Name Change on Professional Documents and Diplomas

Name Change on Professional Documents and Diplomas

One of the most difficult processes when it comes to changing names is effecting a name change on a high school or college diploma or an official professional document or certification. Schools and colleges follow different processes for issuing diplomas, and while the documentation required for the change might cut across, it's important to contact your previous institution of learning to ensure you have all that's required.

The fee associated with name change on a diploma also varies and you might want to check that as well. At the same time, you might have to wait between 6-12 weeks for a new degree to be delivered after processing.

What you need to change your name on a diploma

Most university registrars process changes of names for students who are currently enrolled only. However, for previous students who need to effect a name change they need a number of documents for this to happen. This includes a name change certification form that has been completed and every supporting documentation required as indicated on the name change form. In most cases, the acceptable documents include a divorce decree, marriage certificate, court issued documents, social security card, passport and state identification cards or driver's license. Most institutions of learning allow these forms to be submitted in person or through mail.

It's also worth noting that to get a replacement diploma bearing the new name the name must have been changed officially in court or within the jurisdiction. Once the name change request form and all accompanying documents have been received the process commences almost immediately.

Name change requests on diplomas and certificates associated with academic records is usually done so that the name the individual is identified with in the outside world can reflect on the document. Name change on a diploma might be done after changing one's name for another, after naturalization, divorce or marriage. What this means is if the name change is as a result of marriage, a copy of the marriage certificate is needed. Names changes that take place through a court petition process will require certified copies of the court order.

If the name change is as a result of a divorce, the request name change form must be supported by a certified divorce decree copy reinstating the maiden name. Name change requests signed are processed and, in most cases, the documentation is returned to the requester. As a result, the name change reflects on the permanent record of a graduate, including the diploma re-issued. Most institutions of higher learning notarize diplomas without any additional charge.

Collect all the needed documents

Once you have read and understood what is required, including all the documents, ensure that you have gathered each of the documents in an organized manner and label them. You can ensure you have at least three copies of all the needed original documents; originals should be safely kept at home. The office of the university registrar needs to be contacted and alerted that you have changed your name and would like the same reflected on your diploma. The registrar must request all the documents to be faxed to his or her office, postal mailed, or bring the documents in person. In case you are asked to bring them in person, ask about the right time when you should arrive and the contact individual you will be meeting.

Once the registrar has received the documents in person, mail, or by fax, ensure you have a contact number of the individual you will be checking with on the name change request status. If six weeks pass without having received the requested new diploma bearing your new name you might want to email or call the registrar's office to determine why or receive updates. After you have received the new diploma ensure every detail is correct and the name appears as you wanted. Errors or typos that are the fault of the registrar's office may often be corrected and documents reissued without additional charge to you.

Name change on your birth certificate

In most cases, name changes do not require the same to be done on a birth certificate. In fact, a huge number of states will not change a name on a birth certificate if the reason was due to a divorce or marriage. However, if the reason the name was changed was due to gender reassignment surgery or adoption, this can be done seamlessly. The laws on the procedure to follow vary from one state to the other.

Vital records state departments will request that you produce some court order prior to a name change on a birth certificate with state laws differing on the process as well as the grounds for getting a name change ordered by a court. Applying for a name change ordered by a court require a petition be filed, paying the required filing fee, including attending the hearing. Lots of states will also ask that a notice be published on the impending name change in a national or local newspaper. Further documentation might also be required, for instance adoption decrees establishing the name change request. A petition is filed on behalf of a minor while the parents of the minor also need to be notified.

In case of gender reassignment surgery, the procedure in place for updating the name on the birth certificate also requires a court order that shows the correct gender that will appear on the birth certificate. Also, apart from the certified copies of the court order, there has to be a submission of an application or petition that shows identifying birth facts such as the name that was used at birth, the birth date, parents' name and place of birth. In case of a legal change of name, it's important that the court-ordered certified copies, together with the application or petition, be submitted.

Once the birth certificate has been amended successfully, a document is appended reflecting the change or amendment to the original birth certificate. It means that the old birth certificate bearing the old name remains stored in a file in the vital records office.

A number of states also go a step further and create another birth certificate for the individual in contrast with amending or changing the initial one. Such a practice of total replacement of the old birth certificate is critical in cases of adoption; biological parents are able to amend the birth certificate of a child during adoption towards concealing their identity to avoid future complications once the child has been adopted. The old birth certificate is however stored in the vital records office inside a sealed file only accessed for a number of reasons like criminal investigations.

Professional disadvantages of changing your name

Sometimes a name change is a disadvantage and you might want to maintain your maiden or current name. This can be after a divorce where you have a chance of getting married again, or even your first marriage. In all these circumstances, weighing the pros against the cons of a name change will surely give you the direction you need to take. After building a reputation in your profession, where everyone knows you by your current name, changing that to another and applying the changes to your professional documents might not be a very wise idea.

After years of making professional presentations on international professional organizations and conferences and authoring books and many other things a name change could put this reputation, social standing and success in confusion or destroy it. Apart from keeping your entire current name and avoiding the confusion that might result, you can use both names without hyphenating them or just hyphenate the names.

Our name change kit helps you change your name, either before or after marriage.

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  1. Hi, I'm from another country and getting married to a US citizen. After the wedding my fiance wishes that I change my last name to his surname, but I have a question related to that.

    All my educational transcripts and certificates are not from US and they have have my maiden name. If I change my last name after marriage will that be a problem for me for future job applications or if I want to pursue masters degree here in US? I just want to make sure before I change my name.

    • If I change my last name after marriage will that be a problem for me for future job applications or if I want to pursue masters degree here in US?

