How to change your name in Florida (2023)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or ratings.

If you need to change your Florida name, we're here to help. No matter what the reason, changing your name is a process that, while not difficult, has a number of potential pitfalls. Not having your signature authenticated or not having the correct forms with you for your hearing can add unnecessary time and expense to your name change process.

We've created a step-by-step guide on how to change your name in Florida, whether you're married, divorced, or just looking to change your name. We've also rounded up some common questions about how to change your name in Florida and found the answers.

Everything you need to know about changing your name in Florida is here.

Name change after marriage or divorce

If you are getting ready to get married, you can use your Florida marriage license application to apply for what your new name will be after marriage. Once your marriage is complete, you can use your marriage certificate as proof of your new name.

When you are getting divorced, you can change your name back to the name you used before your marriage by telling the court that you want to go back to your old name. There is a section on the dissolution of marriage paperwork where you can make it clear that you want to change your name to what you had before you got married.

However, after divorce, if you wish to change your name to anything other than your pre-marital name, you will need to follow the standard process below.

Florida name change: step by step

If you want to know how to change your name in Florida outside of marriage or divorce, then you need to follow these steps. This is also true if you want to change your name during the divorce to something different from your pre-marital name.

Step One: Background Check

Florida requires the Department of Law Enforcement to complete a state and national fingerprint-based background check for any name change other than a reversal to a previous name or a name change upon marriage. The fingerprint processing and background check costs must be paid before verification can begin. The bailiff will tell you where to do this.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement must have results within 72 hours, but federal verification may take longer. If you are using a third-party company for the background check, this can also add to the amount of time before moving on to the next step.

Step Two: Name Change Petition

The name change petitionis the document that must be presented to the court in order to consider your request for a name change. Remember thisYou must not sign the document until your signature is notarizedby notary public.

If someone (other than a lawyer) helped you complete the form, you will need to complete the bottom part of the form. Case information may be provided by the court clerk when you file your petition.

Step Three: Submit Your Petition

Once your petition is complete, you can file it with the circuit court along with the filing fee. The exact registration fee varies from county to county, but is generally around $400. For example, in Broward County, the registration fee is $401, and in Orange County, the current fee is $400. 412.50.

While waiting for your hearing, which could be on the same day, you must complete theFinal judgment of name change form. This is the form the judge will sign after the hearing and will serve as proof of your new legal name.

Step Four: Hearing and Final Presentation

At the appointed time, you will appear before the judge for the final hearing. There, the judge will ask any questions you have about the name change and, assuming everything is correct, sign off on the final judgment.

After the hearing, you will need to take the signed judgment on file and obtain certified copies that you can use to prove your new name. These copies are the only way the Social Security Administration or other government offices can update your new name.

(Video) How to legally change your name in Florida (Attorney Tips)

(Video) Name Change in Florida | How to get Name Change in Florida | Legal Name Change

Reasons for changing name

Some people may think changing a name outside of marriage or divorce is suspicious or shady. The truth is, there are many perfectly valid reasons to change a name. Some people just don't like the name they were born with or associate themselves with a different name for various reasons.

For example, many actors have to use variations on their names or completely new names to become members of the Screen Actors Guild. Others may choose to use a pseudonym professionally to separate their private and public lives, and sometimes decide that it makes sense to make their professional pseudonym their legal name.

Still other people change their names to reflect a change in life. Malcolm Little, for example, changed his name to Malcolm X and then Malik El-Shabazz to reflect the political and religious changes in his life.

There are many legitimate reasons to change your name outside of marriage or divorce. As long as you don't change your name for illegal purposes, there are few limits to what you can change or how often.

Keep in mind, however, that changing your name may require many additional steps to get the change reflected on your driver's license, passport, or Social Security card.

Help change your name

Changing your name is a fairly simple process, but there are services that can help you with the main steps involved.To change your name you have to

(Video) 3 Tips for Name Change In Florida

  • Follow the legal process described above and
  • Notify the Social Security Administration and other government agencies of your new name so it can be used.

For help with the first step, you can contact a local family law attorney or seek legal help online. There are also a number of online services and apps that can simplify the process of getting your new legal name official on all of your documents. Our guide toThe best name change servicescan help you find assistance at every stage of a Florida name change.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to change your name in Florida?

Typically, it takes one to six months from the initiation of a name change application until the change is granted. The amount of time it takes varies depending on how well the application is prepared and, more importantly, how busy the court is.

The hearing on your name change petition can be held immediately after the petition is filed. In this circumstance, the court may determine that all requirements have been met and will issue the order granting your name change, concluding the entire process on the same day.

Are there reasons why a name change would not be granted in Florida?

(Video) How to Change Your Business Name in Florida

You may not change your name in a way that infringes another person's rights; for example, you cannot change your name to that of a celebrity. You also may not change your name for fraudulent purposes, such as avoiding legal trouble or debt.

Your name change may also be denied if the new name is deemed offensive, obscene or misleading.

Do I need a lawyer to change my name in Florida?

No. If you are changing your name as part of a divorce, you may already have a lawyer, but you don't need to hire a lawyer just for a name change in this situation. There are online services that can provide help for a fee, and local court officials can provide free guidance.

Is the process the same for correcting a mistake on my behalf?

If you don't want to change your name, but rather correct an error in an official document, such as your birth certificate, you can file a petition to correct an administrative error. The exact form required varies depending on where the error occurred, but information can be found in the Office of Vital Statistics.


1. How to Change Your Name in Florida
2. Legal Name Change in Florida
(The Law Office of S.A. Peterkin)
3. Name Change in Florida
(Jonathan Jacobs)
4. How to Perform a Name Change in Florida | The Marks Law Firm
(The Marks Law Firm, P.A. )
5. Name Change for Driver's License Florida
(Okaloosa Tax)
6. Divorce Lawyer: Name Change - What is the legal process in Florida?
(Farber Law, P.A.)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated: 05/01/2023

Views: 6821

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.