Florida Name Change Law

Name Change – General – Florida

Note:  This summary is not intended to be an all inclusive discussion of the law applicable to an action for change of name in your State,, but does include basic and other provisions.

Name Change Action Allowed: In Florida, a husband and wife may join with their minor children to change their names by filing an action in the Chancery Court with appropriate forms.

Who is an adult? A person who has attained the age of 18 years is considered an adult.

Who is a minor? A person who has not attained the age of 18 years is considered a minor.

Is there any reason why a person might not be allowed to change his or her name? Yes.  The court must find that the requested name change is consistent with the public interest.  A person is not allowed to change their name in order to avoid judgments or legal actions against him or her, or to avoid debts and obligations. A person can not change their name to defraud any person.

Must the child agree to the name change? No, but the court may consider the wishes of a child old enough to express their wishes in considering whether to grant the Petition.

Must the parent(s) of the minor agree to the name change? If the Petition is presented by only one parent, the Petitioner must give notice of the action to the other parent. This is done by serving a copy of the Petition upon the parent and filing proof of service with the court. If the missing parent is a non-resident, the court may authorize constructive service with proof of publication being filed with the court.

Following receipt of the parent’s response or upon expiration of the time for their response, the court may proceed to rule on the petition or issue such further orders as the court deems appropriate. This might include a hearing on the Petition.

Requirements for Name Change Order: For an order of name change to be granted, the court must finds sufficient reasons for the change and also find it consistent with the public interest. A change of name upon marriage, dissolution, or divorce meets these requirements.

Is Publication of a Notice Required? No.

Can individuals “object” to my Petition for Name Change? Yes.  Any reasonable objections made to the court may influence the court’s findings as to whether the change of name is consistent with the public interest.

After the court grants my Petition for Change of Name, may I obtain a new birth certificate? Yes.  See information below.

Procedures:

The process for obtaining a name change for an adult in the State of Florida begins with the filing of a Petition with the Superior Court in the jurisdiction in which Petitioner resides.  The petitioners must attach to the Petition a FBI fingerprint card for each individual getting a name change. The Petition informs the Court of the Petitioner’s name, the name the Petitioner wishes to adopt, information about the Petitioner required by statute such their education, marital status, and the reasons for the requested change of name.

The hearing on the name change may be held immediately after it is filed.

If the court finds that the requirements of the law have been satisfied and no reason exists for not granting the Petition, the Order will be issued by the court.  Thereafter, the Petitioner is free to assume their new name.

Additonal Information and Instructions:

Statutes:

Title VI Civil Practice and Procedure
Chapter 68 Miscellaneous Proceedings

Change of name:

(1) Chancery courts have jurisdiction to change the name of any person residing in this state on petition of the person filed in the county in which he or she resides.

(2) The petition shall include a copy of the petitioner’s fingerprints taken by a law enforcement agency except where a former name is being restored and be verified and show:

(a) That petitioner is a bona fide resident of and domiciled in the county where the change of name is sought.

(b) If known, the date and place of birth of petitioner, petitioner’s father’s name, mother’s maiden name, and where petitioner has resided since birth.

(c) If petitioner is married, the name of petitioner’s spouse and if petitioner has children, the names and ages of each and where they reside.

(d) If petitioner’s name has previously been changed and when and where and by what court.

(e) The petitioner’s occupation and where the petitioner is employed and has been employed for 5 years next preceding the filing of the petition. If the petitioner owns and operates a business, the name and place of it shall be stated and the petitioner’s connection therewith and how long the petitioner has been identified with that business. If the petitioner is in a profession, the profession shall be stated, where the petitioner has practiced the profession, and if a graduate of a school or schools, the name or names thereof, date of graduation, and degrees received.

(f) Whether the petitioner has been generally known or called by any other names and if so, by what names and where.

(g) Whether petitioner has ever been adjudicated a bankrupt and if so, where and when.

(h) Whether petitioner has ever been arrested for or charged with, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or been found to have committed a criminal offense, regardless of adjudication, and if so, when and where.

(i) Whether any money judgment has ever been entered against petitioner and if so, the name of the judgment creditor, the amount and date thereof, the court by which entered, and whether the judgment has been satisfied.

(j) That the petition is filed for no ulterior or illegal purpose and granting it will not in any manner invade the property rights of others, whether partnership, patent, good will, privacy, trademark, or otherwise.