      No, that shouldn't be a problem. You can note that your name differs due to marriage and provide a photocopy of your marriage certificate to bridge your old and new name.

  2. Hi I adopted a 19 year old who was abused. He very much wants to change his name on his high school diploma. Do we just take new birth certificate etc to the school. Our lawyer said it shouldn't be a problem was. Just curious, thanks.

    • Hi Billy. The birth certificate could work if you're trying to change his name to what's on the birth certificate. Otherwise, you would need another supporting name change document, such as a court order.

  3. I’m a clergy person. My Masters, Doctorate and Ordination certificate are all in my married name. Does it make sense to have them all changed to my maiden name during a divorce?

    • Hi Deb. It would make sense to change them if you've changed your name on federal and state government credentials, such as your social security card and driver's license. If your divorce decree contains an order restoring your maiden name, reverting is still optional.

  4. My name is Fayemi olamilekan, a student in Nigeria.

    I have issue with the name on my certificate. The name on my certificate goes thus:
    Primary school certificate: Fayemi olamilekan Samuel
    Waec: Fayemi olamilekan Samuel

    When I wrote my jamb I used another middle name
    Fayemi olamilekan oluwole

    I'm in a university, this is name I bear in the university now. The name on my birth certificate is Ojo olamilekan oluwole

    The university will request for my waec and primary school certificate please what do I do?

  5. Hello!

    I am married and it's been 3 months to my marriage. My husband is a US Green Card Holder. He has asked me to change my maiden name to his, as on the basis of that he will file my petition. After which I have changed my passport but rest of documents (drivers license, degree certificates, marksheets) has my maiden name.

    I am planning to pursue a professional degree meanwhile the US consulate works on my petition.

    My question is that, will there be any problem here or in US, if I pursue my professional degree under my maiden name?

    As all my academic documents hold my maiden name.

    Please guide me to the best.

    • My question is that, will there be any problem here or in US, if I pursue my professional degree under my maidens name?

      That shouldn't be a problem as your primary identifications remain in your maiden name.

      • Thank you for the response!

        I tried explaining my husband in the similar way you guided. He's stating that in US, organizations and companies will not hire anyone whose name on the passport and on the professional degree certificate are different.

        So I was bound to make my enrollment in this professional course under my husband's name.

        It's not that I don't want to keep my husbands name. But the thing is, we don't know what future holds. We really had an on & off relationship. And as he has a temper problem. I am worried what if he leaves me after that.

        I know I am going personal and it might sound silly, but i belong to a very restricted family and background where divorces are a big taboo.

        With my academic documents having my maiden name would not make me any problem irrespective of what my future holds.

        • US, organizations and companies will not hire anyone whose name on the passport and on the professional degree certificate are different.

          You can attach a copy of your marriage certificate which would provide a link between your old and new name.

  6. I got married when I was in 3rd year college, the last name I use at school is my maiden name. But now that I am in 4th year college I want to change my last name and replace it with my husband's last name.

    Now my question is will there be a problem when I apply for a job in another country where I still use my maiden name on the diploma even though I was married before I graduated?

    And if there will be a problem what I supposed to do?

    • And if there will be a problem what I supposed to do?

      Showing your old name on your diploma shouldn't be a problem for job prospects. But one way to mitigate a potential problem is to attach a photocopy of your marriage certificate, circling or highlighting your maiden name and husband's surname. You can annotate it to explain your name change and where your new surname is derived.

  7. Hello Valerie, I want to apply for an under graduate study in Canada but I am married legally and all my previous school documents has my maiden name on it but my international passport has my spouse surname on it. What name would I used when applying for the course?

    I have all legal document that I am married.

    • Hi Abims. You'd use the name on your primary identity documents. Make sure you notify your school of your name change.

  8. My surname is Ogunleye
    First and middle name is : Faith, Doyin (Male) respectively. Now I wish to change my surname to Ezekiel which I had done lawfully by getting an affidavit, but my worries is if Germany uni-assist will accept my affidavit as all the names on my documents still carries the previous Ogunleye.

    Please can I go ahead and change the name on my international passport as Ezekiel Doyin Faith? I hope this will not affect my admission negatively? As a Nigeria applying for a degree in Germany.

  9. Hi. I bear two hyphenated last names on my High School certificate but not so with my ID card (unhyphenated). Is there a problem?

    • Hi Vicky. That's unlikely to be a problem since it's not enough to call your identity into question. If you're concerned about it, you can contact your high school to issue you an amended certificate.

  10. Hello! My name on my passport and ID cards include my First, last and surname.
    However, my bachelors transcript doesn't have my surname on it, and im planning to apply for masters, so would it be a problem if my bachelors degree doesn't have my surname, but my masters degree will?

  11. Hi I'm Tshego… I'm doing matric and I need to fix my surname and I have been told that the procedures take longer so can I apply with my current surname or the fixed on? Kindly help.

    • Hi T. Mokgoje. If you're given the option to use your fixed name while it's being processed, what's your concern?

  12. So, my kid (25) wants to change her name legally for one of 2 reasons, mental health or debt. We pray it's the ladder. Can she change her name and shift her portion of tuition to me if it's in both names?

    • Hi T Porter. Changing your name to evade debt isn't permitted by the court for adult name changes. It wouldn't be effective anyway as the debt is tied to her social security number.

  13. My name is Salawu Monsuru Michael and I am a Muslim brother and all my certificate bears the name. But, i will like to change my name to Salawu Monsuru Owolabi as people always laugh at me whenever I called my name.

    Will this other name changing affect me and also is these a tangible reason for them to help me change my name. Is it necessary to contact my school for changing of name on my certificate because I graduated since 2018. Please I need your advice if it is necessary to change the Michael to Owolabi.


