What Paperwork Do I Need to Change My Name in Miami, Florida?

By Shewanda Pugh

What paperwork you need to change your name depends on the reason you are changing it. Since Miami, Florida is under the jurisdiction of Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida, the laws of those locations must be adhered to. Florida Statutes Chapter 68.07 covers name changes. Restrictions on name change apply. You cannot choose a name for fraudulent intentions or to interfere with the rights of others, you cannot select a name that is intentionally confusing or indecipherable (such as punctuation marks or numbers) and you cannot utilize words that are racial slurs, threatening or obscene.

Marriage/Divorce

If a name change is due to marriage or divorce, then documents to support the claim are readily available. Begin with the most important pieces of identification, and work from there. A visit to the DMV with an old driver’s license and certified marriage certificate are sufficient to start. This should be followed by a visit to the Social Security Office and an application to the U.S. Department of State with your new driver’s license and certified marriage certificate as proof for a name change.

In the State of Florida, the name on a car title is changed when the associated name on the driver is altered, so an additional visit is unnecessary. After all of these important documents are changed, others should follow. Visit the Department of Human Resources at your place of employment with your newly altered documents—driver’s license or passport and Social Security card and be sure to have the payroll department change your name on your tax forms.

Other Reasons

In most states you can legally change your name by usage only. This process involves no paperwork, and simply means that you must pick a name and use it consistently. Most people however, prefer to adhere to a legally binding practice. Florida Statutes Chapter 68.07 covers name changes. It requires that an individual petition the civil clerk’s office and that fingerprints, a national criminal history, bankruptcy proceedings and other record checks are performed before allowing such a change. The exception is if an individual is reverting back to a previous name. Fees apply.

About the Author

Shewanda Pugh attended Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She also holds a Master of Arts in writing from Nova Southeastern University. Pugh's work has been featured in several print publications, including the "Farquhar Forum," "Go!Riverwalk" and "Foreword Magazine."

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