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How to get a name change after getting married in Florida

You will need the following documents to get a legal name change in Florida after marriage:

  • Photo identification. Typically a Florida state driver’s license or state ID. Alternately, a passport, military ID, or other government-issued photo identification.

  • Proof of citizenship or legal presence. Typically a county birth certificate, valid US passport. Alternatively, you may use official certificates of naturalization or citizenship. Regardless of which document you use, the name must match the name on your ID. If you don’t have a copy of your birth certificate, you can use the Birth Certificate Request Letter

  • Proof of Social Security. A Social Security card, W-2 form, pay check/stub, or any 1099. Your proof of Social Security should be an original document (not hand written), and should have your social security number and current full name.

  • Two proofs of address. Typically bills or statements you have received in the mail from utilities, insurance policies, financial institutions, or government agencies. Regardless of what you bring, it should show your current name and Florida address. Minors may provide two proofs of residential address from a parent or guardian.

  • Certified marriage certificate. Your marriage certificate will serve as your primary legal document for changing your name. After you get married, you'll file your marriage license with the county courthouse, and about two weeks later you should receive a certified copy by mail. If you don’t have a copy of your marriage certificate, you can use the Marriage Certificate Request Letter.

Next, you'll need to notify the appropriate government agencies of your new name.

Your marriage certificate grants you the legal documentation to change your name, but you'll need to notify the Federal Social Security Administration and then the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. You may also need to notify additional agencies depending on your county.

Start by filling out Social Security form SS-5 and take the form to your local Social Security Office. The staff will verify your documents and give you a certificate showing that the Social Security Office has approved your name change. Alternatively, mail your completed form SS-5 to your local Social Security Office with a certified copy of your proof of identification, marriage certificate, and proof of age and your documents will be returned to you with your new social security card by mail.

After 24-48 hours, you can change your name at your nearest Florida Driver License office. You'll need to bring the certificate approving your name change from the Social Security Office, along with your certified marriage certificate, photo ID, and and the various documents that prove your citizenship/legal residency, Social Security, and current address. At your local FLHSMV office, you'll need to update the name on your driver's license or state ID card and your vehicle registration.

Your vehicle's electronic title will be automatically updated when you update your driver’s license, but your printed title will still reflect your previous name until you apply for a new title using an Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (HSMV form 82040). You do not usually need an updated paper title unless there is a lien on your vehicle.

Your new license and Social Security Card should be mailed to you within six weeks.

Finally, change your name everywhere else.

You can now use your newly issued Social Security card and driver's license (or state ID) to change other legal identification, like your passport.

How to get a name change after divorce in Florida

You'll need the following documents to get a legal name change in Florida after getting divorced:

  • Photo identification. Typically a Florida state driver’s license or state ID. Alternately, a passport, military ID, or other government-issued photo identification.

  • Proof of citizenship or legal presence. Typically a county birth certificate, valid US passport. Alternatively, you may use official certificates of naturalization or citizenship. Regardless of which document you use, the name must match the name on your ID. If you don’t have a copy of your birth certificate, you can use the Birth Certificate Request Letter

  • Proof of Social Security. A Social Security card, W-2 form, pay check/stub, or any 1099. Your proof of Social Security should be an original document (not hand written), and should have your social security number and current full name.

  • Two proofs of address. Typically bills or statements you have received in the mail from utilities, insurance policies, financial institutions, or government agencies. Regardless of what you bring, it should show your current name and Florida address. Minors may provide two proofs of residential address from a parent or guardian.

  • Certified copy of your Florida divorce decree. This document will serve as your legal proof of name change if it includes a provision that grants your name change. If this provision is not included in your final divorce decree, contact the court that handled your case and ask if they will allow you to amend the document. Not all Florida courts allow amendments, so if they deny your request, you need to proceed with a Florida Petition for Name Change. Rocket Lawyer has an easy interview process to create this Petition and all the other documents you will need to complete your Florida Name Change. If you don’t have a copy of your divorce decree, you can use the Divorce Records Request Letter.