    • Will this other name changing affect me

      You'll have to update your legal credentials. That's the biggest affect. Making the shift, mentally and practically.

      Is it necessary to contact my school for changing of name on my certificate

      Only if you want your certificate reissued in your new name. It doesn't invalidate your old certificate if you choose to keep it unchanged.

  14. Hi I would just want to ask, I've been married for 17 years and waiting yet for Philippine Court Approve on my Decree of Nullity Marriage was processed done by Catholic Church Annulment last March 2018.

    I was thinking of going back to college A.Y 2021-2022. I had used my maiden name on my enrollment slip last June 15,2021 only.

    What last name should I use, my husband's surname (Osorio) or my maiden name (Bravo)? Can I use my maiden name (Bravo) during enrollment?

    Please advise. Thank you

    • Does will affect my maiden name (Bravo) on my college record to my current name (Osorio) records to my SSS, Philheath, Driver Lisence, Passport and Employment Purposes?

      • Hi Girlie. I'm not sure what you're asking here. Your college records are still valid, even under your maiden name.

    • Hi Girlie. You'll have to legally change your name following nullity. Until then, you'd use your current legal name.

  15. I am a first year student in varsity, i want to change my last name. I don't know how to go about. What is required of me so the process doesn't take long.

    • Hi Lebo. Are you changing your name through marriage, divorce, or other? What's prompting the change?

  16. I am female to male transgender and recently tried contacting the school district I graduated from. The woman I spoke to was cold and said they cannot and will not change my name on my high school diploma. She said it Must be the name I graduated with. I live in Texas.

    My ex destroyed my diploma and I needed a new one anyways, but also want it to have my real name that I got legally, court appointed changed. I have officially changed my name and gender and obtained a new birth certificate, new identification card, and nearly everything has been switched to my new name and proper gender.

    Is it legal/true that they cannot change my name? I commonly fear being found out/forced to out myself because it is quite clear my old name was a girl's name and my new name is a guy's name. Do you have any articles, sources or advice on what I can do?

    • Do you have any articles, sources or advice on what I can do?

      Take a look at this resource on Texas name and gender marker changes. This appears to be a gray area. You may need to contact an attorney.

      Sometimes putting things in writing is harder to refuse than doing it over the phone. You could mail your request with a return receipt. Supply the necessary proof, like a certified copy of your court order.

      If they formally refuse, they'll have to put their rationale in writing. Will this institution want to document their refusal with a paper trail? Do they have documented rules in place which denies all name change requests?

      As previously mentioned, you may have to resort to contacting an attorney for assistance if they won't budge.

  17. Am divorced my NYSC certificate carries my ex-husband's surname but now am divorced I want to change it to my own surname how do I go about it?

    • Hi Nne. Contact your students affairs officer. You can provide a certified copy of your divorce decree as proof of divorce and rationale for name change.

  18. Hi Valera, my name is Oluwafemi.
    I had my diploma with the name Omoniyi Temidayo Rebecca, but I later had a change of name (I did an affidavit in court) to Omoniyi Rebecca Oluwafemi. Now I'm married with the name Assogba Rebecca Oluwafemi, Can my school change my name from Omoniyi Temidayo Rebecca to Assogba Rebecca Oluwafemi, tho my certificate has not been issued yet
    Thank you.

    • Hi Oluwafemi. Your school should be able to change it whether or not your certificate's been issued. It's likely easier on you and your school if you make your name change request sooner rather than later.

  19. Hi my name is Paloma, I have always used Paloma Michell Vazquez for my papers in school from kindergarten up until high school. However, now I am in enrolled at UCDavis and I recently found out I have a second last name but my parents never used it and never mentioned it to me until recently that we were looking through papers.

    Therefore I changed my name for my university records as to how it should be but is that a problem for my other documents before this. Like my SAT and all that because technically I was already admitted and I'm in my second quarter now. Please help I am very frustrated because if I would've known I would've but my whole name for all my documents.

    • Hi Paloma. It shouldn't be a problem. Name changes are common for a variety of reasons. You've already notified your university so they should have already reconciled your records. If you're concerned that they've omitted anything, you can speak to administration.

  20. Hie am Tadzi, been using this name all my life on all my school documents, now I regret not changing it when I had the chance. I have recently finished my University but not graduated yet, I would want to change it. I want my degree to hold the new name. Is this ever possible, or am I late?

    • Hi Tadzi. It's not too late to change it. Since you haven't graduated yet, this should be easy for your university to handle since they won't have to reprint and reissue any documents.

  21. I need help changing my name on my highschool transcript, my diploma and my birth papers and my bank. I'm blind and not in walking distance to any of these places currently. I have court orders, original stuff etc.

    • Hi Vestara-Paige. For high school transcript and diploma, you'll have to contact your school for what they'll need. They'll either provide you the form or have to compose a letter detailing the name change. They'll likely want a photocopy of your court order as well.

      For your bank, same process. They may be willing to do it by mail, email, or require an in person visit. They too will want to review a photocopy of the court's order.

      For your birth certificate, you'll contact the vital records department that houses your record and issues certified copies. They'll have pre-made forms available for filling out. They'll likely require a certified copy instead of a photocopy though.

  22. Hi, I used my mom's surname in my credentials like diploma, license and other documents since before they got married, and now im 23 they change my surname to my father's surname. My question is.. is it necessary to change my credentials and legals documents since now I use my father's surname?

        • Hi NJ. It's may not necessary to change anything, but you now have the prerogative to do so. It's similar to how one would change their name by court order. Would they then be empowered to amend their birth certificate to reflect the change? Sure. Do they have to? No. Would it invalidate their birth certificate, existing court order, or any other record by not updating all previous records? No.

