Name Change After Marriage in Florida
Changing your name for whatever reason in Florida is not as straightforward as many might think. Here are a number of things you might want to know.
Marriage Name Change Options
In Florida, around 80% of all married women change their names, although it is not the simplest process. However, after marriage you have a number of options to consider when it comes to name change, particularly if you are not interested in maintaining your maiden name after going down the aisle.
Take husband's last name
About 85 percent of married women in Florida simply drop their maiden names and take up the last name of their husband's. It's still the most clear-cut, common and traditional choice, even in Florida.
Hyphen or space
Rather than drop your maiden name, in Florida, you can also add the name of your partner onto yours. You have the choice to use a space or simply hyphenate between both surnames. Name change in this case can be done in any order, but traditionally the wife's name appears first.
Both spouse names
For professional women who have been busy publishing academic papers, creating and running business, building strong reputations and names in diverse industries, dropping a name might not be that easy. If your name is associated with an important part of your professional life, in Florida, you are allowed to use both the name of your husband and your maiden name in various places. Name change is not obligatory after marriage and remaining with a maiden name hardly means your feelings for your spouse have waned.
Another popular way of approaching name change in Florida is combining both the surname of the man and woman after marriage. Nonetheless, this requires undergoing a legal process to have the changes accepted. The most common practice is merging two surnames into a single name shared among the two of you. For example, if the husband's last name is 'Bond' and the wife's 'Iron', the merged surnames would create something like 'Ironbond.' The legal process might be clear but takes a bit of time and it's always important to start earlier; perhaps before you get married.
Maiden to middle
A married woman in Florida also has the option of taking the surname of the husband and moving her name to the middle. This does not require a legal process, but only a marriage certificate to be effected. In fact, in this State, the only time you need a legal name change is when you are not taking the last name of your husband.
Husband taking wife's
In Florida, a man can also take the last name of the wife, but this has not always been the case. Back in 2013, Lazaro Sopena married Hanh Dinh and took her surname "Dinh", using the original marriage certificate. Over a year later he was accused of fraud for changing his name to his wife's. Nonetheless, this was overturned after a legal process and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Florida has been training its employees to realize name change after marriage works either way.
Name Change after Divorce in Florida
In Florida, a legal name change after divorce requires that you collect a number of documents that includes proof of identity, such as a passport, state ID and driver's license, a birth certificate, hospital record or adoption decree as a proof of age, and a Florida divorce decree's certified copy. In case the divorce decree copy is not there, the Divorce Records Request Letter comes in handy. The Birth Certificate Request Letter can also help if you don't have a birth certificate copy.
Does your divorce decree actually restore your previous name?
Look at the divorce decree and identify whether a name change provision is included. In case there is not a provision for that, you only need to call the court that dealt with the case and request for an amendment of the document. However, amendments are not allowed in all Florida courts. If the request for amendment is denied, simply go ahead with a name change petition.
With divorce decree in hand, commence changing your name
Once the legal documentation has been granted by the divorce decree for a name change, you should go ahead and let government agencies know the new name you are using. Government offices that must be notified include the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Social Security Office. Start by seeking approval of the new name on your Social Security card before taking the certificate to the DMV office for name change on your driver's license.
Return to a previous name
In Florida, you can also return to a previous name you were using before marriage, during divorce proceedings. On the divorce forms you can also indicate you would like a restoration of a former name. In case you would like a former name restored, the Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage order has to be written by a judge using the full legal name that has been restored. With the order, approach the social security office for a quick name change.
The social security administration might request a birth certificate, official document or passport that indicates you are citizen of the United States, and an identification that still bears the name before divorce. The process of name change is usually free while the divorce process is ongoing.
However, after the divorce has been finalized, name change requires a petition for a name to be changed after the fact. Generally, Florida law hardly distinguishes between name restoration after divorce and changing to a wholly new name; you might need to part with $400 to file the petition for a name change.
General Adult Name Change
Florida courts only accept change of names for very legitimate reasons. The process of adult name change in the State begins with petition filing within the circuit court in your jurisdiction. You must also file your fingerprints officially with the petition unless you are restoring a previous name. Once the petition has been filed it's possible for a hearing to commence immediately.
Requirements the name change petitioner must fulfill
For the adult name change petition to go through, you need to meet a number of requirements. This includes being a resident of Florida and living in the County where the filing of the name change petition is being done. The petitioner need to be 18 years of age minimum and should have no illegal ulterior motive for seeking a name change; the action should not be infringing on the privacy, patent, partnership, property rights or good will of others. Your civil right should not have been suspended. If so, they should at least have been restored fully before going ahead with the petition.
Fees for the adult name change petition could be $400 or more.
What to do once your court order is granted
The court issues an order or Final Judgement once it finds every legal requirement has been satisfied. This means you can take up the new name. File the Florida Name Change Judgment that has been signed by the judge and, for a little fee, ask for certified copies. With the certified copies approach the Social Security Office for a name change of your social security card before doing the same for the Department of Motor Vehicles so that the name on the driver's license can be changed.
Child Name Changes
In Florida, obtaining a child's name change starts by filing a petition with the Superior Court within the locality where the child resides.
