Changing Your Child’s Name on the Birth Certificate

In today’s blog we’ll break down the process of getting your child’s name changed on their birth certificate. You’ll initially file a petition for a name change in the county that your children reside. If you do not have an attorney, contact the district clerk in order to get the basic information on filing the petition as a pro se party.

Get a Certified Copy of the Court Order

Before the judge issues a final decree in your case, (s)he will need to make a ruling on your proposed name change. After doing so, the name change will be reflected in the final decree and be considered a court order. You must get a certified copy of the court order from the county clerk where the judgment took place. This request can often be done via phone, mail, or email and requires payment of a fee (usually some nominal fee per page).

Fill Out the Required Texas Vital Statistics Form

In the “Forms” section of the Texas Vital Statistics website there is a form entitled “Application for Amended Birth Certificate based on a Court Ordered Name Change.” Complete the form in its entirety to ensure the form is successfully processed. You can request that a certified copy of the updated birth certificate be sent to you after the process is complete. As of July 2015, the fees associated with this form and the sending of an updated birth certificate is $37.

The certified copy of the court order, the Texas Vital Statistics form, and the necessary fees must be sent to the Vital Statistics Unit in Austin, Texas. When the documents have been successfully processed, you should receive a certified copy of the updated birth certificate, if the necessary fee has been paid. The updated name will remain the name printed on all subsequent birth certificates until another name change process is completed.

If you need additional information on how to obtain any of the above documents you should visit the district clerk’s website of the county in which the judgment took place, which can be put into any search engine. Additionally, the Texas Vital Statistics website includes an array of forms, including the one discussed above, should you have doubts as to whether this scenario applies to your situation and you feel you need a different form.

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