          Having said that, if your parents legally changed your name, then I'm assuming they updated some official government documents along the way. If all they did was obtain a court order and updated nothing else, it's not clear if the change spread beyond that point. That's difficult to say without knowing your country of origin.

  23. There is a great amount of valuable information here ; thank you so much for sharing. I can’t seem to find however credentials on such wonderful site , for instance who is answering? A lawyer? Educator, para legal ? And if this information is officially widespread in the US ? Or just personal experiences ?

    Most respectfully, it is hard to come buy great and FREE legal advice , very refreshing in this world today .
    I’ll still be happy with the information received here , even if I don’t get a feedback on my comments, great job!

    • Hi David. Not a lawyer. The information on this blog is public information, mostly from federal and state government sources. Other data that's not readily available can be culled by contacting administrative and government organizations directly.

  24. Hi, I'm selected for dvlottery. I have high school certificate and university degree certificate. My problem is my name are misarrange on my high school certificate but no spelling mistakes and I rearrange them when I get to university… Can this cause refusal of visa?

    Or I should add affidavit on rearrangement of name on my certificate

  25. I am a student but not a college student and am trying to get my name change. They have told me they can change my name in my record permanently with a court order or health practitioner's note. Is this a legal change or just for school?

    • Hi Julian. Court order would be a legal name change that's good for everything. I'm not sure what they're referring to by health practitioner's note. Whatever rule is in place is set by the college, not a state or federal guideline. You'll have to abide by their standards.

  26. OK sir, my name is Aderibigbe Jamiu Adekunle. I finished my primary and junior secondary school in village at age of 19 year. Before I was ask to come to Lagos, I stay with Christian so I was given name Michael.

    They told me to reduce my age before I can start senior secondary school because my age is too high for me to start ss1 in Lagos, they did another birth certificate, from Aderibigbe Jamiu Adekunle I use in village, change to Aderibigbe Michael Adekunle with my age from 19 to 15yrs.

    I finished my secondary school with this new data, so now I want to go university without staying with anybody, am confuse about the name to use to avoid having problem in future again, because I use the new data for Waec, pls what should I do with my primary school certificate.

    • Hi Aderibigbe. If your name was officially changed to include Michael, you can include that proof along with your primary school record to link the name history.

  27. Pls I need your help, I completed my primary school in village with my real name… Aderibigbe Jamiu Adekunle, so I was ask to come and start secondary school in Lagos to cut d story short I reduce my age and also change my name to Aderibigbe Michael Adekunle

    I use this name till I finished secondary school I even use this name for Waec I did it because I was a small boy and also staying with Christian. Now I want to go university I do go about it because am not staying with anybody again

    • Hi Aderibigbe. I'm not sure what your question is. Please clarify. And also clarify what you mean by "reduce my age."

  28. Hello!

    I am currently completing my graduation application and it is asking for the name I want stated on my degree. I am getting married before I graduate and will be changing my last name to my fiancé's; Should I put the last name I will legal have by the time I graduate or my current maiden last name? Or is my degree valid no matter which last name I state?

    Thank you for your help!!!

    • Hi Janella. If you put your current name, you'll want to contact your school to determine the process, fees, and turnaround time to getting your name changed within their records and degree reissued. If you foresee that to be too much of an eventual hassle, put your eventual name. Your degree will be valid whichever route you choose.

  29. Am Abdullahi by name, I want to Change my Surname to Orunmade which is my family name, but I used Abdullahi on my University certificate and I will be going for my Master course soon, what is the next step to do cause I want to do my Msc with my surname?

    • Hi Abdullahi. You'll have to provide your university legal proof of your name change. This is typically in the form of a marriage certificate, court order, or whichever means you used to legally change your name.

  30. I am not married but I change my surname at my birth certificate due to the will of my late father I could not apply the money because the surname was not corresponding but that time I was already complete my grade 12.

    Now I am having school academy and my tertiary academic are having different surname. My question is what should I do if I want to apply the job?

    • Hi Emilia. I'm not sure what you're asking. How does your late father's will, birth certificate, and schooling mix? Do you need to change the name on your birth certificate?

  31. I wonder if married graduates could put:

    First Middle Married (nee Maiden)

    Easily explained in divorce

    • I wonder if married graduates could put

      If that's their legal name and could be proven, they should. Is there a reason you think they couldn't?

  32. I have completed my high school and inter added my surname in my degree classes. I have all the documents like uid, driving licence, PAN by the added surname. Will it create any problem in my job?

  33. Hello Valera am having issues concerning middle name use. On my birth certificate my name was written as Obayomi Wale David Michael Victor, on my high school certificate it was written as Obayomi David Wale and then on my Bsc i decided to use my other middle name which it appeared as Obayomi David Micheal.

    I erroneously registered the Michael with the e coming before the a instead of the a coming before the e. Now I’ve graduated and I want to use both middle names to avoid confusion from future employers where the name appears as Obayomi David Wale Michael.

    Please is this a good idea and does it risk job opportunities. I contacted my school I finished from severally and unfortunately they don’t reissue certificate for new name. Is this going to be a problem.

    I’ve done affidavits, and are they accepted in any country as evidence as am planning for my masters soon. Do I also need to get a new birth certificate or not necessarily since the four names are listed among my five names on my birth certificate. I’ll be delighted on getting a feedback. Thanks

    • Hi David. A notarized "one and the same person" affidavit could help. It's a sworn statement explaining your name discrepancy. The validity depends on the country/state. You'll have to make sure you include the proper information in the proper format.

