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Tennessee Name Change Forms | Petition

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Tennessee Name Change Forms | Petition

Updated August 14, 2023

Tennessee name change forms can be used by Tennessee residents to legally change their name. The procedure includes filing a petition, providing proof of identity, paying a fee, and appearing before a judge in the appropriate Chancery Court. The most common reason for changing a name is marriage or divorce; the procedure for each is typically simpler and quicker than petitioning for a name change for other reasons.

Name Change After Marriage

Although it is no longer required for a person to take their spouse’s last name, many people still tend to follow this tradition. To take a spouse’s last name after marriage, simply provide the desired full name on the marriage license application. After the ceremony, the marriage certificate can be used to update your name on your identification cards and to notify financial and government agencies.

To obtain a copy of the marriage certificate, send a request to the Tennessee Office of Vital Records either by mail or online. The fee is $15.[1]

Name Change After Divorce

When filing a divorce complaint, include a request stating a desire to revert to a maiden name (or name used before marriage). Include this also in the marital settlement agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of a divorce. The judge who presides over the divorce proceedings will take note of the desired name change and, in most cases, grant the request.

The judge will issue a divorce certificate, which can be used as proof of the name change while updating important documents. To obtain a copy of the divorce certificate, send a request to the Tennessee Office of Vital Records either by mail or online. A $15 fee will apply.

How to Change Your Name (5 Steps)

  1. Verify Eligibility
  2. Complete Paperwork
  3. Gather Documents
  4. File Petition
  5. Attend Hearing

1. Verify Eligibility

Individuals over  18 years of age can apply for a legal name change in Tennessee by filing a petition with their county’s Chancery Court. Petitioners must have resided in the state for at least six months before they are eligible to file a name change petition. Citizens of Tennessee are prohibited from legally changing their name under the following circumstances:

  • Convicted of murder or a sexual offense
  • Attempting to defraud or mislead
  • Name change is petitioned in bad faith
  • Will cause injury to an individual
  • Will compromise public safety[2]

2. Complete Paperwork

Contact your county’s Chancery Court to ask for the required Petition and Affidavit forms. Fill out the forms, providing your information and the reasons for your desired name change.[3]

3. Gather Documents

Make copies of your court-issued paperwork, birth certificate, social security card, and official photo identification to bring when you file.

4. File Petition

Visit the court and file your Petition, Affidavit, identification documents, and any other required forms with the court clerk. Ask the clerk if they can be a witness to your signature, or if they can point you in the direction of a notary within the courthouse. You will be asked to pay a fee for submitting a name change petition and order, typically around $150.[4] If you are unable to afford the fee, fill out and file a Uniform Affidavit of Indigency. The court clerk will assign a court and hearing date.

5. Attend Hearing

Appear before the chancellor on the date of your hearing at the specified time. If the chancellor approves of your desired name change, they will sign an Order Form and the court clerk will provide you with certified copies. Use these copies to update your name on various identification cards and with any agencies that should be informed.

Driver’s License

Before you can update your Tennessee driver’s license with your newly changed name, you must report the change with the Social Security Administration (SSA). To begin, complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). Mail or hand-deliver the application form and documents to your local SSA office.

Once you receive your new Social Security card, you can update your Tennesee driver’s license by visiting a Driver Service Center. Make sure to bring your current driver’s license and copies of your name change documents. Fees range from $8 to $16, depending on license type and history.[5]

Voter Registration

Updating your name change on your voter registration can be accomplished online, by mail, or in person. To complete the online voter registration process, you will need an up-to-date Tennessee driver’s license. If you prefer to update your information by mail or in person, download the Tennessee Voter Registration Form. Once completed, mail or hand-deliver the Registration Form to your County Election Commissions office. This form must be received no later than 30 days before the election to render you eligible to vote.[6]

Sources

  1. Vital Records Fees
  2. § 29-8-101
  3. § 29-8-102
  4. § 29-8-103
  5. Name Change — Driver Services
  6. How to Register to Vote
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