Featured List

My Husband, The Criminal

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

UPDATE: Sanity has prevailed! Florida just dropped the charges, with an official saying "It was a mistake on our part." Glad to see the publicity pressured them into doing the right thing - and I guess John won't be getting a criminal record, after all. ;)

 

There's an article that just hit Yahoo a few hours ago about a Florida man who's been accused of fraud and had his driver's license suspended. Why? Because, over a year ago now, he took his wife's last name when they got married.

You might think this was a typical government paperwork blunder, but no; there's already been a hearing and everything: 

"Following a DMV hearing, Dinh was issued a Final Order on January 14 confirming that his license had been properly suspended for fraud."



Everyone say it with me, now: WHAT?!

Um, Florida? John did the exact same thing with me when we got married 14 years ago - right here in Florida - and other than a few raised eyebrows and one "You can't do that," we had no problems getting all of his IDs reissued with my last name. I should mention it was all John's idea, too, and I still remember the happy day during our engagement when I found the scrap of paper he'd been using to practice his new signature. It was his way of starting a new life with me. It was, as Mr. Dinh said in today's article, "an act of love." So when I read John that Yahoo article just now, I think he may have taken it just a little bit personally.

John: "Tell everyone. Get online and tell everyone. Tell the Florida DMV to COME AND GET ME."

So, yeah, I think you just ticked off my husband, Florida. Oh, and kindly send the fraud notice to John YATES, would you? 'Cuz that's his name. Don't wear it out.


Go read the article here, and many thanks to Melissa L. for the link.

Posted by Jen at 2:36 PM Labels:

65 comments:

  1. I actually saw that article this morning and thought of you guys! That's crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seriously, you guys rock. What does it matter which person changes their name or if they both change their name or no one changes their name? Government still makes money on all IDs that get updated so why do they care?

    Wonder if I will get contacted by the state of Rhode Island for taking my confirmation name as my middle name when I got married? (Was my grandmother's name and I got tired of the "what do you mean you don't have a middle name" explanations.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why is this still an issue? Sometimes I get baffled that it is 2013, the year when everyone thought that we would be living on the moon and taking our flying cars to work, and here we are fighting over who can and can't change their last names after marriage.

    WTF world?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't the flying car notion built in the 60s? I mean, the Jetsons still had a lot of old fashioned ideals.

      Delete
  4. I think John has this fantastic sense of adventure and danger. And if the DMV *does* come after him, may the troops and legions of the internet have your back!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wait! In Florida, husbands are allowed to take their wife's last name, but not use it? Is that it? Huh?!?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I feel ya John, I feel ya.

    I didn't take my husband's name and you'd think I was the oddest duck alive. Meanwhile it's perfectly normal for women not to take the husband's name and in Quebec you can't take your husband's name. Well I have had nothing but problems since. I get checks sent to me with his name and the bank doesn't want to cash them. The military, his employeer always lists my name wrong even when we clearly state what my name is. They even booked plane tickets in the wrong name, and I couldn't use them because my passport has my name, duh.

    I know people who have chosen new names, men who take women's names, and yet the world is still baffled that people might not conform to a 1950's standard.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My husband (also named John) took my name when we married 3 years ago in Indiana, and nobody batted an eye. The dentist's office hyphenated his name to keep their records straight, which is apparently what they do with any patient whose last name changes (it's a very small dentist's office).

    The only time he's been questioned was when he put me on his health insurance and we sent in a copy of our marriage license. They saw his old name on the license and had to call to ask for clarification. I thought the license made it pretty clear, but apparently not!

    ReplyDelete
  8. First of all... I had no idea John did that. How cool is he?? :) (Also, finding that scrap of paper has to be the sweetest thing on the planet. Okay, done gushing...)

    Second of all, as far as I'm aware, if you have your name legally changed, it doesn't matter if you're the husband or the wife, does it? ANYONE can change any part or whole of their name at any time. You just fill out the papers. Sure, you still have to write your former names on things like job applications or whatever, but it doesn't matter what gender you are or anything. You can change your name.