      • Thank you Valera. When talking about the proper information in the proper format what are you suggesting.

        • Hi David. You'll want to make sure your affidavit includes pertinent information, such as name, age, address, citizenship, etc.

          Specify the incorrect and correct name. Attach documents that explains the discrepancy, such as a birth certificate, ID card, passport, etc.

          Look up information for your state, province, or country to determine if there are further requirements regarding such affidavits.

  34. Hi Valera, I have a big problem and it bothers me a lot . On my legal document in the United state my middle name is written in full but on my university degree and law school Certificate from Nigeria, my middle name was shortened ( note Oluwadamilola was shortened to Damilola) . I’m trying to apply for a masters degree and I’m scared the issue of the name might come up. What do I do? I look forward for a reply as soon as possible. Thanks.

    • Hi Tata. It's possible your name was shortened due to space limitations. You can attach a photocopy (or certified copy if necessary) of credentials showing your full name along with an explanation for the discrepancy.

  35. Hallo Valera,

    Recently I changed my name fully (both fist and last names)! I have two Masters degree, Firstly, I contacted the university in Germany to re-issue my degree with changed name. They said name change is only possible in case of exceptional reasons like sex change.

    They have given me the denial letter by Post. My question is, can I keep this letter along with my degree certificates (with my old name) as proof.

    Is this sufficient ? Or should i appeal again for name change in degree certificate ?

    • Hi Vasan. If they have an appeal option, you can certainly try again. Before doing so, you may want to request their degree name change policy in writing.

      The document you used to change your name (e.g., court order) is proof of your name change. Their denial letter can help explain why the name on your degree doesn't match.

  36. Hi,i want to ask if these can cause problem during nysc registration , my name is Tolase Bilikisu Folasade and this is how I always write it on my document, but on my marriage certificate they write Bilikisu Folasade Tolase ,my husband surname is Taiwo when I did change of name they write Bilikisu Folasade Taiwo ,what I want to ask is hope there will be no problem cos of my surname that write last

    • Hi Folasade. It's not clear to me which name you're trying to use. Your marriage certificate contains your spouse's surname. You can use that to explain and link your old and new name.

  37. Hello Valera my name is Josh. Am from Nigeria. On my high school certificate my name was written Alfa Joshua Ojima, on my degree certificate I decided to use my other middle name which my name was now written as Alfa Joshua Micheal. Am now done with college and I want to use both middle names.

    I did an affidavit and newspaper publication and my name now appears as Alfa Joshua Ojima Michael. I tried making all efforts for my institution to effect the new changes but it seems abortive as the response was once they give out result after graduation it’s impossible to change. Is it okay for me to use the affidavit and newspaper publication attached to my documents anywhere I go. Thanks

    • Is it okay for me to use the affidavit and newspaper publication attached to my documents anywhere I go.

      Sure, as that provides evidence of name change.

  38. Hi, I have a dilemma. I got married before starting PT school. All my school records show my married name, however, when I became a permanent resident USCIS changed my name back to my maiden name to match my Mexican passport. My passport shows my married name, but under spouses last name as in Mexico you don’t take your spouses last name.

    My school didn’t want to change it back to my maiden name unless I had a divorce certificate. My license and new social security card both show my maiden name as that is my new legal name “again”, despite taking my husbands last name at marriage. Now that I am ready to sit for Boards, I am afraid I will encounter a name mismatched issue with Prometrics, since my school records will be under my married name and my identifications will have my maiden name. What do you recommend I do?

    • Hi Laura. Can you provide your school documentation showing your name change when becoming a permanent resident? There are a variety of name change events. Marriage and divorce aren't the only ones.

      Your school should have a written policy for which name changes they'll allow. Can they provide you rationale for their denial in writing? If not, whoever says so may be speaking out of place and you can insist on the change.

      Provide documentation that shows your name history, from marriage to permanent residency. Having them as certified copies helps. You can do so in writing or in person.

  39. Hi, may I ask for help. I already graduated college and my name in school records since primary is with middle name & my surname is my father's then we just found out that my name in (NSO) live birth certificate is w/o middle name & my surname is my mother's.

    If I would have to change my school records, is it okay to just ask to change it only in my college school & not on my highschool & primary?

    • Hi Nica. You can individually update your documents. You'd have to anyway, as they're separate institutions.

  40. Hii. Now I'm in post graduation's first year but I wanted to change mai name on my degree certificate that is Arju I wanted to change it as Aarzu.. then what can I do now?

    • Hi Aarzu. You'll have to ask your school for a revision. They should have policies and procedures in place for which name changes are allowed and proof required.

    • Hi Samuel. Are you looking to change your name across all documents or just your university credentials? I assume you're currently in Nigeria and not just from there?

  41. I'm in need of some help. I'm 26 and I legally changed my first/middle/last name during college. So my college degrees have the correct name on it but my High School Diploma does not. I contacted my old high school and they said they do not issue new diplomas for name changes?? Isn't this illegal? How do I fight this? I am entitled to my documentation and I am very frustrated.

    • Hi L. You can ask to get their policy in writing. If they can't produce it, why not. Speak to someone higher up. Put your correspondence in writing, sending them a certified copy of your name change document as proof. You may end up having to hire an attorney.

  42. Hai sir
    In my diploma certificate my father name is wrong I want change my father name and what is the process and how many days taken completed this issue

  43. Hi i got married during my final year all my documents in school contains lawal kaka n now hv change my name to adekoya kaka ayo with evidence(marriage certificate) registrying for my nysc now pls can i use my new name or i shld continue with my old name to avoid problems.thanks

    • Hi Kaka. You have proof of name change. You can change your name across your documents. What problems are you expecting?

