How to Change Your Name in Florida

Here's everything you need to know to make a surname swap in the Sunshine State.
by The Knot

Planning to take a new last name postwedding? If you reside in the Sunshine State (or any state for that matter) the legal process can feel anything but sunny. We know you have tons of questions, like "Where do I start a name change in Florida?," "What does a Florida name change cost?" and "What Florida name change forms will I need?" That's why we've created this comprehensive guide.  

Ready to take the plunge? Know that changing your name in Florida must occur across a few mediums: A social security name change, a passport name change and a driver's license name change are the first three steps to take. Each of these mediums has its own set of instructions and forms that need to be completed. From there, you'll also want to tackle smaller switches, which include everything from updating social media to transferring airline rewards to your new title.

Florida couples should be prepared to make some visits to local offices, spend time filling out paperwork and paying the applicable fees. In addition, organizing everything beforehand will ensure your time isn't wasted.

If you're less of a do-it-yourself type of person and would rather have a seasoned pro guide you through a legal name change in Florida, we highly recommend HitchSwitch. The  name change service specializes in simplifying the legal process. Better yet, its packages start at just $39 (which is so worth the price for the time you'll save). While the company's staff can't wait in DMV lines for you (bummer, we know), they'll give you exactly what forms you need for your state and even autofill paperwork for you. On top of all that, they're prepared and happy to answer all your nitty-gritty Florida-specific questions.

Whether you're tackling the task on your own or you've got HitchSwitch by your side, here's a closer look at last name changes in Florida after marriage. 

Florida Social Security Name Change

The first step in the process is a name change with the Social Security Administration (SSA). Changing your name with the SSA is crucial because you'll be asked to provide verification of your Social Security number (with your new name) when you head to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to get your driver's license, vehicle title and registration changed.

The SSA doesn't offer an online name change process, so you have to apply in person or mail a completed application. Visit SSA.org and enter your zip code to locate the Florida SSA office nearest to you.

What name change forms do I need?

First, print off and complete a Form SS-5. This is the official Application for a Social Security Card.

Other documents you need to certify a change of name in Florida include:

  • Marriage certificate or court order depending on the type of name change 
  • Proof of identity such as your driver's license, state-issued non-driver's ID card or U.S. passport. The SSA may also be able to accept an employer ID card, school ID card, health insurance card or U.S. military ID card. Head to their website to see a full list of documents they accept.
  • Proof of citizenship such as your U.S. birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship

How much does it cost?

There's no charge to get a social security name change in the state of Florida.

Important things to remember:

The SSA, and many other institutions, only accept either the original documents or certified copies of those documents. Regular photocopies or notarized copies unfortunately aren't allowed. You can ask the original institutions that certified the documents for certified copies, such as the DHSMV for a certified driver's license copy. There may be a small fee required, but sending out a certified copy, as opposed to the original, offers convenience and peace of mind knowing that the only copy of your important document isn't out of your hands.

When all the paperwork is completed and assembled, send it to your local Social Security Administration office, which you can find here. (Psst, buy the HitchSwitch Full Service plan for $69 and get pre-paid mailing envelopes with your package of printed, autofilled paperwork.) You can also deliver it in person. 

Reporting your name change to the Social Security Administration doesn't mean you'll be issued a new Social Security number. As soon as your application is processed, you'll simply get a new Social Security card as well as all the documents you submitted back.

Florida Passport Name Change

Once you've finished the SSA process, Jake Wolff, the founder of HitchSwitch, recommends getting a passport with your new last name—even if you don't foresee yourself traveling abroad anytime soon. That's because you can then use the passport to update your driver's license. Having two documents with your married title on them makes the DHSMV process much easier.

Like the SSA name change process, this process is nationally standardized—AKA it isn't actually specific to Florida. It typically requires a fee depending on how long it's been since your current passport (if you have one) was issued. For more information about the options below, visit the State Department's complete guide to passport name changes.

If your passport was issued less than one year before your name change:

A passport that was issued less than a year ago can be updated free of charge. That is, unless you need expedited service. To get your passport updated quicker, you're required to pay a $60 fee.

