the judge finds that you are changing your name to commit fraud, or if the judge finds that you are changing your name to hide from the law or the police or for some other illegal reasons.
How long does it take Social Security to process a name change?
Usually, it takes two to six for Social Security to process a name change.