How many certified copies of the petition should I get?
After your petition is granted (why wouldn't it be? :) ), go downstairs to the Court Clerk's office and get certified copies of your petition.
Bring cash or check; they charge a lot for using credit cards.
You will probably want at least three copies:
- The original to keep, never to give out.
- One to use to change your Texas birth certificate: there have been reports that the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics requires a certified copy and does not return it.
- One to send to places that requires a certified copy of the petition (but will return it) such as the Department of State (to change your passport), etc.
Do I have to get a background check?
A criminal background check is required for a name change because one of the things you have to state on the petition is that you are not changing your name to avoid debts or for illegal purposes.