    Now, I'm not a lawyer of course, and I don't live in Florida, but this whole thing seems really fishy to me. If the DMV comes after John, I suggest it's time to lawyer it up because he's done absolutely nothing wrong or illegal. This is stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your husband really *IS* the perfect man!

    Amy LD

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mr. Sopena/Dinh is currently facing legal action from the FTC as part of a crackdown on mortgage relief scams. I highly suspect the driver's license issue is more closely related to that, than the fact he changed his name. (Probably sort of like how they got Al Capone on tax evasion.)

    Case No.0:12-cv-61872-RNS
    FTC File No. 112 3205

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting... when my husband and I got married in Chicago, IL nearly 20 years ago, we had four options. I take his. He take mine. We both keep ours or we could hyphenate.

    BUT... we didn't want to do that. We wanted to choose our own married name - a name that was OUR name. He said he wouldn't want to have to give up his name and so why would most women? Hyphenating just complicates things and then what would our future kids do? Johnson-Smith marries Anderson-Miller to become Johnson-Smith-Anderson-Miller?

    So, If we wanted to change our names to a completely new name, we had to do so through legal means - so that we could be checked out to be sure we were not trying to hide something about our identity. It would have cost about $500 (back then).

    OR... when my husband became a US citizen less than 2 years later (our getting married did not speed up the process and he already had a green card), my husband could change his name to WHATEVER in the world he wanted. He could have picked Darth Vader. And then, as his wife we could 'remarry' and I could take his new name as Ms. Vader. That would cost us the licensing fee - or $30. So, that's what we did nearly 2 years to the day after marrying the first time.

    So, I married the same guy twice without ever getting a divorce - and both were in the courthouse. Question is, if we ever were to need a divorce, which marriage would we need to nullify? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm gonna follow the 'wut' crowd on this one. I have friends who decided to combine their names into one that somehow managed to be one very sweet actual english word.
    I think the families were kind disappointed, and I can see the disadvantages, but I for one consider it awfully romantic.
    Ive actually considered keeping mine, since its sorta charming and looks great on my artist signature. But then again, Id be willing to give it up for my future husband, whoever he may be, if thats what he wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Florida has no idea what they've started. If they come for John they're going to have the entire interwebs after them.... We'll be waiting for the battle orders Ma'am!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Amazing that in 2013 this is still an issue. I have a friend who took his wife's last name when they were married, he had a really crappy childhood and wanted to ties to that. They live in Pennsylvania and I wonder if PA will be after him now...

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is awesome. You and John are awesome. And Florida should brace itself!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock is rolling her eyes so hard.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow. When we got married in Vancouver, BC, 20 years ago, we thought it was overkill that the license explicitly said either of us could take either person's last name (with minimal paperwork if done within some number of weeks). We briefly considered swapping names, just for kicks, but ended up sticking with the names we already had (besides, if I'd taken his name, my mailbox at work would have been on the top row, and I'm only 5'2").

    ReplyDelete
  18. Go John! Fight the stupidity! (My husband changed his name too! Virginia had a hiccup when it came to voting registration, but they figured it out)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wouldn't threaten the Florida DMV - my hubby just recently got his FL license unsuspended, even though we've been out of the state for 8 years. They kept losing paperwork and tacking on new suspensions for no reason.

    I agree, though, who cares who changes their name? I didn't change mine and though it's a pain to explain why we have two different last names, I wanted to keep my family name.

    You go, guys - your fans always have your back :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. My cousin changed his name to his step-dad's name when he got married. It was his was of honouring him since his biodad would never let him be adopted. Now him and his new wife have that last name so I can only imagine what the state would say about that.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, yeah. Ohhh, YEAAAHHH, State of Florida--bring it ON. Just try going after our Jen and John! I can hardly wait. By the time the dust settles after y'all's fans rise up and let 'em have it.... heh. Heh. Heh. Heh.