If your passport is less than one year old, you need to submit Form DS-5504 along with your current passport, an original or certified name change document (your marriage certificate or court order) and a new color passport photo. Be aware that the image must abide by certain regulations, which you can find here. Not sure how to get one? The HitchSwitch Platinum package ($89) includes a free, printed passport photo.

Find the DS-5504 form here, which you can fill out using the online guide or print it out and complete by hand. When the form is complete, mail it, the other required documents and the fee (if applicable) by following the instructions listed on the form.

Was your current passport issued over a year ago? You'll have to complete either Form DS-82 or Form DS-11 instead. Figure out if you qualify for Form DS-82 using this criteria:

  • Your most recent passport is in your possession and undamaged.
  • You were at least 16 years old when it was issued.
  • It was issued within the last 15 years.
  • You have the certified documentation you need (like a marriage certificate) to reflect your name change.

If you ARE eligible to use Form DS-82:

If you qualify to use Form DS-82 (AKA the Renewal Application) the process for applying for a new passport is the same as the one mentioned above, with the exception of the type of form and fee required. Complete Form DS-82 using the online guide or print the form and fill it out by hand. You need to send Form DS-82 along with the original or a certified copy of your name change document, your current passport, a new color passport photo and a fee. 

The passport name change cost is:

  • $140 for a passport book and card
  • $110 for just a passport book
  • $30 for just a passport card
  • Additional optional fees, like expedited service, listed here

Send your completed application package following the DS-82 form instructions. 

If you're not eligible to use Form DS-82:

If you learn that you're not eligible for a passport name change using Form DS-82, you'll need to use Form DS-11. You'll have to complete Form DS-11 in person. It's available on the State Department website and can either be filled out online or printed and completed by hand.

In addition to your completed Form DS-11, you need to include:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (original or certified plus a photocopy)
  • Valid ID and a photocopy of the ID
  • Passport photo
  • Original or certified copy of your name change document (unless your ID already reflects your name change after marriage)
  • Fee

Next, choose the correct fee for your application:

  • $140 + $35 execution fee for a passport book and card
  • $110 + $35 execution fee for a passport book
  • $30 + $35 execution fee for a passport card

Once you've assembled your name change package with Form DS-11, head to the nearest Acceptance Facility to finish the application process.

Florida Driver's License Name Change

Now it's time to pay the DHSMV a visit, as a Florida driver's license name change has to be done in person. Track down your local office at DMV.org.

What Florida name change forms do I need?

  • Current Florida driver's license, permit or ID
  • Marriage certificate or court order
  • Proof of citizenship, such as a valid U.S. passport, birth certificate (either the original or a certified copy) or a certificate of naturalization (N-550 or N-570)
  • Proof of Social Security number, such as your new Social Security card or W-2 form. If you receive an ineligibility letter from the Social Security Administration, bring it along with one document from Florida's GatherGoGet list.
  • Two documents that prove Florida residency, such as a utility bill, bank statement or school transcript

How much does it cost?

A Florida driver's license costs $25 to replace.

Important things to remember:

While you're at the DHSMV, ask about changing your name on your vehicle title and registration as well as your voter registration records—the office can help with both. For more information, visit the Florida DHSMV website.

The state of Florida allows reporting of a name change online only for military members who are stationed out of state. If this applies to you, complete the Florida DHSMV Email Response Form and select the "Name Change" option on the form. You need your Florida driver's license or ID card number and email address. The Florida DHSMV responds to these requests within two business days.

Miscellaneous Florida Name Change Tasks

Once you've secured a new Social Security Card, passport and Florida driver's license, Wolff recommends the following, in this order:

  • Updating your credit card and bank accounts
  • Updating your insurance
  • Sharing your new name with your employer
  • Updating the deed/title on your home
  • Updating your voter registration and vehicle title and registration documents, if you haven't already
  • Updating your information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) if you participate in a Trusted Traveler Program
  • Updating airline loyalty program information (so your rewards transfer)
  • Updating your email, social media accounts and everything else

Stressed about putting all these Florida name change forms together on your own? Remember: You don't have to. If you're okay with a slightly higher name change cost, purchase a HitchSwitch package and put all the organizing in someone else's hands. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

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