Conditions to meet for changing your child's name
To change the name of a minor you need a number of requirements to be satisfied, such as the minor being a resident of Florida and living within the County where the petition is filed. The minor must also be younger than 17 years of old and both the petitioner and minor should not have an illegal or ulterior purpose, and that the granting of the name change will not infringe on the rights of anyone. A written consent is required for the name change from the adults who are legally the minor's guardians.
Who decides for the child? One parent, both parents, or guardian?
Guardian ad litem, legal guardian or parent can file the petition. If it's just a single parent who has filed for the name change and the other parent has not signed the Change of Name of Consent form, the other parent needs to be served with the details.
In case the other parent is a non-resident, the court can authorize through publication a constructive notice. It's possible for the hearing to be immediate after filing, and if the court is certified about the name change for the minor the court issues an order and the child can assume the new name.
Change of Name on Birth Certificate
In case you have gone through legal name change through a court in Florida, a legal name change report is forwarded to the court clerk office within a month where the birth record is amended. The original record of birth or birth certificate must be attached to the name change report from the court. However a $20 non-refundable fee is necessary for the record's amendment. This applies both for death, birth and paternity amendments.
It means that once you have petitioned a court for a name change legally and it has gone through, you can request a birth certificate's certified copy just like you would order a normal birth certificate.
Social Security, DMV, Passport, IRS Name Changes
Update your social security card first
Once you have a new name, legally changed, request your documents to reflect this. The first process involves getting a new social security card. What you need together with the court order that legally changed your name is a State identification, passport, driver's license-photo IDs-together with a birth certificate. You can then apply for a fresh Social Security card.
You don't have to appear there physically since mailing a certified court order copy is acceptable, including other required copies. The new Social Security card should arrive in about 10 days once the request has been processed. Usually the Social Security Administration will update records in about 72 hours after your request has been received.
Next, change your name on your driver's license
It's also important to update your driver's license in Florida within 10 days, but you must wait for the Social Security Administration to process your request for a change of name first.
Follow through with remaining governmental/non-governmental institutions
After changing the name on the main governmental requirements such as Social Security and DMV, other documentation should also follow. These includes changing the name you have used in bank accounts, IRS, voter registration, mortgages and leases, credit cards, passport, PO boxes, medical offices, car title, among many others.
After these have been done and your name has been changed on all important documents, continue the use of the new name everywhere, including signing checks.
Additional fees to change your name
Remember that name change in Florida comes at a fee, where a driver's license costs $25, $2.50 for a vehicle registration card, $75.25 for an electronic vehicle title and $2.50 for a printed vehicle title. Tax collector offices in Counties will also ask for another $6.25 fee.
Using a Chancery Court to facilitate your name change
According to the 2015 Florida statutes on name changes, Chancery courts can now complete a name change for an individual in Florida for a petition filed in the petitioner's county of residency. Before a Florida court hears a name change petition it's now required for petitioners to have submitted their fingerprints for a nation and state check on criminal history unless the process is a restoration of a previous name. The court will use the results of the check from the FBI through the Department of Law Enforcement in determining whether the petition should be granted. Criminal history checks and processing fingerprints fees are the responsibility of the petitioner.
Recognized Name Change Documents
There are different types of documents required for a name change in Florida. These includes a certified copy of marriage certificate for marriage name change, certified copy of divorce decree for divorce name change, court order for general adult name change, United States resident identification such as driver's license, state IDs and passport, criminal history and finger print checks (done by the court through the Law Enforcement Department but paid by the petitioner), signed consent from the parents of a minor or legal guardian among others that a Florida court might request.
I'm getting married in New York in March but I live in Florida and that's where I would do the name change. I want to add my maiden name as a second middle name and take my spouse's last name. So I want to go from "Katie [Middle] [Maiden]" to "Katie [Middle] [Maiden as 2nd Middle] [His last name]". Is this possible without petitioning the court?
Hi Katie. You would have to petition the court.
I'm wanting to change my first and last name when I get married in few months, was lead to believe I could with out having to pay anything extra but after everything I've been able to find I'm a bit confused. Can I change my first name right along with my last name?
Hi Codie. You'd have to petition the court to change your first name.
Hey. I got married to my spouse who is a US citizen. I’m from Germany and I’m still waiting on my greencard. My application is still pending. I would like to change my name now before getting the greencard so we can save all those extra costs. USCIS said I can do that.
My questions are: Can I change my name without having a greencard yet? What documents except for my passport and marriage certificate do I have to present ? Where do I have to go to ?
Hi Julia. You'd have to go to court, but it's no guarantee a court will change it before you obtain legal residency.
Wondering how much it would be to add a apostrophe to a name. Daughter was young and didn't think about till she got her permit. The hospital forgot the apostrophe. They have catlin instead of ca'tlin.
Hi Tina. Your daughter would have to pay whatever the court fees are to file a name change petition, which is roughly $400 plus a few extra fees.
Hi, I dropped my maiden name and took my husband’s name 18 years ago when we married. I would like to bring my maiden name back and hyphenate my maiden name-married name. Is this the same name change form? I wouldn’t need fingerprints, right? No biggie if I do but just checking.
Hi Cristy. This would be considered a general adult name change. You'll have to go through the court system and same procedures as anyone else, including fingerprints and court fees.
Hi, I got married 3 months ago but i haven't yet changed my last name. My husband has two last names. However, I have no desire to have TWO last names. Am I able to take only his first last name?
