Many Floridians want to change their legal name. Sometimes it is because they recently found out that the name they have always used is different than the name on their birth certificate, and they are now unable to renew their driver’s license under the federal REAL ID Act. Sometimes it is because they want to honor a stepparent or foster parent by taking on a surname. Sometimes it is because they want to take on a name that matches their gender identification.
And sometimes it is because they simply don’t like their current legal name.
Whatever the reason, many people who do seek a name change wonder, “Do I need a lawyer?”
The short answer is no. A lawyer is not technically required.
However, many Floridians do not realize that the process to change a name is a court process. It is not a matter of filling out a form and having a bureaucrat change a birth certificate.
Rather, someone who wishes to take on a new name must file a petition with the appropriate clerk of the court. The petition must strictly comply with section 68.07, Florida Statutes, and include where the person has resided since birth, an employment history, arrest record, money judgment record, and other information.
The petitioner must get a background check through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Finally, in most counties, the petitioner must go in front of a circuit court judge and provide testimony so the court can determine whether to grant the request for a name change.
Though some people may feel comfortable going through this legal process alone, many people prefer to have an attorney experienced in name changes to usher their petition through.
If you have questions regarding the legal name change process and wish to speak with an experienced name change lawyer, schedule a consultation with Adam B. Cordover at (813) 443-0615 or CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.