Changing your name in Florida could not be easier. There are many reasons why you might want to change your name. You may want to change your name because you have recently been married or divorced or just want to be called by a different name. Whatever the reason, there are some steps you can follow that will help you change your name successfully if you are a resident of Florida. Most name changes are allowed for almost any reason if the forms are filled out correctly and filed properly. Our Team at TJ’s Legal Document Services are here to assist.
How old do you have to be to change your last name in Florida?
Florida law requires certain things before you can file for a name change (for an adult) and/or during the name change process in Florida. These requirements include: You must currently reside in Florida. You must currently live in the County where the name change action will be filed. You must be an adult, 18 years of age or older.
Keep in mind that if you change your name in Florida due to marriage, divorce, or personal reasons, you will need to update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and the Division of Driver Licenses. You will need to change your name on your: Social Security card.
SOME COMMON REASONS FOR NAME CHANGES
Common reason for a name change is to regain the use of a maiden name after a divorce, or last name of a child after an adoption. The court will examine the documents you provide and decide that there is good and sufficient reason for the name change and that it is consistent with the public interest. Keep in mind that for minors, the court must determine whether the name change is in the best interest of the child and will generally require consent from every adult with legal rights over the child.
FLORIDA LIMITS ON NAME CHANGES
The court will approve most name changes. However, there are some names that the court will deem unacceptable. You cannot change your name to an obscenity, racial slur or other type of offensive word. The court will not allow name for malicious reasons, such as changing your name to the same name as your ex’s girlfriend or boyfriend. You cannot change your name to the name of a celebrity or use punctuation in your name.
SOME TYPES OF NAME CHANGES ARE COMPLICATED
If you have been convicted of a felony, there are circumstances where the court might allow you to change your name, but it’s unlikely that you will be successful with this on your own. If you are seeking a post-conviction name change, we can recommend an attorney to help you with your case. Please refer to our Resource page.
Please keep in mind that you are required to have a Background check
In Florida, the name change process starts with checking your criminal history. In order to do this, you must have your fingerprints submitted for a state and national criminal records check. The fingerprints will be taken by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and will be submitted electronically for testing.
Call your local County Court Clerk's office to figure out which law enforcement agency in your area is best for getting fingerprints done.
Most often, you can have your fingerprints taken at the local county Sheriff's office.
You will get an official document stating the status of your criminal history. Make sure you keep this form and make a copy for yourself
What are some common reasons for changing your legal name?
- Personal Choice. You may simply not like your name or may want a name that is more easily spelled or pronounced. With TJ’s Legal Document Services, you can change your last name, first name and/or middle name.
- Change a Child's Name. The absence of a parent in a child's life, changes in parental rights/custody, and paternity determinations are among the most common reasons to change a child's name.
- Share a Last Name. Couples may want to create a hyphenated or entirely new last name for themselves.
- Divorce. If you took your spouse's last name upon marriage, you may want to resume a former name if you separate or divorce. In most states, it is easy to include a name change in your Divorce Decree.
- Fraud and Name Changes. The court will not grant a name change that is requested for a fraudulent or illegal purpose such as evading criminal prosecution or a civil lawsuit, avoiding creditors, or identity theft.