No, that's unlikely.
I got married over two years ago, and I took my wife's last name. However, it was not her maiden name but her former married last name. All has been fine until an angry family member contacted the X husband. He has threatened criminal and civil action. We live in Florida. Any suggestions?
Hi Joseph. He or the other family member may not like that your name change took place, but I don't see what recourse they have at their disposal beyond irritation.
I am recently divorced, (didn't get my final papers yet) anyway it says in my papers to go back to my maiden name. I have no desire at this point to do that. Does it really matter if i dont go back to my maiden name?
No, it does not matter.
I was divorced in 2008 and then re-married in 2015. I chose at that time not to change my former married name (pre- 2008) due to not wanting to have a different last name from my children. However, my children are adults now and I no longer want to have my ex-husband's name. If I go back to my maiden name will this affect my current marriage license? Would there need to be any changes to it?
No, it wouldn't affect your marriage license. Since the marriage we're discussing already occurred in 2015, at this point the pertinent document would be the marriage certificate.
No, you needn't change your license/certificate. Unless you were wanting to make a correction to either document, you couldn't change them even if you wanted to. Both documents are archived and aren't meant to be modified.
I was just recently Married in April. My legal name is Dawn Michelle (last name). I just went to the Social Security Office and filled out the name change form to Michelle (maiden name) (husbands last name) and dropped the Dawn. However they sent me the card with Dawn Michelle (new last name). Do i have to go to court to drop my first name (Dawn) and have Michelle as my first name in FL? Thank you for your help.
Yes, changing your first name requires a court order.
I got divorced two years ago to get married to my actual husband. However, I did not know that the change of the name would be made when we fill out the form online, so I kept me ex-husband's last name. I want to change my last name to my husband's name. What should I do?
Hi Adriana. Your name isn't changed when you fill out the application, whether online or in office. AFAIK, Florida's marriage license application doesn't even provide spaces to specify a new name post-marriage.
You'll need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate to complete your name change with the proper government and nongovernmental institutions.
Hello. I am getting divorced and I filed the papers and the one question was about going back to my maiden name and I marked yes and wrote my maiden name. I have decided that I do not want to go back to my maiden name. Even if the divorce papers state to go back to my maiden name, do I really have to do that? Or does that just give me the option to change it in the future if I decide that?
I live in Florida.
It just gives you the option to go back to your maiden name. It's not mandated.
Hi Valera, I'm in Broward County (Florida) area and my fiancee is from Brazil. Is it possible to get her name changed or add my last name to hers when we go take the marriage license/certificate? That is not clear to me.
Hi Arvill. Your fiance's name change would be governed by the rules of her country. You can take your fiance's name or hyphenate.
My fiancé inherited his last name from his father, after he inherited it from his stepfather who was an awful man. My fiancé’s father has since passed and his mom has remarried. Now he is the only one caring on his step grandfather‘s last name and it doesn’t sit well with him. He would like to change his name to his mothers maiden name and use that as our family name moving forward. Is it possible for him to do this when we submit our marriage license or does this need to be filed as a court order and changed before we are married?
He'd have to complete the court ordered name change before getting married. To be clear, this includes him actually changing his name with the necessary government institutions using the court order.
My husband and I got married a year ago but I never changed my last name to his last name because I have so many things that I would need to update with my new last name. Do I have to request my last name be change through the court since I've waited so long? Was there a form I needed to file out when we filed for the marriage certificate?
No, you don't have to go to court. Your marriage certificate can still be used.
No, there was nothing extra that you needed to fill out.
Do I have to change my new married name, or is it ok to stay the same for my health insurance and SS
No, you don't have to change anything.
Hello. I changed my name in social security taking my husbands last name. He has 2 last names since he’s hispanic and I took the first one. When I went to the DMV today, they told me I had to take both. They told me I had no other option and that I have to go back to get my social security card fixed also. I did get my license that way since I believed them. Can I still go to another office and see if they will do it with just the one last name? I understand I might have to pay for another license. Have both last names makes it seem like I’m his sister not his wife.
It's unlikely they'll process another name change without a court order. They'll see you've already changed your name at another office.
I live in FL, and was married in 2015. At the time I hyphenated my last name using my children's last name (Eveland) and my new spouse's last name (Laws). My kid's are now grown and I'd like to drop the first part (Eveland) of the hyphen and just keep my husband's last name (Laws). Do I have to file a petition with a judge, or can I just use my marriage certificate and go to the Social Security office and start the process?
You would have to submit a petition.
My fiance and I are getting married in the state of Florida where we are currently residents. She wants to take both my last names and drop both her last names completely. is this possible? I typically hear the bride taking the grooms first last name and not both. Although I'm not oppose to this idea, I wanted to know if it was possible and if there extra steps.
In addition, she wants to change her first name. Will this be a whole separate transaction? should she do this prior to the wedding or after?
Thank you in advanced for your feedback and the article.
Yes, it's possible.
She'd have to get a court order.
It wouldn't matter.
My fiancé and I live in Orlando and are choosing a brand new last name to take when we get married. It’s not a combination of our current last names. Would we both need to petition the court? Could one of us do it before we get married and the other take the new last name then? Thank you so much!