(k) That the petitioner’s civil rights have never been suspended, or if the petitioner’s civil rights have been suspended, that full restoration of civil rights has occurred.

(3) The hearing on the petition may be immediately after it is filed.

(4) On filing the final judgment, the clerk shall, if the birth occurred in this state, send a report of the judgment to the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health on a form to be furnished by the department.

The form shall contain sufficient information to identify the original birth certificate of the person, the new name, and the file number of the judgment. This report shall be filed by the department with respect to a person born in this state and shall become a part of the vital statistics of this state. With respect to a person born in another state, the clerk shall provide the petitioner with a certified copy of the final judgment.

(5) The clerk must, within 5 business days after the filing of the final judgment, send a report of the judgment to the Department of Law Enforcement on a form to be furnished by that department. The Department of Law Enforcement must send a copy of the report to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which may be delivered by electronic transmission. The report must contain sufficient information to identify the petitioner, including the results of the criminal history records check if applicable, the new name of the petitioner, and the file number of the judgment. Any information retained by the Department of Law Enforcement and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may be revised or supplemented by said departments to reflect changes made by the final judgment. With respect to a person convicted of a felony in another state or of a federal offense, the Department of Law Enforcement must send the report to the respective state’s office of law enforcement records or to the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Department of Law Enforcement may forward the report to any other law enforcement agency it believes may retain information related to the petitioner. Any costs associated with fingerprinting must be paid by the petitioner.

(6) A husband and wife and minor children may join in one petition for change of name and the petition must show the facts required of a petitioner as to the husband and wife and the names of the minor children may be changed at the discretion of the court.

(7) When only one parent petitions for a change of name of a minor child, process shall be served on the other parent and proof of such service shall be filed in the cause; however, if the other parent is a nonresident, constructive notice of the petition may be given pursuant to chapter 49, and proof of publication shall be filed in the cause without the necessity of recordation.

(8) Nothing herein applies to any change of name in proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for adoption of children. Title VI Civil Practice and Procedure, Chap.68 Miscellaneous Proceedings, Sec.68.07.

Other Name Change References:

Title XXIX Public Health
Chapter 382 Vital Statistics

Amendment of records:

(1)  The department, upon receipt of the fee prescribed in s. 382.0255; documentary evidence, as specified by rule, of any misstatement, error, or omission occurring in any birth, death, or fetal death record; and an affidavit setting forth the changes to be made, shall amend or replace the original certificate as necessary.

(2)  Until a child’s first birthday, the child’s given name or surname may be amended upon receipt of the fees prescribed in s. 382.0255 and an affidavit signed by each parent named on the original birth certificate or by the registrant’s guardian. If both parents are named on the certificate but both are not willing or available to sign the affidavit, the registrant’s name may only be amended by court order.

. . .

(5)  If a father’s name is listed on the birth certificate, the birth certificate may only be amended to remove the father’s name or to add a different father’s name upon court order. If a change in the registrant’s surname is also desired, such change must be included in the court order or the name must be changed pursuant to s. 68.07.  Title XXIX Public Health, Chap.382 Vital Statistics, Sec.382.016.

Department to receive dissolution-of-marriage records; fees:
Clerks of the circuit courts shall collect for their services at the time of the filing of a final judgment of dissolution of marriage a fee of up to $10.50, of which 43 percent shall be retained by the clerk of the circuit court as a part of the cost in the cause in which the judgment is granted. The remaining 57 percent shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue for deposit to the Department of Health to defray part of the cost of maintaining the dissolution-of-marriage records. A record of each and every judgment of dissolution of marriage granted by the court during the preceding calendar month, giving names of parties and such other data as required by forms prescribed by the department, shall be transmitted to the department, on or before the 10th day of each month, along with an accounting of the funds remitted to the Department of Revenue pursuant to this section.Title XXIX Public Health, Chap.382 Vital Statistics, Sec.382.023.

Title VI Civil Practice and Procedure
Chapter 61 Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Custody

Dissolution of marriage:

(4)  A judgment of dissolution of marriage shall result in each spouse having the status of being single and unmarried. No judgment of dissolution of marriage renders the child of the marriage a child born out of wedlock.

Title VI Civil Practice and Procedure,Chap.61 Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Custody, Sec.61.052.


Inside Florida Name Change Law