    • Hi Hoindo. You can change your last name through marriage. In most states, your middle name too. First name changes require a court order.

  44. Hello,

    I am getting married in the middle of my last year in my doctoral program and want to practice under my maiden name and keep my maiden name on my future diploma and on my future license, but legally change my name to my husbands. What is the best way to do this? Could I legally change my name everywhere else but through the school or should I wait until I am finished with my degree and licensure requirements to legally change my name?

    • Hi Sam. It's best to contact your school so that they can lay out how they can accommodate you. They've dealt with these situations before and can explain what is and isn't allowed and the proper sequence to follow.

  45. May you please assist me, i want to change my surname on my academic certificates i' obtained them before i got married what can i do please help

    • i want to change my surname on my academic certificates

      You'll have to contact your schools. They have their own internal procedures.

    • Hi Gourav. You'll have to take that up with your high school. They may accept a variation of your name, but if it's wholly different you'll likely have to document your name change.

  46. Hi I'm Rugin Mae
    But I currently using as just Rugin now in Grade 12 Senior high school would it be problem when i proceed to college?

    Pls help me

    • Hi Rugin. What's your basis for thinking it would be a problem? Is Rugin your legal name, a nickname, or alternative spelling?

  47. Hi ma'am I graduated already and my university degree and nysc certificate are having two names but my secondary certificate is 3 names please what do I need to do so as to back my documents for a job purposes. Thanks

    • Hi Kamal. If you want your documents to all agree, you'll have to contact your school to get them reissued. If you're okay with your documents showing different names but are concerned about potential employers confused by the discrepancy, you may attach a copy of your marriage certificate to your job application with a note explaining the lack of synchronicity.

  48. Hey sorry am Tanzanian girl i want to change my name in all academic certificates will it be possible?i like to use them any where

    • Hi Pendo. If your name change was because of marriage, use your certificate of marriage to enforce your name change.

  49. Hello,

    I received my associate degree from Coleman University last year. And I got my U.S. citizenship this year and my last name have been changed. I wanted to contact Coleman University but it was closed for credit license problem. How can I change my name on that degree now.

    Please advice.

    • How can I change my name on that degree now.

      You may try a written letter requesting the change. Be sure to include a copy of your marriage certificate. A photocopy might work, but a certified copy may be better.

      If you want your certified copy returned to you, include that request in the letter and provide a self-stamped envelope for the return.

  50. please ma, i use 3 names and the order of the names has been mixed up on my degree certificate, i dont know if its a problem and how to address it, i need help urgently. thank you.

    • Hi Tapshak. You'll have to contact your school about getting your degree corrected and reissued.

  51. Sir My name is Satyajit Basak.I pass out diploma 2019.My diploma marks heet and certificate name is SATYA JIT BASAK.I will be charged is name SATYA JIT BASAK to SATYAJIT BASAK.In that case what I can do?Plz help me

    • Hi Satyajit. If you need to change the name on your diploma, you'll have to contact your school and provide proof of name change. They'll have procedures and forms in place to process your request.

  52. Hi,
    I am a married woman, and I have already changed my name after marriage and have taken up my hubby's last name. Now, what document can i obtain to validate my name change, for professional licensing purposes?

    • Now, what document can i obtain to validate my name change, for professional licensing purposes?

      If you need a document that shows you were authorized to change your name, then use your marriage certificate. If you need a document that shows your new name, try your social security card, driver's license, or passport.

  53. Hi, I'm a high school student in Texas who recently received a green card with my middle and first name swap. I'm totally cool with using my middle name as my legal name, but I've already registered in my current high school with another name and the report cards that the school sent me had the non-legal name on it.

    All the other exams I did has the "wrong" name as well, I didn't wonder about it much but when I request a VOE, the script they sent me doesn't contain my legal name, which doesn't match the social security.

    Apart from this, do you know how would I change it and what process should I be expecting? I'm only in 10th grade so I didn't have a solid certificate yet, which is quite lucky

    • Hi Ilka. You'd have to contact your school to update your name on file and request your documents be reissued.

  54. Hello. I got married and changed my name, now the problem is moving forward does any new certificate I acquire carry my maiden name or my new surname? I am confused

    • Hi Shayo. It would naturally carry your new surname. If you don't want that, you'll have to work it out with whoever issues your certificate. However, if you keep your name change private, whatever name is on file is what will be printed.

  55. When registered my child at school they said it was ok to use known by last name and her records show that but her legal last name is different. How do i get these changed and is there a penalty for this. The child is 11 now.

  56. Hi,I have a serious case,I want to change the name I have been using since birth to a new name entirely I.e a new first,last and middle name.The names I bear previously is the name given to me by a man my mom lied was my father and now that I have met my biological father,I can't believe I have been bearing someone else's surname all 25 years of my life.Now my dad and even I wants a new name entirely with his name included.please is it possible for me to change my whole name to a new one?

    • is it possible for me to change my whole name to a new one?

      Yes, of course, but you'll have to do so through the court system.

  57. Hi, Ashley Nyaruwanga Chipendo.. Chipendo is my step-grandfather's surname and is the one which my father uses buh Nyaruwanga is my origin surname but it was put as a middle name….. I want to use my original surname but nw I am 21 and on all my education certificates Chipendo is the surname, Is it possible for me to change all that…

    • Hi Ashley. You'd have to present a legal document, such as a court order, to change it with the necessary institutions.

  58. Going to change my maiden name by adding my husband's name without hypenating it. Can keep my school records as my maiden name? And can get any new certificate and work liscenses as my maiden name?