Hi Hally. You would both need to petition the court separately to choose an entirely new last name.
My Husband and I were married in Florida 1 year ago. He was adopted by his stepfather at the age of 10 and given his current last name. We have always wanted our family last name to be his birth name of Bovee. We gave our son that name at birth and thought I would just change after our marriage and then petition for his name change. Everything I read says that I can change my name to any last name he has ever carried. When I went to the ssi I was told I could not change to Bovee as it is not listed on our marriage certificate. Do I have to petition the court as well?
Hi Sara. You would have to petition to change to something other than his current last name.
I didn’t ask for my maiden name in my divorce decree, but I’ve been waiting to change it back to such. What is the process I should take?
Hi Shannon. You can try contacting the court clerk to get your divorce decree amended to include a provision restoring your maiden name. Short of that, you'll have to petition your circuit court for a name change.
Hello, I am a US citizen living in Florida, my husband is not a US citizen.
We are planning to get married in FLorida but I dont want to change my name till a few months after the marriage is that acceptable?
That's fine. There isn't a time limitation for name change.
I got divorced and requested that my maiden be restored at the court. How long do I have before I go to the SS and other place to have documentation changes? I have been divorced for 11 months now and have not change documentation with SS and other governmental places. My current document has my maiden name but ex-husband last name is on there as well.
There is no deadline. Take as little or as much time as you need.
I live in Florida and My divorce was final in Def 2018. I asked for a name change in the divorce. But I’m having a hard time wanting to change it due to my kids having the same last name. Since it’s in the finally judgement, do I have to legally change back to my maiden name? my ex-husband is throwing a fit because I haven’t changed it yet. But nobody even told me a timeframe that it had to be done in.
It gives you the option to change your name. It's not mandatory.
There's no time frame, as it isn't required.
Hello, I was divorced in Michigan back in 2002. I did not ask that my maiden name be restored, so I've been known as my ex-husbands last name for a very long time.
I'm getting married in Florida in a couple of weeks, and instead of taking my new husbands last name I'd like to revert to my maiden name.
Is this possible to do in conjunction with the new marriage license?
Hi Debra. You could try to get your Michigan divorce decree amended, but it's a long shot. If that's unsuccessful, you'll have to pursue a name change through the Florida Chancery Court, as your maiden name can't be derived from your marriage certificate.
My fiancé has TWO last names hyphenated and I just want to take one. Ex: Ray-Little
If I want to take the “Little” part, and drop my maiden name to that, can I?
Hi Caity. You'll have to take the full last name if changing your name through marriage.
I was married in 2016 in Florida. I did not want to change my last name after the marriage. But my husband is now in the process of adopting my daughter and she will have both my husband’s last name and mine. I want us to all have the same last names. Can I add his name to mine without requesting a petition for a name change? Can he also change his name?
Yes, to both.
Getting married in January. We are both Florida residents. I want to keep my Maiden name and add his, either with or without a hyphen. Do I need to petition the court for either?
Petitioning isn't necessary.
I never changed my last name back to my maiden name after I got divorce. Because it wasn't written on the divorce decree. Now I'm planning to remarry in CT at the end of the year. When I returned back to FL to change all my documents. Can i change my last name to take back only my maiden name and not take his last name? Or can I go back to my maiden name and add his last name?
You'd have to go to court.
Do you have to get fingerprints and background? I divorced and took back my maiden name and then got remarried and hyphenated my name (maiden name – hyphen new married last name) … can I just file a name change petition to remove the maiden name and hyphen or do I have to get the fingerprints, etc.
Hi Catherine. You'll still have to go through the whole cycle of fingerprinting. You can get your fingerprints done at the courthouse or possibly your local sheriff's office.
My wife and I got married in 2013 and she did not take my name. I would now like to take her last name. Can I do this using the certified copy of our marriage certificate?
Hi Jack. Yes, a certified copy would work.
my wife and i got married here in the Philippines, as of now her status in US florida is permanent resident(green card) (single).before we got married she already petition by her mother in US Florida.she just came back here in PH for our married.
now the question is she want to change her status for she could petition me and our kids. also changing her sur name. to all her document(SS, driver's, green card. etc…) whats the first step. thank you and God bless..
Hi Paul. If your wife changes her name on her green card, she can then change it on your social security record.
When I divorced I kept my married last name because we have a special needs son, of whom I am now the legal guardian. I just got remarried and would like to take my new husband's last name, but wonder if I should retain my former last name (ex's) for the sake of taking care of my son.
I am leaning towards fname middle name ex last name nh last name without hyphenating. Or dropping ex last name, if that does not complicate legal guardianship. I do not believe moving ex last name to middle name addresses my concern; however I would love some advice. Many thanks!
Hi Barbara. Changing your last name isn't going to negatively affect guardianship. You can simply choose whichever you prefer most.
I was legally divorced in Orange County but had decided to keep my married name, now a few years later I would like my maiden name back. How can I do this and is there a fee?
Hi Renee. If your divorce decree had explicitly restored your maiden name, changing your name across federal and state institutions would be simple. That document would be universally accepted to complete your name change.
Now, since your divorce decree doesn't mention your maiden name, the SSA would still be able to change it by referencing your maiden name on file. They keep a history of your name changes.
