Tennessee Name Change Forms – How to Change Your Name in TN

Updated August 07, 2022

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A Tennessee name change form can be used by Tennessee residents who wish to legally change their name. The State of Tennessee has a very straightforward name-changing process compared to other states. When broken down into simple steps, the procedure includes filing a petition for a name change, providing proof of identity, paying a filing fee, and appearing before a judge in the Chancery Court in which the petitioner resides. An adult petitioning for their own name change must be eighteen (18) years of age or older. An adult can also petition for the name change of a minor (persons under eighteen) in their custody by following a process similar to the one mentioned above. The most common reason for someone to change their name is if they are getting married or divorced; the procedure for each is typically simpler and quicker than petitioning for a name change in Chancery Court.

Laws§29-8-101

Table of Contents

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. If you wish to take your spouse’s last name after marriage, simply provide your desired full name on your marriage license application. After the ceremony, your marriage certificate will be issued with your new name on it. Use this certificate to update your name on your ID cards, and to notify any important financial and government agencies.

Name Change After Divorce

Changing your name after a divorce is just as easy as it was to change it when you got married. When you file your divorce complaint, include a request stating that you wish to revert to your maiden name (or name prior to marriage). If your spouse is the one filing a divorce complaint, make sure to include the desired name change in the reply to the divorce complaint. The judge who presides over the divorce proceedings will take note of your desired name change and, in most cases, will grant your request. The judge will issue a divorce decree, which will include an order proclaiming your name be reverted to your name prior to marriage. The divorce decree is an important document to keep, as it will provide proof of your name change when you update your Social Security, driver’s license, and the like.

Adult Name Change (No Marriage or Divorce)

Individuals over the age of eighteen (18) years of age have the right to 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 (6) 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

Step 1 – Complete Petition

Download the Adult Petition for Change of Name Form and provide all the pertinent personal information. Leave the signature field blank; you are required to sign the Petition in front of a notary public or court clerk.

Step 2 – Complete Order

Download the Adult Name Change Order Form and enter all the appropriate information. The judge, or chancellor, will sign the document after your hearing, and only if they approve of the name change.

Step 3 – Gather Documents

Make copies of your birth certificate, social security card, and official photo identification. Copies of these pieces of ID must be submitted with your Petition when you file it with your county’s Chancery court.

Step 4 – File Petition

Visit your county’s Chancery court and file your Petition, Order Form, and the copies of your documents 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. The court clerk will assign a court and hearing date.

Step 5 – Attend Hearing

Appear before the chancellor on the date of your hearing at the specified time. They will most likely have copies of your previously submitted documents, but you would be wise to bring copies of each form with you to the courthouse. If the chancellor approves of your desired name change, they will sign the 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 will need to report the change with the Social Security Administration; this can be accomplished in person or by mail. To begin, complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5). Attach one copy of each of the following types of documents: proof of name change, proof of identity, and proof of U.S. citizenship. 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 your local DOS Driver Services Division office (online and mailing options are not available for driver’s license updates). Make sure to bring your current driver’s license with you, along with copies of your name change documents. There will be a fee for your new driver’s license – $8 for non-commercial driver’s license/ID card, $12 for commercial driver’s license, $19.50 for temporary ID or driver’s license.

Voter Registration

Updating your name change on your voter registration can be accomplished one of three ways; online, by mail, or in person. To complete the online voter registration process, follow this link (you will need a Tennessee driver’s license for this type of registration process). 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 five (5) days before the election to render you eligible to vote.

Minor (Child) Name Change

To change the name of a minor in the State of Tennessee, both parents or legal guardians of the child must sign the petition and appear before the chancellor. A step-parent can only consent to the name change of a minor if the parental rights of the natural mother or father have been terminated.

Step 1 – Complete Petition 

Download and complete the Petition for Change of Name of a Minor Form. Do not sign the form until in the presence of a notary public.

Step 2 – Complete Order

Download and complete the Order for Change of Name of a Minor Form. Complete all fields except for the chancellor’s/judge’s signature.

Step 3 – Gather Documents

You will be required to file identification documents for the minor and both parents along with the Petition and Order Forms. Copies of the following documentation should be submitted with the petition:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Photo identification of both parents
  • Marriage license or certificate (if parents are married)
  • Social security cards for the minor and both parents

Step 4 – File Petition

Visit your local Chancery court and file the Petition, Order, and copies of all necessary documents with the court clerk. They will ask for a fee (typically around $150) and let you know where you can get the Petition notarized. You will receive notification of the minor’s hearing date either by phone or mail.

Step 5 – Attend Hearing

On the date of your hearing, the minor and both parents must appear before the chancellor at the courthouse at the designated time. The chancellor will decide whether or not the name change is in the child’s best interest. If they approve, the chancellor will sign the Order Form. Use this Order Form to update the minor’s name with various state and federal agencies.