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Name Changes

Name changes, Gender change, & Commodore ID Cards

May I change to my preferred name in student academic records without having a legal “change-of-name” document?
Federal laws require legal names to appear on specific student academic records but Vanderbilt does allow initials and the last name to be shown instead to represent the first and middle names of the student. This process is done through the University Registrar’s Office (URO). (For example, Mary Janelle Smith will be recorded as “M.J. Smith”) This option will allow for students to be only known by their initials which can or may help prevent Trans* or gender-nonconforming students from being outed. If a student legally changes their name to their preferred name they can submit an official change-of-name to the University Registrar’s office.

Please contact Matthew L. King, Senior Associate University Registrar, 615-322-7701, matthew.l.king@vanderbilt.edu for help with navigating documented name changes, undocumented name changes, name changes ot initials, and student academic records.

Will the class roster be able to show my preferred name?
For specifically class rosters the Office of Registrar does offer an “undocumented” name-change process. This process would be completed if the student wishes to be registered on a class roster by a preferred name, the University Registrar’s office can record a “preferred name” that represents the student’s identity and will help ensure employment of the appropriate pronouns. Contact Matthew L. King, Senior Associate University Registrar, 615-322-7701, matthew.l.king@vanderbilt.edu

Do I have to provide medical documentation to change my preferred name and pronoun with the University Registrar’s office?
These requests by the student will be honored without the student having to provide medical documentation.

May I change to my preferred name on my Vanderbilt Student ID?
The University’s card office currently can print the first and middle initials and last name on the official identification card.

Initials and the last name can represent the first and middle names of the student, even before an official change-of-name is submitted to the University Registrar’s office. (For example, Mary Janelle Smith will be recorded as “M.J. Smith. Therefore M.J. Smith is what could be used on the Vanderbilt Student ID card (Commodore Card)

To have your first and middle initial showing on your commodore card please email Matthew King matthew.l.king@vanderbilt.edu from the Registrar Office.

How do I change my Vanderbilt email to match my preferred name?
1. Go to accessVU
2. Click on Existing User
3. Scroll down to Modify personal options
4. Log-in  with your VUnetID and password
5. Select Set Preferred Email Address
6. Then fill out the form and enter the email address you would like to use. For example if your email was based of your legal name- Mary J. Smith: mary.j.smith@vanderbilt.edu you could change it to whatever you like such as max.p.smith@vanderbilt.edu.

How do I change my name in people finder to show my preferred name?
1. Go to accessVU
2. Click on Existing User
3. Scroll down to Modify personal options
4. Select VU directory Options
5. Edit the current name being used in people finder to your preferred name.

When you save this change it will change what shows up in the Vanderbilt Universities People Finder system. For example if it was using your legal name Max Patrick Smith you can change it to whatever you like such as Mary Joann Smith. Now when folks search for you they can search your preferred name to find your contact information.

How do I change my name in Anchor Link?

  1. Go to anchor link website: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/
  2. Log in to your Anchor Link account
  3. Go to Edit Profile under your profile picture on your home page.
  4. Edit your first, middle, and/or last name and click save.

How do I change my name legally in the state of Tennessee?
In accordance with T.C.A. 29-8-102, you must be a resident of Davidson County, Tennessee to petition for a name change. Forms for an adult name change are available for downloading at Chancery Court Clerk & Master. The homepage is chanceryclerkandmaster.nashville.gov or you may call the office of the Clerk and Master at 615-862-5710 and request to have forms mailed.  Please be advised that all blanks must be legibly filled in with accurate information.

Fill out the petition form and the order form form under Petition for Name Change of Adult.

DOCUMENTS TO BRING WITH YOU to legally change your name:
1.Completed Petition form and Order form for an adult name change to be presented to a   Chancellor.
2. A copy of your birth certificate.
3. Photo identification (such as a driver’s license, passport or comparable photo identification).
4. Social security card.
5. $159.50 cash or cashiers check (no personal check accepted).  This fee covers two certified copies of the court order changing your name.

Be Advised:
Name change petitions are heard Monday- Thursday between 8:30 am and 9:00am on the 3rd floor suite 308 address is 1 Public Square, Nashville, TN (this is the location for Davidson County Residence). They encourage you to arrive at 8:10am to guarantee you are seen that day.

No court hearing required!

If you would like more information you can visit Tennessee name change for transgender people.

How do I change my name on my passport?
If and/or when you change your name legally and want your passport to reflect this follow this link to find out how to change your name on your passport: http://travel.state.gov/passport/


Trans@VU