If your divorce was more than two years ago, you'll have to provide an identity document in your new name that shows your date of birth so that they can link up your current non-maiden name with your maiden name.
The problem you'll likely face afterward is with the DMV and other institutions. The SSA is quite flexible where others are more rigid. The FL DMV is not likely to accept your divorce decree as-is. This is why it's key to have the restored name on the decree to assure consistent acceptance.
You could try contacting the court to get your divorce decree amended to restore your maiden name.
Hello, My Wife of 5 years abandoned me 1 year ago I have no I idea where she is zero contact, I will be filing divorce soon one year to the date my Question is in Florida can I request on the petition to order the courts to have her remove my last name on the divorce decree ? Thank you
No, you wouldn't be able to do that.
Hi there! I have a weird situation I’m hoping to get some help with!
I did NOT change my last name to my husbands after marriage, about five years ago. I am interested in doing so now.
However, I was legally adopted by my stepfather after our marriage, and my last name was changed to his/my family’s name.
So now my last name doesn’t match what is on my marriage license. Will I need to go through the court to change my last name now? Or can I still just take my marriage license to the SS office, with my previous name, and go through the normal process?
Hi Michelle. When you go to change your name, bring your marriage certificate, adoption papers, court papers, and supporting ID to link the name transitions.
Thank you for your article. I really appreciate the information!
I would like to add my new husband's last name to the end of my name so it will be First, Middle, Maiden, Married sans hyphen. I believe after reading all this that I have to change my social security card and driver's license. Do I have to change anything else like bank accounts, auto registrations, bills, or can I use either last names interchangeably pretty much anywhere? I know that is a pretty general question but an idea of where I need to change it and where I don't need to would be wonderful!
Also, I just applied for a passport prior to the marriage (for our honeymoon). Do you know if I have to change the passport or can I use it without adding his name to the end since my driver's license will have both?
Thank you so much for your time!
After you change your name on your social security card and driver's license, it makes sense to follow through with what's remaining. Your credit bureaus will be notified of your new name. Taxes will have to be filed in your new name. Your legal name would be what the SSA has on file.
Keeping your bank accounts, credit cards, auto registration, etc, out of sync can give you hassles down the line.
Is it possible in Florida to put your Husbands last name in front of your maiden name with a space no hyphen?
Thanks for your help!
Hi Penny. Yes, it's possible.
Me and my husband just got married in Florida but were told that I should use my maiden name to sign the documents at the court. Will the marriage certificate be mailed back with my maiden name?
We were not asked if I wanted to change my name and told that we should proceed with the name change at SSA and DMV.
Will I have to go to the court in the state of Georgia where we live to change my last name?
That's normal in Florida. It's a nonissue.
I got married on August in Florida and I kept my last name but I want my husband last name.. what I need to do?
Hi Sonia. Florida doesn't provide spaces to choose a new last name after marriage when applying for a marriage license, so you're good to go. Just use your marriage certificate as-is to take your husband's name.
I’m planning on getting married at the end of May and my license expires 2 weeks after we get married. We will then move out of state. Would I be able to get my last name changed to his last name before my license expires or do I just renew the license and get the name changed in the other state later? What is the beat way to handle this?
Maybe. You must update your social security record before your driver's license.
It takes up to two weeks to receive your updated social security card in the mail, but you don't necessary have to wait to get it before updating your name at the DMV.
Even if you were able to update your current driver's license, you'll have to get another one when you move to wherever you're going.
You could wait to start your name change until after you move. If you decide otherwise, at least make sure your social security application mailing address points to where you're moving or have USPS mail forwarding set up.
My fiancee wishes to change his last to his birth father's last name so we can both have his real last name. How would we go about doing this? We are in FL.
Hi Kayla. He'd have to petition the circuit court within his jurisdiction.
Ok so I went to SS to change my last name (I got married) they changed it. Then went to DMV and they said no, his name is hyphenated. That I need to have both. I’m like if that was the case wouldn’t SS have told me this… they let me change it to one last name… who is right?
I’m so lost. Doesn’t Federal trump State? The worst part is I named my daughter using his first last name and not his hyphenated one… maybe the best for her… hyphenated names are confusing and hard to verify
It would have.
They're both right, going by their own rules.
They're separate. The SSA allows partial names (see the name change events section for examples) by default. If a state has name change rules written in its statutes, the SSA will adopt them, even if they override some of the more flexible default allowances.
Hi, I got married 14 years ago at Brevard Country. When I got married I put Bride’s Name section as my maiden name. Now I want to take my husband’s last name. I already changed my Social Security name, but how can I change the marriage license name? I went to the clerk of court office today and told they cannot change it.
I need a legal official document, that shows my legal name change, in order to apply name change on my permanent residence card. Thank you for your help.
Hi Amy. Your marriage certificate is proof of name change. Your spouse's name can be derived from it.
What is the process for taking a second marriage name change. I'm still using my first husband's name and want to change. How hard is it?
Hi Sherry. If you've remarried, you'd use your most recent marriage certificate to make the change.
Hi, I was married in Maryland in 1997 and divorced in 2003. At the time of marriage, I made my last name my middle name and took my ex husband's last name. I now want to go back to my maiden name, what do I need to do? What are the steps i need to take. I reside in Miami Beach. Please help!