    P.S. cf. Redbook
    P.P.S. cf. Kids who were mean to Star Wars Katie
    P.P.P.S. cf. Participants in the CW Christmas Charities

    Etc. and etc. I repeat: Heh. Heh. Heh.....

    ReplyDelete
  22. A co-worker of mine and his wife both changed their names when they got married. Wonder what Florida would think of that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. My husband and I both changed our names when we got married. We had no issues at all, except at the local DMV. Thankfully my husband, being who he is, had looked up the law regarding name-change and knew the chapter/paragraph of the law, and recited it to them. After several recitations during his visit, they "let" him go through with the name change, though they gave him all sorts of ugly looks about it.

    Methinks that the folks at the DMV across the country need to brush up on their state laws regarding name-changes.

    ReplyDelete
  24. If he provided, as ID, federally issued documents like a social security card and a passport, how exactly is that fraud? And then it was fine for a year?

    Sounds like some sad chauvinist came across his record and decided it was "just wrong" for men to do that and wanted to harass him.

    ReplyDelete
  25. There isn't a law that states the female MUST take the male's last name in a marriage (and what about same-sex couples? :P). I know a couple who picked a brand new last name when they got married - it was neither his nor hers. Take that, Florida!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Umm ... people change their names ALL THE TIME! First and last. As long as he went through the proper legal channels for a name change, your state has fully jumped off the deep end ... May I suggest you move to California post haste, we have a Disney too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I don't see John's post, but overall...our gov't is insane. Just absolutely insane. I mean, they only make money off of someone changing their name...who cares what gender the person is?

    There was a man in one of my friend's church with the last name of Semen. Yes, spelled that way and everything. So when he got married he took his wife's name--I think it was Jones--because he got really, really tired of all the teasing. He was like finally I have a normal name!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I thought you could use any name you wanted as long as you were not trying to defraud anyone! As in using my neighbors name to buy something! Or.is if just Florida? I know a few people whos husband took the wife's name in order to carry on the name, as all the children were female at the end if the line. one even named the first boy with the wives last name, and the next one with the husbands last name. Whatever works. As long as you are not doing it to cheat people, its supposed to be legal.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I thought that when you get married either the wife can take her husbands name the husband can take the wives name or both can take a third name that is neither. my husband and i strongly considered taking his mothers maiden name when we got married. also there is no limit to when you change your name if you get married and keep your name then deiced 10 years latter you want to change your name you can.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hope the troops and legions of the internet are already gathering for this cause. I just read the article and mr Dinh sounds like a lovely husband. I hope this gets sorted out for him and his wife soon!

    ReplyDelete
  31. heck, you can go to the DMV and change your name to just about anything you want- marriage or no. If the guy followed the protocols for a name change what is the problem? in my state I can even call myself anything I want, as long as my taxes are paid by my legal name and SS#. (and I suppose if arrested I tell authorities my legal name.)

    ReplyDelete
  32. My husband and I combined our names to avoid hyphenation, and the only place where we've had any negative feedback was at a state park in South Carolina while on our honeymoon.

    Park Ranger: That's an unusual name, ya'll German?
    Husband: No, actually, my wife and I combined our names so it's totally new.
    Park Ranger: We frown on that sorta thing 'round here.
    Husband: It's 2011.

    Could not be any clearer in that moment as to why I married him!

    ReplyDelete
  33. First of all: John keeps getting dreamy-ier by the minute. I would have loved if my husband offered to keep my (easy to spell/pronounce) last name!

    Second: Really Florida? Really?

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think I changed my drivers license before anything else when I got married so there wasn't a problem. I don't think it's because a man took his wife's name but didn't have the proper id to change other accounts. Still it's really silly and I don't know why they are being this way.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Is John going to start a petition? Ooo! Or maybe a sit in? Or a March on the DMV?

    Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  36. WOW! My husband almost took my name when we got married because his is an adopted name from his step dad that he has no attachment to. We opted against it only because I didn't like my last name and had no attachment to my father, I didn't care to keep mine either. In hindsight, maybe we should have just picked a neutral name. LOL

    Many men with professional wives (high level lawyers or doctors) who want to share the same name as them change their name...and some just because they have no attachment to their last name but their wife has strong family attachment to hers.

    How stupid of Florida! How is it any more wrong than a woman changing her name? Does it really matter who changes their name? JEESH!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well, that's just silly! It's okay for a woman to take her husband's last name. Why is it wrong for a man to take his wife's? Kudo's to this man and John for going against the flow!

    ReplyDelete
  38. In my state the marriage license application simply has blanks for both people that ask for "name after marriage". I know plenty of men who have changed their names with that form, as well as both men and women who have changed their first or middle names the same way and it has never been an issue. But apparently we have to make laws specifically allowing things otherwise we take cultural convention as law and deem everything else illegal? Ridiculous!

    ReplyDelete
  39. There was a more involved in the charge of fraud against this man than just the name change. Changing his name on the driver's license was a part of this fraud. It wasn't just a case of taking his wife's name.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love living in Florida, but sometimes I just have to shake my head.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Really, that's legally ridiculous. As long as people are using legal avenues and showing a clear path of changes, they should be able to pay fees and change names for reasons even outside of marriage. Big Brother can still track people with a different name if they are registered legally. What's their problem, then?

    ReplyDelete
  42. I kept my last name when I got married. My husband was supportive and rational enough not to insist I become his property, which is how this tradition started. Women left the protection of their father and his name for her husband, with his name. Before women could own property or vote, this was important. However, that is no longer an issue, and many other countries no longer follow this antiquated practice. That being said, I did have to explain my choice to my dad of all people, and my mother in law still addresses cards to mr and mrs not my name. We won't be having kids, so it's really not an issue. It's time for society and government to catch up!

    ReplyDelete
  43. My husband took my name when we got married, too. We were living in Utah at the time (long story) and he did have to go to court to make it "official"--but then it was 1985 and apparently things like that weren't "done" then (or there). Frankly, I always forget. It was a long time ago and who cares anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  44. According to my step-father who is an attorney in Oregon. "As long as you are not trying to deceive, defraud, or use an alias in an attempt to conceal yourself you can use or go by what ever name you want." Meaning that either of you could have changed your name and called yourselves Jango and Bob Afett as long as you stick with it. And any bills you generate under those names get paid. Best time to do a name change is when you marry, since the paper work is less involved and you don't have to formally ask a judge to grant the change. Just my two cents...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Good lord, Florida must be brain-damaged. $400 filing fee to change your name? That's absurd. In Kansas, the process to legally change your name consists of the following steps:

    1) Start using the new name.

    That's it. Federal offices didn't give us any guff. The DMV was a little confused and wanted paperwork for the legal name change until we showed them chapter and verse of the state law.

    ReplyDelete
  46. GIRL.
    Your husband = the awesomest.

    Just sayin'.

    Keep it up, Yates folks!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I swear, so many people forget that it is 2013 and not 1913! I had a hard time with the credit card company because my husband and I don't have the same last names. I had to talk to a supervisor to get my issue resolved. Really? Last I checked, a wife was no longer the property of her husband!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Have a client who changed his name to F . Called himself effdot.

    ReplyDelete
  49. @ Nuchtchas - did you say that in Quebec a woman is NOT ALLOWED to change her name to her husband's? It's one thing to say she doesn't HAVE to change her name to her husband's if she doesn't want to. But to FORBID her from doing it at all is...I don't even have a word for how bizare that is!

