Can I change my name at Grand Valley State University?

At this time, we are not able to change legal names in the Banner system, which generates rosters and determines how student names appear in various areas of campus. Legal names will continue to appear on class rosters, public computers, and any other system that pulls information from Banner. GVSU is working on a solution to this challenge.

In the meantime, students who use a name different from the name that appears on their state-issued identification may change their name at GVSU on the following items:

  • GVSU ID card
  • name associated with student email account
  • Blackboard, an online learning tool for discussions and class group collaborations

How do I change my name?

To initiate a name change request, students should email Bill Widmaier ( in the Registrar's Office. Bill works with students via email, phone, or in-person to update their information and to communicate with faculty about any discrepancies between a student’s information in Banner and the name(s) the student uses.

How do I get a new ID card?

After the name change process has been completed, students can request an updated ID card at no additional cost. Students can make an appointment with Bill to obtain an ID card with an updated name. Alternatively, students can drop-in to the registrar’s office to request a new ID card with their updated name and photo.

Can I have a new picture taken?

Students requesting ID cards with updated names may choose to have a new picture taken for their card, but this is not required. Students can request an updated picture at any time. Please note that faculty rosters now show photos pulled from the database of student ID photos.

***Students must turn in their old ID when receiving an updated ID card.

Students who acquire a new social security card with their new name can submit it to the records office with a Name Change Form.

How does this name change process affect my ability to receive packages while living on campus?

On-campus residents should be aware of the processes necessary to accurately receive mail when using a name or names different from their legal name (the name listed in Banner). When the mailroom receives packages, they need to verify that the person the package is addressed to actually lives on campus. This creates opportunities for confusion and misdirection when packages are addressed to names other than students’ legal names. To address this issue, the mailroom has developed the following processes:

If students have registered a use name through the Registrar’s process described above, the Registrar will communicate that use name to the campus mailroom. Students who do not want their use names conveyed to the campus mailroom may opt out by emailing Bill Widmaier at

Students who use a name different from their legal name and who have not gone through the Registrar’s process can email Melanie Grover at to communicate other name(s) through which they may receive packages.

These processes are intended to allow mailroom employees to match recipients with packages without asking additional questions to verify the student’s first name.

If you have any comments, concerns, or suggestions to improve existing use name processes, please contact the Center staff at

Visit our Trans Resources page

For more information on trans athletic policies and changing your legal name visit our Trans Resources page.

Page last modified October 27, 2016