Hi Barbara. If your divorce decree includes a declaration restoring your maiden name, use that to change your name. If it's missing, you'll either have to contact the divorce court for an amendment (longshot) or go for a legal name change through your circuit court.
Hello. My female girlfriend has been incarcerated for a (NOT a sex crime.) felony in Florida. She has fully completed her sentence, no parole or community control. Can she take my last name if we marry? Is there any time frame she must wait? Thank you.
Yes, she can take your last name. There's no wait time.
Hi, I have a question i would like to restore my former name My birth name later on my adopted parents changed my name at the age of 13 and i also was married at 18 but now i am divorced and would like to change my name back to the name i had before i was adopted. What do i need to do Do i need my adoption papers and my marriage and divorce papers ? I need help getting this done.
Hi Summer. You need a court ordered name change. The other documents you cited are unnecessary.
I was married in Las Vegas and divorced in Tennessee, all the while being a FL resident (military). I'm living back in FL and want to get my maiden name back, do I have to petition the court to get my maiden name back?
Hi Mia. You'd have to petition if your divorce decree doesn't contain an order restoring your maiden name.
Before heading to court, you may want to try and get your decree amended to restore your maiden name. There's no guarantee the judge will approve your request, but you've got nothing to lose by asking.
My Fiancé wants to use his mothers Maiden name in honor of his deceased Grandmother who he was very close to, and he wants me to take on that name as well once we are married. Can we do that in the state of Florida and just put that last name on the marriage liscense instead of the entire court process?
Hi Tori. A court-ordered name change would have to be completed before applying for the marriage license. Not only that, but an acceptable form of ID must reflect the new name before applying.
Hello. Newly wed and wondering if I can change my middle name to share the same middle name with my mother and daughter. Will I have to file a petition for this or just fill in the middle name i prefer in the line for "name to be shown on card?"
Hi Jane. If it's not your maiden name, you'd have to petition.
Hello I have a quick question. I am trying to change my last name. I am getting divorced (paperwork has not been finalized yet) and would like to go to a completely new last name. Not my maiden name.
There is a question on the paperwork that says "what name would you like to return to". I am wondering if I should put my maiden name here and then change it to the new name I'd like after everything gets finalized? Or can I simply put the new last name that I would like there on that form.
It says the words "return to" so I am unsure. I have also read that you have to provide documentation, besides your divorce papers, at the SS office that bears the last name you would like. I would not have any of those as I am trying to get a completely new last name. This is thoroughly confusing for me and all I need is to figure it out so I can file my papers. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!!!
Hi Angelique. Florida divorce proceedings can only restore a prior name. Anything else requires separate proceedings. At best, the court may be willing to file some of the successive paperwork for you.
My fiancee was just granted a divorce. Once we get the decree in the mail, we plan on going and getting married right away. Does he have to change his name twice (back to maiden then again to my last name) or only once by taking the divorce decree and marriage certificate? Thank you!
Hi Dave. Just once using the marriage certificate.
I am getting married in FL. My fiance has two last names, they are hyphenated, for example last-name. We both want to take his first last name when we get married and he would like the second last name to drop off. Is this possible or does he have to go to court. Thank you.
Hi Kim. He'll have to go to court. He'll want to make sure his ID is changed before applying for a marriage license so that you can change your name to match without also having to go to court.
Question: In Florida, if I'm getting married, can I use that name change opportunity to change my first and middle names too? Specifically, my 'given' name is technically my middle name, the one I go by, my signature is my first initial, middle, and last names. My mother, who named me, has never used my first name outside of in reference of legal records. Can I change my middle name to my first name, take a new middle name, and take my husband's surname at the same time?
Only the last can be done through marriage. The others have to be done through court.
In our culture, wife changes her middle name to husbands first name after marriage. Would this be possible without a court order?
No, it wouldn't be possible.
I going to be getting married really soon in florida and there some question I have about my future name. I would like to keep my first middle and hyphenate my last name (ex. Lilly Jane Johnson-Smith)
Doable using your marriage certificate.
Myself and my daughter or from Mississippi where I was married and she was born we now reside in Florida my husband her father has passed away we would both like our names to be changed to my maiden name how much would that cost just for us both to go to my maiden name
About $400 each.
Hi i am a FL resident and have been married for 5 years but did not change my last name. I now want to take my husbands last name. Is it too late? What steps do i take to change it if possible.
Hi Latonya. It's not too late to change your name. Use your marriage certificate the same as if you were married yesterday.
I’m getting divorced in a week… and I’ll be remarrying again… but i want to keep my actual last name which is still my husbands i don’t want to adopt a new last name when I remarry neither changed it to my single last name. Would that be possible?
That's fine. And it's what would happen by default.
I got married in 2010 and my name has been issue since then. My husband has two last names. They are not hyphen. My social security reflects Gonzalez; how ever the FLDMV told me I have to pick up his two last names Gonzalez Rivera.
The FLDVM told me to get a passport with just Gonzalez and they can change my name to Gonzalez on my driver license. But you can not just have a passport with that the name as it has to match your license. I only want to keep the Gonzalez and not the Rivera.
I am not sure what I need to do to get Rivera removed nor where to go or what form.
Hi AnaMaria. You may be able to get an updated passport without your driver's license. How old is your passport?