If your divorce decree grants you the legal documentation to change your name, all you will need to do is notify the Federal Social Security Administration and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Start by filling out Social Security form SS-5 and take the form to your local Social Security Office. The staff will verify your documents and give you a certificate showing that the Social Security Office has approved your name change. Alternatively, mail your completed form SS-5 to your local Social Security Office with a certified copy of your proof of identification, marriage certificate, and proof of age and your documents will be returned to you with your new social security card by mail.

After 24-48 hours, you can change your name at your nearest Florida Driver License office. You'll need to bring the certificate approving your name change from the Social Security Office, along with your certified marriage certificate, photo ID, and the various documents that prove your citizenship/legal residency, Social Security, and current address. At your local FLHSMV office, you'll need to update the name on your driver's license or state ID card and your vehicle registration.

Your vehicle's electronic title will be automatically updated when you update your driver’s license, but your printed title will still reflect your previous name until you apply for a new title using an Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (HSMV form 82040). You do not usually need an updated paper title unless there is a lien on your vehicle.

Your new license and Social Security Card should be mailed to you within six weeks.

Finally, change your name everywhere else.

You can now use your newly issued Social Security card and driver's license (or state ID) to change other legal identification, like your passport.

How to get a name change in Florida by petition (name change outside marriage or divorce)

To change your name without a recent marriage or divorce, you will need to get a court order approving your name change. To do so, you will need to complete the following steps:

1. Have your fingerprints taken.

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.

2. Make a Petition for Name Change.

You will need to file a Florida Petition for Change of Name and a Final Judgment Change of Name. Rocket Lawyer's easy interview process will create these documents for you automatically.

3. Notarize your completed Florida Name Change Petition.

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. Once you have this, make two copies of the Florida Name Change Petition and Fingerprint Card.

4. File your notarized Florida Name Change Petition with your local court.

You will 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 of your hearing.

5. Attend the hearing. On your court date.

make sure to arrive on time, with all your paperwork and a photo ID. When your case number is called out, you will be called to step forward. The judge may ask you a few simple questions. Answer honestly and briefly.

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, the judge may instead grant your request without a hearing.

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.

Regardless of whether there is a hearing or not, and  if the judge grants the name change, the judge 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.

In some counties, once the judge signs the Florida Name Change Judgment, the court clerk will file it on your behalf. In other counties, 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 Order. 

6. Get certified copies of the Order.

After the Florida Name Change Judgment is signed and filed, you’ll need to request certified copies.

7. Change your name on your Social Security card.

You will need to go to your local Social Security Office with your signed and certified Florida Name Change Judgment and a filled out Social Security form SS-5. Once complete, the staff will verify your documents and give you a certificate showing that the Social Security Office has approved your name change. You can also complete this step by mail.

8. Change your name on your driver’s license or Florida state ID.

24-48 hours after receiving approval from the Social Security Office to change your name, you can change your name at your nearest Florida Driver License office. You'll need to bring the certificate approving your name change from the Social Security Office, along with your certified marriage certificate, photo ID, and the various documents that prove your citizenship/legal residency, Social Security, and current address. At your local FLHSMV office, you'll need to update the name on your driver's license or state ID card and your vehicle registration.

Your vehicle's electronic title will be automatically updated when you update your driver’s license, but your printed title will still reflect your previous name until you apply for a new title using an Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (HSMV form 82040). You do not usually need an updated paper title unless there is a lien on your vehicle.

9. Finally, change other legal identification and documents, like your passport.
 

How to get a name change for a minor in Florida

You need to be 18 years old to legally change your name in the state of Florida as an adult. Otherwise, a name change petition for a minor must be filed on behalf of or with the consent of the guardians and parents of the minor.

In order to change the name of a minor in Florida, you will need to get a court order approving the name change.  The following steps are needed:

1. The parents of the minor need to have their fingerprints taken.

The parents of the minor file a Petition on behalf of the minor. If both parents are in agreement about the name change, and both parents reside in the same county as the minor, they should file the Petition together. If one parent does not live in the same county as the minor, or they do not approve of the name change, the parent residing in the county of the minor may file on their own. The parent(s) filing the Petition will need to have their fingerprints taken with local law enforcement. If both parents are filing, both will have to have their fingerprints taken and attach them to the Petition.

