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?
Some localities require a criminal background check 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. Others (such as Travis County) require your sworn statement, but don't need a background check.