The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Life

Home » Trans@VU » Name Changes

Name Changes

Internal Vanderbilt Name Changes

Without legal documentation, transgender, gender non-conforming students, and even cisgender students have two (2) options to alter their exposed name in many (not all) university systems. Students can:

  1. secure an undocumented name change to have only their legal first and middle initials show in most university systems (i.e. from Marcus Jason to M. J.).
  2. create a preffered name change that puts the name of a student’s choice on select internal university systems (i.e. from Olivia to Liv).

There are separate processes for each change.

Please click the link below to receive directional information on beginning the name change process of your choice:

VU Transgender Name Change Informational PDF

Legal Name Changes

In accordance with Tennessee legislation, T.C.A. 29-8-102, you must be a resident of Davidson County, Tennessee to petition for a name change recognized by the United States government. Forms for an adult name change are available for downloading at Chancery Court Clerk & Master. The homepage is 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 under Petition for Name Change of Adult.

DOCUMENTS TO BRING WITH YOU to legally change your name:
1.Completed Petition form and Order form 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 9:00 am. The address is Public Square, Nashville, TN and travel to the 3rd floor suite 308 (this location is for Davidson County residents only). They encourage you to arrive at 8:10am to guarantee you are seen that day.

A student who is able to change their name through legal documentation (process above) can present this documentation and a œ”documented name change form” to the Office of the Registrar to ensure their name in University systems is correct. Graduate students employed at the University should also submit this paperwork to HR for your correct name to be ensured in all employment purposes.

Legal Passport Changes
If and/or when you change your name legally and if you have a passport you’d like to update, follow this link to find out how: