I was born in Michigan in 1970 with my fathers last name. In 1978 my mother married my stepfather and they were advised that I could just take his last name, it was uncontested. I obtained a ss card and dl in Ohio. I used his name through school until I was married in 1992. I was divorced and married again to my children's father in 1997. We divorced but I kept his name since it matched my children's. I am currently using the same name in 2016. I moved to Florida a few months ago and they will not give me a dl because I can't connect my name on ss card and ohio dl to my birth certificate. I have spoken to an attorney who wants to charge me 4000! I can't afford that, there has to be an easier and cheaper way. I downloaded the paperwork to file it myself for 400 but it wants legal documents about my name changes. I do not have any paperwork to connect my birth name and my stepfathers name it doesn't exist. I am hoping to get all my legal name changes to present with the filing of the name change, but can't connect the birth name to my current name. I am hoping to be able to show the judge it was ok back then to do it. I can back track through ss printout and marriage licenses to 1986
Well, you're absolutely right that you're not going to be able to produce any legal documents that will satisfy an agency in a state that requires them. Under Ohio law, an individual is permitted to use any name she wants, as long as the name chosen is not being used for a fraudulent or immoral purpose. Arguably, when you obtained a driver's license in Ohio under your "assumed" name, you invoked that statute, and it thereby became your legal name. Every state is required by the United States Constitution to give "full faith and credit" to the laws of every other state, so THEORETICALLY, the Florida department of motor vehicles should be required to give you a driver's license in "your" name. Unfortunately, that "theoretically" is a big word, and not just because it's in capital letters. You could very well have to ask a Florida court to order the department to issue you a driver's license in your name, and it may very well turn out to be easier and cheaper in the long run to institute name change proceedings in the first place. A friend of mine wanted to have her name legally changed to her nickname, for no other reason than to permit it to appear on her high school diploma (apparently her school district isn't very impressed with Ohio law, either). She filed an application with the county Probate Court, without a lawyer, and had her name legally changed before graduation. If you are still a resident of Pomeroy, you might want to try that approach yourself before shelling out $4,000 to have a lawyer do it for you. Another approach would be to petition the issuer of your birth certificate to amend it. I was able to have this done for myself when I was unable to obtain a passport because of an error on my original birth certificate. If you are going to be forced to consult a Florida attorney to get this issue resolved, you should search for one, first, on the Avvo website. But don't give up if you don't like the fee you are quoted; keep looking until you are satisfied. The last thing you want is to be charged for driving without a valid driver's license in Florida!
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