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Name Changes in Texas

Information about legally changing one's name in the state of Texas.

Name Changes Through Naturalization

Note Changing your legal name does not automatically update your driver's license, Social Security card, or any other records. You will have to update these documents individually. See the page on Updating Your Documents After a Name Change for more information.

Changing Your Name Through Naturalization

Federal Law

Adults applying for naturalization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can ask for a name change in their citizenship application. USCIS provides instructions for this process:  

The instructions to Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, include information on what is required when you wish to change your name at the time of naturalization. At the time of the interview, the USCIS officer will record the name change request and ask you to sign a name change petition, which USCIS files with a court before the judicial oath ceremony. Upon receipt of the petition, the court signs and seals the petition. The petition is later presented to you during the naturalization ceremony as evidence of the name change. 

All name change requests facilitated through USCIS will require you to take the oath of allegiance at a judicial ceremony, rather than an administrative one. As far as possible delays, USCIS has little control over the judicial ceremony calendar. However, most courts are very supportive in accommodating the need for naturalization ceremonies.

Understanding the Law

The following resources explain the law and the name change process in more detail.

Replacement Certificates

How do I get a copy of my name change certificate?

If your name was changed during naturalization but you lost your name change certificate, you may be able to request a replacement copy from:

  • The court that conducted your oath ceremony. Both federal and state judges have the authority to grant name changes during naturalization. This is done in a judicial oath ceremony, often held in a courthouse. The court should retain the originals and may be able to issue a certified copy for a fee. Please contact the court clerk for more information. 
  • USCIS. USCIS does not have the authority to grant name changes, but they may retain copies of a name change certificate in the applicant's administrative file ("A-file"). To request copies of records from your A-file, see the USCIS page Request Records through the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act

Please note that a name change certificate and a naturalization certificate are two different documents. If you need a copy of your naturalization certificate, you will need to submit a request to USCIS. Visit the page N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document for more information. 

Federal District Courts

Judicial ceremonies are often held in federal district courts. Texas has four federal judicial districts with branches in multiple locations across the state. 

Federal District Court Office Locations Related Links
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Beaumont, Lufkin, Marshall, Plano, Sherman, Texarkana, and Tyler. 
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Houston, Laredo, McAllen, and Victoria. 
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Alpine, Austin, Del Rio, El Paso, Fort Cavazos, Midland-Odessa, Pecos, San Antonio, and Waco. 

State District Courts

State district courts also have the authority to administer oath ceremonies and grant name changes as part of naturalization. To request copies of a name change certificate from a state court, contact the district clerk's office in the county where you lived at the time of naturalization.

If you don't remember which courthouse administered your oath or if you were naturalized at the main USCIS facility in Irving, Texas, take a look at your naturalization certificate. It will likely list the court that performed the ceremony. If you're not sure, you may contact the federal district court or the state district court in the county where you lived when you applied for citizenship. 

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