If you're recently married in Florida and ready to make a name change, here's a step-by-step guide to taking that next steps.
Step 1. Choose your new name.
Step one to any name change is deciding what your new name will be, and today’s couples are mixing it up in many different ways. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll need to fill out your marriage certificate with your new name, so you’ll have to nail it down pretty early in the game.
Newly married residents of Florida can take their partner’s last name, hyphenate their maiden name and their partner’s last name, or take their maiden name as their middle name as a part of the standard married name change process. However, if you and your partner are creating an entirely new last name, you’ll both need to file a legal name change and undergo a separate process.
Step 2. Obtain your marriage certificate.
As a part of the process of changing your name in Florida, you’ll need to obtain a marriage certificate at the County Clerk’s office. Rest assured, you can visit any country clerk’s office in the state, and it does not have to be in the county you reside or the county where your wedding will take place.
You’ll both need to appear in-person at the clerk’s office and bring a government-issued photo ID.
Sarasota Beach Wedding and Photography offers a lot of information on this topic HERE.
Step 3. Get married!
Once you’ve selected your new name and obtained your official marriage certificate, it’s time to go get married! No matter where your wedding takes place in Florida, your Florida wedding officiant will sign your marriage certificate.
Your officiant will then be responsible for returning the marriage license to the Clerk’s Office (the same one who issued the certificate) within ten days of your wedding ceremony. You’ll then receive your official marriage certificate and certified copies by mail.
Step 4. Change your name with Social Security.
Once you’ve received your completed marriage certificate, you can head to your local Social Security office to make your name change in Florida officially official. The Social Security office is the first place to visit, as other government offices won’t recognize your name change until you’ve updated it on your Social Security card. Fortunately, this process is free and pretty straightforward. Just download and fill out the application for a new Social Security card—you’ll need to include your birth name and married name. Print out the form and bring it, as well as a certified copy of your marriage certificate, a photo identification (driver’s license, state identification card, or passport), and proof of citizenship (birth certificate or Certificate of Naturalization) to your local Social Security Office. While you can apply for a new Social Security card by mail, it’s less desirable because you’ll have to send them your certified marriage license and original ID, and be without them for a few weeks while your forms are processed.
Step 5. Head to the DHSMV for your driver’s license name change.
Next up on your name change checklist is visiting the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for a new driver’s license. This must be done in person and requires a $25 fee. When figuring out how to change your name after marriage in Florida, know that you’ll have to visit the DHSMV within 30 days of your name change to make things official. You’ll need to bring along a certified copy of your marriage license, your current driver’s license or state identification card, proof of citizenship (passport, birth certificate), proof of social security (original social security card, pay stub or W-2 form), and proof of residential address in the form of two separate documents, such as a mortgage, voter registration card or utility bill.
Step 6 Switch your name on other documents and with other providers.
Although these updates are less time-sensitive, you’ll need to change your name in several other places, including, but not limited to:
Bank and credit card companies
Car title and registration
Social media accounts
Happy planning and RELAX we got you!
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