Hi when I got married years ago I was told not take my husband last name because of all paperwork and stuff but do want it and still do. Always felt bad I don't have his last name so want to hyphenate it I live in Florida how do I go about that what documents would I need?
Hi Marisa. You'll just need a certified copy of your marriage certificate to change your name. You can order a certified copy from the circuit court where you got your Florida marriage license or from the state Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Ok I ordered one and found was able to print from clerk website so I did that. So then now I just apply to change name one certain forms right?
Hi Marisa. Once you get your certified copy, you'll use it as proof of name change on the various federal and state forms.
Ok since my marriage certificate didn't know to change name on that or write it so how would I go about that get new one and get it signed by courts or something like that or is there another way without getting new marriage certificate
Hi Marisa. If your marriage took place in Florida, you don't need your new name explicitly spelled on your certificate. Your certificate can be used as-is to change your name. They'll just slice off your spouse's last name and append it to yours. They'll derive your new name from your spouse's. You don't need to do anything extra, or get a document changed, or reissued.
What about if you have credit cards in your name would I have to change that too or can I leave it since hyphenating my name
Hi Marisa. You don't have to change the name on your credit cards if you don't want to.
Ok thank you what about title to the car it's in both mine and my husband name
Hi Marisa. You don't have to update that either.
Thank you I guess in Florida it make it different that's what I want add the hyphenated name and change the legal documents not have to change everything thanks
I have a few questions. My husband and I were married in November 2020. I have not changed my name yet, because I just haven't had the time/money to make all the changes. I would like to change my name, and maybe just hyphenate my last name with his or just use the 2 last names. (ex: Melissa C. Jones Smith or Melissa C. Jones-Smith). Is there any difference in either of these versions as far as legal documents are concerned?
I know I will have to change my name on my ss card and license, and probably my passport. Other than my ss card, license and passport – I have a bank account/debit card (mine only, we don't have a joint account), medical insurance, and car title/ins/registration. If I use both last names, do I have to change all to both last names, or can I just leave the bank info, medical insurance, car title/ins/registration with just my maiden last name. I just paid for the 2 year vehicle registration last year, and I would hate to have to pay again?
Also, I just paid for and received my passport this past summer (was supposed to be for our honeymoon that we couldn't go on). Will I have to pay again to change my name on the passport or will they be able to adjust it?
There's no difference.
You don't have to update them all, at least not right away. Some of it is delaying the inevitable making it harder on yourself to juggle different names. However, the Florida DMV does say you must update your car title along with your driver's license within 30 days of a name change.
You shouldn't have to pay the full registration fee just to change your name. You'd just be requesting a duplicate registration.
Passport name changes done within a year of the last reissue will not incur a fee.
My fiance and I live in Tennessee and want to get married in Florida. We are merging our last names (Whiting + Castaldini –> Castlewhite). Would we need a court order in Tennessee or in Florida to make the change? Do we wait to make this change until after we have a marriage license or can we start it early? How long does the process take on average? What do we put on our marriage license, knowing this is what we want to do – should we just use our original names until we go to court?
Your state of residence, which would be Tennessee.
It doesn't matter, as the process is legally disconnected from your marriage.
It doesn't take very long, as there's no newspaper publication requirement. You'll need to appear before a judge. Depending on how jammed the court is, you may may be able to get it done fast. Contact your county courthouse for availability and instructions.
You'll have to pay a fee. Around $150 or so. It varies by county.
You'll use whatever your current name is at the time. Your current ID must also reflect the name you put on your marriage license application.
In Florida, can I change my maiden name to be a second middle name instead of removing my current middle name? Example- changing from (f)Kaitlyn (m)Jane (l)Sanchez to (f)Kaitlyn (m)Jane Sanchez (l)Smith
Hi Kaitlyn. Unfortunately, no, you couldn't append. At least not through marriage.
I’m in the process to get divorce, to finalize the divorce they are asking me if a want to change my last name, I’m in the middle of my naturalization for citizenship I don’t want to be a problem with that and also I don’t want to deal with all the paperwork changes right away ? can I ask to change the last name in the decree and not take action right away ? Or will I have to because the citizenship process??? Thank you
Sure, it's optional.
I live in Florida… all I want to do is add my new husband's surname to my maiden name with hyphen. What will I need to do so? And where do I start?
HI Elena. Your marriage certificate as-is will suffice for name change purposes. You needn't do anything special beyond that.
I got married in Florida last year. I want to change my current middle name to my maiden name and change my maiden name to my married last name. For example, Sarah Betty Smith to Sarah Smith Jones. Will my marriage certificate allow this name change or do I need to go to court to change this?
I live in Florida and will be getting married this December. My fiancé has two last names and he wants to drop the second one. I would like to take his first last name and move my maiden name to my middle name but we just found out it isn’t possible without going to court for him to remove his second last name first.
If he goes to court to drop his second last name and the name change is not processed by the time we need to get our marriage license, can I later use the marriage certificate and his court papers to change my name at the DMV? Or will they want me to take both his last names since that’s what’s going to be in our marriage certificate?
No, you can't use his court order.
Correct. The easiest path is for him to finalize his name change and then update his ID to match before applying for your Florida marriage license.
So if I move my last name to my middle name and take my new husband's last name then there is nothing more I need to do, in Florida?
