Name Change in Florida: A Comprehensive Guide
Published February 2, 2024
If you need to undergo a name change in Florida, you might deal with an overwhelming sense of how you will be carried through it. No matter the reason. It’s a process that can be challenging. It also hosts a lot of potential pitfalls. For one, failing to get your signature notarized or not having the correct forms with you creates a lot of inconvenience. The two can add unnecessary time and expense to your Florida name change process.
That is why we decided to create a step-by-step expert write-up about it. Continue reading as we’ll dive into how to change your name in Florida. Whether you’re married, divorced, or just looking for a name alteration, it will be helpful. We’ll walk you through it all. Let’s start.
Florida Name Change After Marriage or Divorce
Suppose you’re on your way to get married. You can use your application for a marriage license in Florida to request a new name after marriage. Once the ceremony is complete, you can use your marriage certificate as proof of your new name.
In going through a divorce, you can change your name back to the name you used before your marriage. It is done by informing the court of your desire to do so. There is a section in the dissolution of marriage paperwork. It is where you can clarify that you want the name changed to what it was before the union.
How to Change Your Name in Florida: Step-by-Step Guide
If you want to know how to change your name in Florida outside of a marriage or divorce, you’ll need to follow the steps below. It is also true if you want to change your name during a divorce to anything other than your name before marriage.
1. Background check
Florida demands a state and national fingerprint-based background check. The Department of Law Enforcement completes it. The costs of the fingerprint processing and the background check must be settled before the process can begin.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement should have results within three full days. Yet, the federal check may take longer. Using a third-party company for it can also increase the time before you can move on to the next step.
2. Petition for name change
The Petition for Name Change document must be submitted to the court. It is done to consider your request for a name alteration. You mustn’t sign the document until you can have your signature notarized.
If anyone besides an attorney assists you in filling out the form, they will need to complete it. The clerk of court can give the case information upon submitting your petition.
3. Submit your petition
You can submit the petition to the circuit court upon completion. The exact filing fee differs from county to county. Yet, the general payment might be $400.
While you wait for your hearing, you should fill out the Final Judgment of Name Change form. It is a form the judge will sign after the hearing. It serves as a proof of your new legal name.
4. Hearing and final filing
You’ll go before the judge for the final hearing at the scheduled time. The judge will ask relevant questions about your name change. If everything is correct, they will sign the final document.
After the hearing, you’ll need to take the signed judgment to be filed. Also, get certified copies that you can use to prove your new name. These copies are the only way to update the Social Security Administration—and the other government offices for your new name.
What Name Change Forms Do I Need?
1. Legal petition for a name change
It is the primary document to change your name legally. You’ll need to file it with the designated court in Florida.
2. Order granting the name change
Suppose your petition is settled. The court will issue an order granting your name change.
3. Social Security card application
To change your name with the Social Security Administration, you’ll need to fill out an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5)
4. Driver’s license or ID card application
Most states demand you to update your driver’s license or ID card within a certain period after a name change.
5. Passport renewal/correction application
If you have a passport, you’ll need to update it with your new name.
6. IRS change of address form
Although not specifically for name changes, Form 8822 informs the IRS about your new name.
7. Voter registration update
Don’t forget to update your voter registration.
How Much Does It Cost to Change Your Name in Florida
1. Court filing fee
The court charges a filing fee for a name change petition. The fee is estimated to be around $400. Yet, it can slightly alter from county to county.
2. Name change packet
Some county courthouses may demand you to purchase a name change packet. It could cost between $5 and $50.
3. Service fees
If you decide to use a service to assist with the name change process, fees can range from $29.95 to $119.95
4. Amendment processing fee
Florida law requires a nonrefundable amendment processing fee. It cost $20. It includes one certification of the amended record.
Are There Reasons a Name Change in Florida Wouldn’t Be Permitted
1. Fraudulent purposes
You cannot change your name for a fraudulent purpose. For instance, you are avoiding debts or other obligations.
2. Affecting the rights of another person
You cannot change to a name that could impact the rights of another person. For example, a celebrity name.
3. Offensive names
A name change could be denied if the new name is deemed offensive or inappropriate.
4. Evading legal responsibility
The name change may be denied if it is for evading legal responsibility.
5. Residency requirement
The petitioner must be a bona fide resident of as well as domiciled in the county where the name change is sought.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Name Change in Florida?
Hiring a lawyer is not technically required. Yet, it can be helpful, given the complexity of the process. As it calls for dating and filing a legal petition, it can be challenging without legal expertise.
Frequently Asked Questions About Name Change After Marriage Florida
1. How long does it take to legally change your name after marriage in Florida?
The entire process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It will anchor on how fast each step is completed and processed.
2. Can I get married without changing my surname?
You can get married without changing your surname. It’s ultimately your choice whether or not to change your name after it. A person is not legally required to change their last name upon marriage. It is a tradition, not a law.
3. What happens if you get married and don’t change your name?
Suppose you get married and decide not to change your name. There are no legal repercussions. You will simply continue to use your maiden name or the name you had before marriage.
4. Is it hard to legally change your name in Florida?
Changing your name in Florida is not necessarily complex. Yet, it involves several steps. Thus, it can be time-consuming.
And now you’re guided on the process of name-changing in Florida. It helps to cultivate awareness of the topic if you are going through the process.
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