    ReplyDelete
  50. My husband and I combined our names but didn't hyphenate. We simply have 2 names. We had no trouble until he went to get his new license 3 years later and was told he had broken the law by not getting it legally changed by a judge. He pointed out that we had gone to social security and changed them together after we were married and was told that it was fine for me but not for him. How sexist is that? He was granted his license but told to fix it immediately. It has been 7 years and he has never heard another word about it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Well, that is silly. In Québec, you need a special request to even change your name now, once you marry, so women keep their maiden names even once they are married. But telemarketers don't know how to deal with this (it has been the law for over 30 years). Since the phone is in my name, they ask for Mr or Mrs [my last name] and I always tease my spouse.

    ReplyDelete
  52. My husband took my name. He'd always wanted to mark a major life event with a name change. I liked my name, so it was easy. It was 2005 in Cincinnati. We were sitting in the office getting our marriage license and the woman behind the desk said I could write in my new name if I was taking his. I said, "I'm not. He's the one changing his name." She told us, "Well, you can't do that on this form. Only the woman can change her last name with the marriage license." We were shocked because we'd thought that a marriage license would be the cheap and easy route to a new name for him. Apparently there was no way to legally change his name by getting married--or for both of us to change our last names together, if that's what we wanted.

    For anything other than the woman changing her last name to her husband's, you had to go through the legal name change procedure in court. So, my husband did it, including a preliminary hearing, an ad in a paper, and a final appearance before a judge. We were worried that the judge would give my husband a hard time, but the judge accepted my husband's explanation, "I just want my last name to match my wife's."

    I'm just so glad that each couple has options now and can pick the one that fits them best--different last names, her last name, his last name, a new last name, whatever!

    ReplyDelete
  53. I was glad to get rid of my maiden name. It was a Hedgepeth. No one could spell it or pronounce it. Nothing beats my daughter-in-law though, her maiden name was Dick.

    ReplyDelete
  54. My step-brother took his wife's name, Dragon, when he got married. His biodad was an asshat, so no loss giving up that name, and who could pass on the name Dragon?

    ReplyDelete
  55. Nice to see the government still ascribes to the chauvanistic idea that a woman takes a man's name, and a man NEVER takes a woman's name. It's that kind of paternalistic bullsh*t that made me choose my own last name, that is neither my partners not my father's. I like the idea of creating your own identity. And I take my hat off to any man who chooses his wife's name. It is a true show of love and respect, and they should be congratulated for it!

    ReplyDelete
  56. I wonder what they will do with same-sex couples...

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wow. That is such a ridiculous story, but I'm glad to hear it turned out alright. My mom kept her maiden name when she married my dad for what I would consider very important reasons; she was a chemist, and she was published, and how in Hades was anyone supposed to connect the unmarried individual with the married one if she changed her name and later published under it? Previous academic activities become harder to connect to the same person, and that's just not fair to the scientist or other people looking for older works by the same person. Of course, that's not going to be a problem in just science, but her earlier accomplishments were important to her, and why destroy the continuity? Of course, my dad has recently run into the problems with name changes with regards to his high school reunion; they've asked all the women to provide their maiden names, so they know who they are!

    My mom would also joke, when asked about it, that she let my dad keep his maiden name, and while some people expressed concern for his feelings, they really shouldn't have; he didn't care. And I think that if you're marrying someone, you love the person, not the name. The name is irrelevant.

    Granted, not everyone thinks so, and enter the assistant manager of a small bank. My mother did not suffer fools gladly, and he was one, so conflict was inevitable. My parents were getting a loan for a car and he insisted that she had to sign with my dad's last name. My mom knew this was not so and told him that if she did that, she would have officially taken his last name and would have to use it for everything from that point forth, which she didn't want to do. He was dismissive and said it was fine, she could still go back as if nothing had changed. He was dead wrong: she had on her person a letter from the Status of Women Office. It stated that under the laws at the time a woman could keep her maiden name if she so chose, but if she changed it to her husband's, she could never go back. She could change her name to literally anything else later on, but she could not go back to her maiden name(stupid, I know, but that's what the laws said then). If she signed under his name then, that would become her legal name, she knew it, and she wasn't putting up with that guy's BS. Since the manager was out getting his appendix dealt with, they couldn't bring it to him and the guy wouldn't back down. Needless to say, my parents left. My mom later blew off steam by throwing tupperware in the shower in her patented brand of terrifyingly angry.

