A newly married South Florida man who opted to take his wife’s last name is fighting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after it suspended his driving licence on grounds of fraud.
Property investor Lazaro Sopena offered to change his name following his 2011 marriage to Hanh Dinh in order to help his wife’s Vietnamese family perpetuate their family surname. His wife has four sisters.
Shortly after their marriage, Lazaro Dinh got a new passport and Social Security card and changed his bank account and credit cards before applying to update his driving licence.
“It was an act of love. I have no particular emotional ties to my last name,” said Dinh, who was born in Cuba and came to the US at the age of 11 in 1984.
Lazaro Dinh was issued a new licence after presenting his marriage certificate at his local DMV office and paying a $20 (R180) fee, just as newly married women are required to do when they adopt their husband’s name.
More than a year later Dinh got a letter from Florida’s DMV accusing him of “obtaining a driving licence by fraud”, and advising him that it would be suspended at the end of the month. Ironically, it was addressed to Lazaro Dinh.
When he called the DMV office he was told he had to go to court to change his name legally, a long process costing $400. When he explained he was changing his name due to marriage, he was told “that only works for women”. – Reuters