    • Can keep my school records as my maiden name? And can get any new certificate and work liscenses as my maiden name?

      You may want to consult whichever entity issues your certificate and work license to determine the feasibility and regulations of this.

  59. Hello, I'm from Nigeria. I want to change my middle name which is already appearing on my Bsc. certificate……..not really for marriage case but Coz I don't really feel Gud with d name as it seem not to mean Gud to me……..
    I want to know if changing it will affect me applying for a job.

    • Hi Emmanuel. If a background check on your name is performed and there's a mismatch during the transition, it may be an issue depending on how strict the potential employer is. You can preempt such a problem by notifying any potential employer of your name change while providing them documentary evidence of your middle name change.

  60. Batangas State University does not update nor change the name on the diploma, etc., after graduation despite presenting a PSA Marriage Certification with remarks/annotation: Declaration of Nullity of Marriage. They told me to simply attach a copy of PSA MC with Annotation. I plan to migrate to Canada and have my credentials assessed for equivalency. I wonder if they will recognize my educational credentials bearing previous married name when all my other documents and IDs, I was able to revert back to my maiden name.

    • Hi Eva. Just attach a document (e.g., divorce decree, marriage certificate) and a note explaining the name change.

  61. The institution printed my name wrong on my diploma. How do I go about getting a new on with the correct name? This was the institution's malfunction.

    • Hi Patrice. The requirements for correcting your name on your diploma is up to that institution. In all likelihood, you'll have to provide proof of your legal name.

  62. Someone left a child when he was young and another man beginning to take care of him right from primary school to university. The man that left a child come one day after graduating in university and claiming his biological father. And there's much evidence ist possible for such child to change all his name right from secondry school to higher institution??

    • And there's much evidence ist possible for such child to change all his name right from secondry school to higher institution??

      I'm not sure what you're asking here. Are you trying to change your name on specific school records from secondary school onward.

  63. As someone who is transgender themselves, I am wondering what to do when some schools refuse to update "historical records" even when my name was changed for both my safety, and to further my transition.

    I've sent copies of the court order, diploma, ID, etc, to the high-school I graduated from, and was wondering what else I could do.

    It is in New York state, if that helps at all.

    I know once I get to college my high-school diploma won't mean much, but I'd like to be able to get a job, or go back to school without issue.

    • Hi Rachel. The court order should be sufficient. Have you gotten back correspondence that your request was denied?

      • They are claiming they can't change historical documents, and I don't know what to do, or who to actually talk to, as I'm a state away

        • Hi Rachel. You can ask that they provide you this information in writing. If all else fails, you may have to seek legal counsel.

          One thing to keep in mind about updating records, oftentimes there is just an addendum and not an alteration of the archived record. For instance, in some states corrections to a marriage certificate will leave the original mistake intact while attaching a corrected note to the record.

  64. Hey My name is Arwa Saleem and after marriage I would like to change my name to Arwa Saleem Ummar. How would this be disadvantageous for me if I apply for my Masters Degree and the the name is different

    • How would this be disadvantageous for me if I apply for my Masters Degree and the the name is different

      You may want to have prior degrees and certificates reissued in your new name. That's a personal preference though. You'll also want to notify your school of the name change so that their records may be kept up-to-date.

  65. My name is currently Victor Alanis. I want to change it to Victor Grey. I am enrolled in a university and I was wondering if changing my name would change my financial aid? Would my Associate’s Degree be null or if I change my name I would still have that degree under my name? Same thing for High School certificate? Also, when it comes to being currently enrolled in college would all my in college be chnaged after changing it in my Financial Aid or do I have to change everything one by one?

    • I want to change it to Victor Grey. I am enrolled in a university and I was wondering if changing my name would change my financial aid?

      No, you're fine. Just update your records across the board.

      Would my Associate’s Degree be null or if I change my name I would still have that degree under my name?

      Your degree will be issued under the name your university has on file. Notify your school of your name change, then you're good to go.

      Same thing for High School certificate? Also, when it comes to being currently enrolled in college would all my in college be chnaged after changing it in my Financial Aid or do I have to change everything one by one?

      First, notify your college of your name change. It's a common occurrence and not a big deal.

      For financial aid, contact them about your name change as well. For instance, after you update your name with the SSA you should update the name on your FSA ID.

  66. My name has changed and does not reflect the name on my high school diploma.
    I now have to provide proof that I completed high school for future employment. How do I proceed?

    • I now have to provide proof that I completed high school for future employment. How do I proceed?

      You'll have to contact your high school about getting a copy of your diploma. You'll have to provide some identity information and perhaps pay a small fee.

      You may be able to get it processed over the phone or they may require documents to be faxed, scanned and emailed, or postal mailed. It's up to your school.

  67. I was a love child and did not really know my dad because he died while I was still an adolescent. My mother's family raised and only had minimal financial assistance from my biological father's family for a short period during my undergrad college days. My maternal grandparents and my biological mother are now deceased.

    I really wanted to take up my mother's first name (unisex) as my last name. Do you think this will be allowed? And once I obtain a court order for a name change, will my colleges re-issue new diplomas reflecting the new name? How does it work with my certificate of naturalization, can that be re-issued?

    • I really wanted to take up my mother's first name (unisex) as my last name. Do you think this will be allowed?

      It should be allowed without a problem.

      And once I obtain a court order for a name change, will my colleges re-issue new diplomas reflecting the new name?

      Your school should issue you updated documents when presented with your court order.

      How does it work with my certificate of naturalization, can that be re-issued?

      Yes, you can update your naturalization certificate using form N-565 to reflect your new name.

