To complete your legal name change, you will need to contact your local law enforcement and arrange to have your fingerprints taken. Ask for a Fingerprint Card that you will be filed when you request your name change. Next, you will need to sign your completed Florida Name Change Petition before a public notary for signature. They will verify your identity and have you sign the Petition in their presence. They will then sign the document verifying that you signed it in front of them.
Make two copies of the Florida Name Change Petition and Fingerprint Card. You will then need to go to your county courthouse to file these documents with the Clerk of Court. There will be a fee to file the paperwork and the Clerk will assign you a case number. You should have the clerk return a stamped copy of the Florida Name Change Petition to you. Before you leave, ask the Clerk’s office how to schedule a hearing. They will help you with getting a date and location your hearing. It is a good idea to call a few days in advance of your date to ensure you are still scheduled for an appearance. If there is no written objection to your name change prior to your court appearance, it is likely the judge will grant your request without a final hearing. In this case, the Clerk will have the judge sign the Florida Name Change Judgment and file it on your behalf. If the judge decides to have a final hearing, take the stamped copy of the Florida Name Change Petition you received from the clerk and a completed but unsigned Florida Name Change Judgment with you to court.
On your court date, the Court Clerk will call out your case number. The judge may ask you a few simple questions. Answer honestly and briefly. If the judge grants the name change, he will either sign the original copy of the Florida Name Change Judgment you brought with you or he may have his own form, depending on the county. It is your responsibility to file the signed Florida Name Change Judgment with the Clerk of Court’s Office. You will need to file the signed Florida Name Change Judgment and request certified copies for a small fee.
Although the Florida Name Change Judgment will grant you the legal right to change your name, it is your responsibility to change your name with government agencies like the Social Security Office and the Department of Motor vehicles. To save time, you may fill out Social Security form SS-5 in advance. Take the form and your certified Florida Name Change Judgment, along with your proof of identity (like your current driver’s license or passport) and proof of age (like your birth certificate) to your local Social Security Office. The staff there will verify your personal documents and give you a certificate showing that the Social Security Office has approved your name change. Alternatively, you can mail form SS-5 to your local Social Security Office with a certified copy of your proof of identification, certified Florida Name Change Judgment, and proof of age and your documents will be returned to you with your new social security card by mail.
Your certified Florida Name Change Judgment can also be used at the Department of Motor Vehicles to change your name on your driver’s license while you wait for your new social security card. You have to do this step in person at your nearest Florida Driver License office. Your new license and Social Security Card should be mailed to you within six weeks. These new forms of identification and your Florida Name Change Judgment or certificate of name change may be used to change other legal identification like your passport.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.