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How To Legally Change Your Name After Marriage in Florida

Name Change Florida After Marriage

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.

How to Change Your Name After a Marriage in Florida

While you can informally go by your married name, changing it legally requires updating key identity documents. 

The typical steps include:

  1. Getting a certified copy of your updated marriage certificate from the county clerk’s office
  2. Using your marriage certificate to change your name with the Social Security Administration
  3. Updating your Florida driver’s license or ID card with the DHSMV
  4. Changing your name on financial accounts, insurance policies, leases, and more
  5. Applying for a new passport if you need one

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.

Using Your Marriage Certificate to Update Your Name

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.

Changing Your Name with the Social Security Administration

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.

Updating Your Florida Driver’s License or State ID

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.

Modifying the Name on Your Passport

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.

Additional Accounts and Documents to Update

Some other items newly married couples in Florida need to address include:

  • Health insurance accounts
  • Bank and investment accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Leases or mortgages
  • Voter registration
  • Vehicle registration and insurance
  • Professional licenses and certificates
  • Work IDs and email addresses
  • Wills, trusts, and estates

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.

Changing Your Name After Divorce

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:

  • Obtain an official copy of your divorce decree. This serves as your proof of name reinstatement.
  • Bring your divorce decree to the Social Security Administration to update your information in their databases and get a new SSN card.
  • Visit your local Florida DHSMV office with your divorce decree to get a new driver’s license or ID reflecting your old name.
  • Use your updated Social Security card and driver’s license to change your name back with banks, insurance companies, passport offices, etc.
  • File any past tax returns under the name used in that year. Going forward, your new legal name should be used.
  • Notify your employer’s HR department to resume using your prior name for payroll and benefits.

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.

Changing a Minor’s Name in Florida

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.

Florida Name Change Laws (For Changes Outside of Marriage or Divorce)

In Florida, the process for legally changing your name is governed by Florida Statute 68.07

Here are some key provisions of this statute:

  • Residency Requirement — To petition for a name change in Florida, you must be a legal resident of the state. The name change petition must be filed in the county where you reside.
  • Criminal Background Checks — A criminal history background check is required for all adult name change petitions, except when solely reverting to a former name. Fingerprints are submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI to check state and federal criminal records.
  • Petition Requirements — The name change petition must provide specific personal background information, including current name, proposed new name, date, and place of birth, residency, marriage and family details, employment history, past criminal record, bankruptcy filings, and more.
  • Hearing and Notification Process — A hearing is held once the criminal background check is complete. If approved, vital statistic agencies, the DMV, law enforcement, and other entities are notified to update their records.

Following proper procedures under this statute ensures your name change petition is efficient and successful.

Let Us Guide You Through the Florida Name Change Process

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.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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