Name Change Statute (Section 68.07, Florida Statutes)

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.


(a)Before the court hearing on a petition for a name change, the petitioner must have fingerprints submitted for a state and national criminal history records check, except if a former name is being restored. Fingerprints for the petitioner shall be taken in a manner approved by the Department of Law Enforcement and shall be submitted electronically to the department for state processing for a criminal history records check. The department shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing. The department shall submit the results of the state and national records check to the clerk of the court. The court shall consider the results in reviewing the information contained in the petition and evaluating whether to grant the petition.

(b)When a petition is filed which requires a criminal history records check, the clerk of the court shall instruct the petitioner on the process for having fingerprints taken and submitted, including providing information on law enforcement agencies or service providers authorized to submit fingerprints electronically to the Department of Law Enforcement.

(c)The cost of processing fingerprints and conducting the state and national criminal history records check required under this subsection shall be borne by the petitioner for the name change or by the parent or guardian of a minor for whom a name change is being sought.

(3)Each petition shall be verified and show:

(a)That the 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 the petitioner, the petitioner’s father’s name, the petitioner’s mother’s maiden name, and where the petitioner has resided since birth.

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

(d)If the 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 the petitioner has ever been adjudicated a bankrupt and if so, where and when.

(h)Whether the 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 the 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.

(4)The hearing on a petition for restoring a former name may be held immediately after it is filed. The hearing on any other petition for a name change may be held immediately after the clerk receives the results of the criminal history records check.

(5)On filing the final judgment, the clerk of the court 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 must 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 of the court shall provide the petitioner with a certified copy of the final judgment.

(6)The clerk of the court must, upon 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.

(7)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.

(8)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.

(9)This section does not apply to any change of name in proceedings for dissolution of marriage or for adoption of children.

Please note that this is up-to-date as of November 3, 2013.  For more current versions of Florida Statutes, visit Online Sunshine.


About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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4 Responses to Name Change Statute (Section 68.07, Florida Statutes)

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