  68. Can i use the court affidavit as abackup to my academic documents when requesting for a job? Because i added aname of my choice on my current name to make them three. Can it be accepted without going back to my formal schz for addition of this newly one the court tht accepted me to use?

    • Can i use the court affidavit as abackup to my academic documents when requesting for a job?

      Whether or not that's satisfactory is up to your prospective employer. It should serve as sufficient proof though.

  69. Helo, my name is Semanda john on my academic papers but of recent i got to add another name on my name now am semanda johnjames, i went in the court and i was allowed to use it. But the qn is can UAE embassy in my country accept to verify my my academic documents without the newly added on name of james? Or i need to change my academic documents' names to the current one??

    • Hi Semanda. The court order should be sufficient along with identity documents in your old and new name. Having said that, you'll still want to contact the embassy to determine which supporting documentation they'll require to bridge the name change between your academic papers.

  70. I graduated from Optometry school 2 years ago and my diploma and all my licensing and contracts with insurance companies are filed under Dr. Maiden Name. I am getting married in a month and have decided to keep my maiden name professionally, however, adopt my new husbands name personally.

    Is it better for me to hyphenate my new last name or to make my maiden name my new middle name? I really do not want to go through the hassle of switching all licenses and contracts for work.

    • Is it better for me to hyphenate my new last name or to make my maiden name my new middle name? I really do not want to go through the hassle of switching all licenses and contracts for work.

      If you're credentials omit your middle name, then going with maiden to middle wouldn't change your name on paper. That's probably the least disruptive route. You may still have to notify your licensing board about the middle name change, even if they don't reissue any documents.

  71. I change my name Raj Mohammad into MD Yasinin gazette of India. I am government teacher in state Bihar. I want to advice you change of name in service record.Raj mohammad

    • Hi Raj. After your gazette is published, you should be sent copies of the Gazette to change your name elsewhere.

  72. Please, I would immensely appreciate it if you can help me…

    I was born in El Salvador (Central America). My dad was Italian from birth. I have both Italian and Salvadorean citizenships. I studied and obtained a bachelors degree in El Salvador.

    I married an American. I live in Texas. Now it’s the time where I have applied for naturalization. I might become a U.S. citizen pretty soon. I will be asked if I want to change my name…well, I never liked my name so my answer will be yes.

    I got transferred and validated this bachelors degree and work now as a teacher. I have a state certification (for teaching) with my name from birth, as well as my social security, passport, green card.

    I have only used my maiden name for everything as I was told I can change my name only at naturalization time, where I can decide of just adding my husbands last name or taking his and getting rid of my last name or get a complete new first and middle name and taking his last name as mine and getting read of mine (this last option is what I would like to do, get a new first name, new middle name and take his last name as mine).

    So I want a complete name but with the last name of my husband. Please, let me know if this is possible, I will go to the Italian consulate to find out about the Italian citizenship issue and also contact my university in El Salvador.

    How could I get it changed like that in Texas? Do I have to go to court, would they likely accept it or will it be under approval, the reason is I simply never liked the first and middle name I was born with. Thank you very much!

    • I would also like to know if there would be any risk of totally losing my bachelors in the US. Do you know if just by presenting my new name naturalization certificate issued through USCIS and a judge would be enough to present it at the entity where I got my bachelor transferred into the us???? So they can revalidate it or have you heard that people have to start a process 8n their country of origin through the US embassy there before getting it validated here. Please let me know if there is the risk of jeopardizing and loosing my bachelors. Thank you

      • Hi Alessia. You won't lose your bachelors just because you changed your name. You'll have to contact the institution that issued your degree about their internal name change procedure.

    • So I want a complete name but with the last name of my husband. Please, let me know if this is possible

      Yes, it can be done as part of the naturalization process.

      How could I get it changed like that in Texas?

      After you update your name with the social security administration, you can change it in Texas as any other married person would.

      Do I have to go to court, would they likely accept it or will it be under approval

      You won't have to go to court.

  73. A Child goes to school all her life at this school and with the same name till gradations and at the ceremony she had them change it to another last name the ex wife and child told the father it wasn't legal yet. Can a school do this.

    • Hi Eva. In your question, it's not wholly clear to me who requested the name change. If the student was a legal adult, only she "should" have the authority to request a name change on her documents, but it's not as though any particular educational institution is required to abide by a set of standard rules the way an SSA or DMV office would.

  74. My husband to be just found out that his name is different on his Birth certificate than the name he has used his whole life. What effect would this have on our Future? Now he was born in Oklahoma in 1935, can we still get married and change legal documents. So many questions.

  75. My former married name is printed on my law school diploma. I went through a really painful divorce and it is so frustrating — several times a month, my (mostly older, w/out a filter;) clients ask me if I got married, is that my maiden name etc. It's awkward at best, painful at worst. It does feel private, and I finally took my law school diploma down. I was able to get it changed with no problem at all and no questions asked at another school for another degree, and on my state bar certificate.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on convincing a small school to change this? I am willing to wait 'til they print new diplomas, I'm willing to pay whatever it costs… I have been purely honest with them — my ex was abusive, having to discuss my name change with my clients is unprofessional and painful and COMPLETELY different from just saying "yeah that was my maiden name." I wish I could display my diploma that I worked SO HARD for. I hate to bring up federal law but…considering it!

    • Hi Amy. I don't see why any school would have a problem updating your documents if you have a sufficient supporting document (e.g., divorce decree with name restoration order) to justify it.

  76. I'm getting married before I graduate, and I'm planning on having my last name hyphenated. Would it be possible for me to only have my maiden name on my degree?

    • Would it be possible for me to only have my maiden name on my degree?

      That's up to your school, but I doubt it would be a problem.

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