2. Make and notarize a Petition for Name Change of Minor Children.

Fill in all information known on the Petition for Name Change of Minor Children. There is a supplemental form if you wish to make a legal name change for more than one child.  Take the unsigned Petition before a Public Notary for signature. If both parents are filing together, both parents should sign the Petition. There are blanks for each parent to sign individually. No service or consent form is necessary if both parents are filing together. If only one parent is signing, leave the other signature lines blank.  Do not sign the Petition until you are before a Public Notary. 

There are additional notification steps you must follow if you want to change the name of your child without the other parent’s approval if you want to change the name of your child if you are the child’s guardian and not a parent.

3. File the notarized Petition with the court.

You need to make two copies of the notarized petition. Take these copies of the Petition, as well as any supplemental forms and the fingerprint cards, to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office for the county where the minor resides. File the Petition and ask for a stamped copy back.  There will be a fee for filing. The clerk will also likely schedule a hearing date for the petition; if they do not, you should ask for one. 

4. Get consent or serve any parent not in agreement with the name change.

If you can, get consent from the parent(s) not filing the Petition. If one parent is filing and the other parent consents to the name change but lives in a different county, the other parent should fill out and sign the Consent form.  The Consent form must also be signed before a Public Notary. Attach and file one Consent form for each parent not filing the Petition.

If a parent does not consent to the name change, they must be formally served with a copy of the Petition and hearing date after filing the Petition. Ask the clerk for one certified copy of the Petition for each parent that did not file the Petition or fill out a Consent form. If you know where the other parent lives, you must hire a Process Server to serve the copy of the Petition on the other parent in person.  There are usually Process Servers available through your local Sheriff’s office.  The Process Server should provide you with a Proof of Service document.  If you absolutely do not know where the other parent lives, you may be able to use constructive service. For this service, you will publish the Petition in a newspaper or other location as a way of notifying the other parent.  The laws regarding constructive service vary. You should ask your local Clerk of Court for specific information regarding constructive service for your case.  They may refer you to legal consultation.  You will need to file the Proof of Service with the Clerk’s office before your hearing date.

The steps for a guardian to change the name of a child are the same as the steps for one parent to change the name of their child (see above).

4. Attend a final hearing on the name change.

The process for setting a hearing is different in each county. The Clerk of Court should be able to direct you to the proper procedure.  Call one week in advance of your hearing to make sure you are still scheduled. If the name change is uncontested, the judge may grant your name change without a final hearing. 

If the judge decides to hold a final hearing, you should take a copy of all filed documents with you to court as well as a Final Judgment.  Fill in the Final Judgment heading with the case information listed on your copy of the Petition. Fill in the remainder of the document and leave the signature line blank.  If the judge grants your Petition, he or she will sign the original Judgment you brought with you. 

Finally, you’ll need to have the Clerk file the signed Final Judgment for your case. You also need to request certified copies of the Judgment.

5. Change the name of the minor on identification documents.

Finish your child’s name change with the appropriate government records offices, like the Social Security Administration and the Vital Records Office in Florida.  It is likely that each office will need a certified copy of the Judgment for their records.

Where to update your name after a name change in Florida

At a minimum, Florida requires you to update:

  • Your state ID or driver's license.
  • Your social security card.

It is also best practice to update the following (and in some cases may be required):

  • Citizenship and immigration documentation, such as a passport or visa.
  • Voter registration.
  • Payroll and administration records, such as your workplace or school.
  • If applicable, military or veteran records.
  • If applicable, licensing boards and associations.
  • Financial institutions, including banks, lenders, credit unions, credit cards, investment companies/brokerages, and retirement or pension accounts.
  • Legal documentation and accounts for real estate or personal property (vehicles), including deeds, mortgages or lease agreements.
  • Any legal documents including those where you are listed as an agent or trustee, such as a Deed, Last Will and Testament, Living Trust or Power of Attorney.
  • Insurance documents, including auto insurance, home or renters insurance, and life insurance.
  • Bills, including utilities and subscriptions.

You may also want to update the following:

  • Birth certificate (if you need to use it as legal proof of identification).
  • Social media and email accounts.

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.


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