And if I just leave my name as us then I have to do paperwork?
"Maiden to middle
A married woman in Florida also has the option of taking the surname of the husband and moving her name to the middle. This does not require a legal process, but only a marriage certificate to be effected. In fact, in this State, the only time you need a legal name change is when you are not taking the last name of your husband."
I'm confused…when do I not need to change my name with the SSA?
Can I keep my last name but socially go by my husband's last name?
If you're not changing your name, there's no paperwork. There's nothing to do.
That's referring to a name change that doesn't involve your husband. For instance, if you wanted to change your last name to something else entirely, such as your great-great grandmother's maiden name. Or making up a brand new name.
My last name has two words. We got married in Kansas and my wife took the first word of my last name as her last name. Before that, last name was from her first marriage, not her maiden name (even after divorce). So her official last name was changed to the first word of my last name in Kansas in her SSN, and her Kansas DL.
We recently moved to Florida and when we went to get her Florida DL, we were told she MUST use both the words of my last name as her last name, or switch to her maiden name. This seemed odd because her SSN already had her last name as only the first word of last name! Now the last name in her SSN and DL does not match. How do we change the last name on her DL to just the first word of my last name (like in her SSN and what she had in Kansas)?
Hi Dhaval. Your wife's Kansas driver's license may not be sufficient ID for Florida DMV. Same for her social security card. Passport is considered valid ID. So if your wife has a passport in her married name (or can attain one), that might be enough. You'll want to contact them in advance to confirm if your problems stem from lack of primary ID.
Thank you. They kept saying "it's the law in Florida". So let me call and check if they will accept only the first word of my last name as her last name if it's in the passport.
I can tell you it’s not a Law at all and I’m really going to push the issue because it should be made public and on the FLHMV site. Still not understanding how state over rules Federal law. I’ve been on every site I was sent to for looking up marriage name change laws in Florida and every title and chapter I looked at dealing with name change does not state these rules. The DMV can’t even provide you with the “law” of you ask for them. It’s just their word against yours.
Weird situation but I have a question. I have been married/separated (not legally) almost same amount of years but I had a child with someone else years ago and I'm now getting a divorce but I want to change my last name to match my child's last name (has bio father's last name) not legally my soon to be ex husband's child/last name. Can I legally get my last name changed to match my child's last name during the divorce? How do I do it? I'm in Florida.
You'd have to pursue a separate court petition. During divorce proceedings you can explain this to the judge and they may be able to help initiate your case, saving some time.
Hi, I was divorced back in 2009. My maiden name was restored in the divorce decree however, due to the overwhelming complexity of all the documents you need to change your name, I did not change my name back to my maiden name.
I recently remarried in Nov 2019 and did not take my new husbands name. I would now like to restore my name to my maiden name as listed in the previous divorce decree.
I understand there is no deadline however, do I have to go through the courts since it was restored approximately 12 years ago or can I just complete all the forms with Social Security, DMV, Passport office etc. and pay the fees for those forms.
Hi Marg. You don't have to do anything different. Just use your divorce decree as your authorizing name change document.
Got married in 2020 and we were told at courthouse that wife had to have both my last names. My second last name is mother's due to being born in Puerto Rico.
That's correct. She must take your complete last name. She can't take only half.
I’m going through the same thing. My husband is Dominican and has never been to the USA. There the wife only takes the first sure name of the husband. They are made up rules the tax collector office decided. They can’t even provide you with a title or chapter of this made up rule.
I’ve spoken with SSI that’s a federal/national sector and the circuits of court and was told my name change was legal and fine. From my understanding is the tax collectors office is a private business and they make up their own rules.
I was told east coast Florida DMV has different rules. I have family that and friends that have married and only took the first surname. I was told to either do my passport first, find a dmv that’s not tied with the Tax collection office or a $400.00 name change petition and then I can have my name the way I want. SSI has already sent my new ss card with the name I gave them. This is rather annoying.
Hi Brittni. As you said, you can try another office to interact with another agent.
My granddaughter and I have a guardianship over my grandson which is her brother. She recently got married and changed her social security card, driver's license, and other documents. However the letters from the court for the guardianship have her maiden name. How do we change it to her married name?
You can contact the family court for the proper form and procedure to update the court records.
I’m having an issue with the name change. My husband is not American and live in DR. He has Two last names. I only want his first surname. I’m being told at the Tax collector/DMV that I have to have both of his name per law. They can’t give me or find the information to prove that it’s a law.
SSI has already changed my name but I’m being told that I need to go back and change it the way they want it to be. These information is not public knowledge now will they give me the piece of paper they showed me with this information.
Hi Brittni. Taking one-part of your spouse's last name is not something accepted in most states. It's not that there's a written law, rule, or statute that bans it, but there's nothing that declares it okay. The agent is using the nonexistence of the declaration to deny your request.
My fiancé and I are currently residents of North Carolina but getting married in Florida in March. We plan on hyphenating our last names to Parson-Chambliss, combining both her maiden name and my surname. Would we need to file a petition in order to change our last names?
Hi Sheldon. Your fiance could hyphenate through marriage, but you would have to file a petition.
I am trying to add my wife's last name. Can I just go to the social security office and do it in person?
Yes, you can either file your social security name change in person or by mail.