    I'm glad at least some brands of ridiculous are out of fashion, but I guess we humans never totally get it out of our system.

    ReplyDelete
  58. OMG, really glad they took care of that.

    My husband was pretty close to taking my name- but I was too cheap to let him (because as was explained to me by our State of Residence, only women can change their names for free due to marriage- and that's a whole different story of annoyance/patriarchy).

    Anyhow, to sum up: Yay, John! Glad FL fixed that ridiculous oversight.

    ReplyDelete
  59. We have a criminal at our house too. I had legally changed my surname when I was in high school (long story) and so I didn't want to give it up when I got married. Jason willingly hyphenated his name so that we could all have the same name, and even Andrea's name is hyphenated.

    The only flack we ever got was at the Social Security office when we were both applying for new cards. The woman was confused because "only the wife gets a new card because her name changed." When we said his name changed too, we had to explain it three times because she did NOT understand why a man would change his name when he got married. But she was old and we were in Iowa, so frankly I'm surprised that was the only issue we had.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Oh Lordy! This has been the biggest and most controversial issue since I've been married. I my family I did not desire to simply take my husband's last name, as I didn't expect him to take mine. So we decided to fuse our last names according to cultural tradition. I am of Mexican descent and he's of German descent, so I was fine doing Haro de Mogel or Haro von Mogel. We went with Haro von Mogel. People either LOVE or HATE this name. They think it's the most awesome or disrespectful thing we could have done as a couple. Unfortunately, lots of people, including my in-laws, think my husband is insulting his family line by doing so and being "controlled" by a woman by agreeing to go along with such nonsense. It's clearly not nonsense since it angers people so much. We live in a new century where women are making so many inroads - it's about time society/government/legal system caught up!

    ReplyDelete
  61. So glad they dropped the charges 15 years ago when I married my husband I changed my name by moving my maiden name to my middle name and taking his as my last. He wanted to do the same but was told he would have to go through the legal name change bit so he didn't. Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I have a strong feeling that the reason this happened was that their "foreign sounding names" and countries of birth were the things that raised red flags during some sort of search of DMV records. The fact that he took his wife's name happens to be a coincidence really and the fact that the DMV made a big deal about it just dumb. In the end, none of it was right though and I'm glad that everything was fixed in the couples favor.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Geeze O Pete. Seems to me that the DMV let him make a change that wasn't in accordance with FL law and then tried to punish the poor man for the DMV's error.

    In Oregon, we learned that while you can call yourself anything you like as long as there is no intent to defraud, you do have to go through the legal process to make it all official with DMV and social security. Like Florida, a woman can get a free name change by using the marriage certificate to adopt her husband's last name. If you both want to take a new last name (which we did), the cheapest way is to have the man legally change his (under $200 in the county we were in at the time) and then for the woman to adopt it via marriage certificate.

    It's stupid and archaic but it is the way the law is written. For the record I also think that it is stupid that you have to have a licensed minister perform the ceremony if you want it to be the legal ceremony and you don't want it at the courthouse. Archaic!

    I get why there is a fee - I work with data and in the older systems that our government has getting a change made and then perpetuated across all systems is a time consuming pain in the ass. Also a reasonable fee stops people doing recreational name changes. It's Tuesday, I feel like being a Martha. $400 seems way way unreasonable.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I didn't know until recently that in Spain a woman doesn't change her name so her name is always different to her children. A child has two surnames: father and mother, no hyphen, just two surnames. Apparently it is easy to check lineage in Spain for that reason. I think they drop one when they have kids so the male name carries on.

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails