Getting married in the Sunshine State likely has you eager to start your new life together. And taking on your spouse’s last name serves as an outward display of your union. But before introducing yourself with a new moniker, you’ll need to make it official. Here’s a helpful guide to legally changing your name in Florida.
While you can informally go by your married name, changing it legally requires updating key identity documents.
The typical steps include:
With the proper documentation, most name changes after marriage can be completed within a few weeks. Having a clear checklist helps ensure every base gets covered.
The most important document for establishing your name change is a certified copy of your new marriage certificate. After the wedding, request at least three certified copies from the county clerk’s office that issued your license.
Certified certificates have an embossed seal and can be used as proof to update your identity and legal name with government agencies and financial institutions. Always keep your original in safe storage, using the copies for name change purposes.
One of the first stops for newlyweds is the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA houses key information that flows through both government and private databases.
To change your name with Social Security, submit a completed Form SS-5, along with your certified marriage certificate. You can either mail these documents or drop them off at your local SSA office.
Once received, the SSA will update your records and issue you a new Social Security card reflecting your married name. This card serves as proof of your legal name change for other updates.
Under Florida law, you must update your name on your driver’s license or state ID within 30 days of changing your name. Bring your certified marriage certificate and new social security card to any Florida DMV office to handle this in person.
You will need to fill out a name change form, provide your marriage certificate, and pay applicable fees. New licenses cost $48, while a new state ID runs $25.
The DHSMV will issue you a new Florida license or ID card bearing your married name. Having this updated ID facilitates other name change steps.
For newlyweds with international travel plans, updating your passport is key. This involves submitting form DS-82 to the Department of State and providing your certified marriage certificate as proof of the name change.
If your passport expired or you don’t have one yet, you will need to submit form DS-11 and apply as though you are getting a new passport. Processing times for passport updates average 6-8 weeks. Plan accordingly for any upcoming trips.
Some other items newly married couples in Florida need to address include:
For most of these, providing a copy of your certified marriage certificate, driver’s license, or social security card is sufficient to change your name in their records. Check with each company or agency on their specific process.
Ending a marriage can be an emotional rollercoaster. Deciding what to do about your name adds another layer of complexity. Some choose to keep their married name as a consistent identity, especially if they have children together. But reverting to your pre-marriage name often signals moving forward into the next chapter.
If you would like to resume using your maiden name or prior surname after a Florida divorce, the process is similar to a marriage name change.
Here are the key steps:
Reverting to a former name can help signify a new start after divorce. With the help of a supportive family lawyer, the process can go smoothly. Contact us today if you need guidance or representation.
Sometimes, a parent may wish to legally change their child’s name, whether it’s an infant or a teenager. To change a minor’s name in Florida, the petitioning parent must file a Petition for Name Change (Minor Child) in the family court in their county of residence. This petition must provide background information like the minor’s current legal name, proposed new name, date, and place of birth, and details on the parents and any siblings.
Per Florida law, both living parents must consent to the name change. This can be done by having both parents sign and submit the petition together or by having the non-petitioning parent provide a notarized affidavit consenting to the name change. If a parent cannot be located, the petitioning parent can publish a notice of the proposed name change in a local newspaper.
Along with the petition, the parents must submit fingerprints for a criminal background check. Once the check is complete, a family court judge will hold a hearing and review the petition. If approved, the judge will issue a final judgment authorizing the name change.
In Florida, the process for legally changing your name is governed by Florida Statute 68.07.
Here are some key provisions of this statute:
Following proper procedures under this statute ensures your name change petition is efficient and successful.
We hope this overview helps newlyweds tackle the name change process with confidence. Remember to order multiple certified copies of your marriage certificate – you’ll need them. Contact us if you have any other questions along the way.
At Vasquez de Lara Law Group, we assist clients with all aspects of Florida family law, including name changes. Our caring legal team is here to support you during this exciting chapter of marriage and new beginnings. Contact us today to learn more.