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How do I change my name at Grand Valley State University?

Students whose preferred names do not match their state-issued identification may have their preferred name on the following items:

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

Students must make these requests by contacting Bill Widmaier ( in the Registrar's Office.

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

Passport as Identitification

Depending on the state in which you live, acquiring a passport with your preferred name and/or gender marker may be easier than acquiring a state-issued identification document. The U.S. Department of State has a guide for "Gender Reassignment Applicants."

If you already have a passport and you have had your name legally changed by the court, you will need to update your passport. Follow these guidelines for changing or correcting a passport

How do I change my name on my Social Security card?

Getting a new social security card (a resource from the National Center for Transgender Equality)
This guide addresses how to get a new social security card and related topics including health insurance, identity match concerns, social security benefits, and marriage. 

How do I change my name in the state of Michigan?


How to Begin

To start a proceeding to change your name, the name of your child, or your family's last name, you (the petitioner) must complete the Petition to Change Name, form PC 51, and file it with the circuit court in the county where you live. The cost of filing your petition is $150.00. Additional fees may apply, depending on the county. Some counties have specific instructions for filing in their courts. For a local example, Ottawa County has an online form with detailed instructions for name change. GVSU's Allendale campus is in Ottawa County and students who live on campus or nearby can be eligible as student residents of the county. The cost of filing a petition in Ottawa County is $160.00, including a $10.00 fee for a certified copy of the Order Changing Name. There is a $10.00 fee for each additional copy. 


To change the name of an adult, a minor, or the name of a family, you (the petitioner)

1. Must be a resident of the county for at least one year.

2. Your petition must explain the reasons for your request and that the name change is not being sought with a fraudulent intent.

If you have a criminal record, you are presumed to be seeking a name change with fraudulent intent and the change will not be ordered unless you can prove that your request is not for fraudulent purposes.

NOTE: If you have student loans, you must include a notice of your legal name change to the creditor. This can be done in tandem with the required public notice. 

How do I change the gender on my Michigan birth record?

Changing your gender in the State of Michigan


You will need to provide:

1. A completed application to change a Michigan birth record.

2. Michigan Vital Record Division's medical affidavit, completed by the physician that performed the surgery procedure(s), certifying that an individual has had "appropriate surgical procedures completed for gender transition." The affidavit must be notarized.

Note: If you want to also change your first and middle name as a result of surgery, the physician should designate the changed name on the affidavit. If the physician does not designate the name to be changed at the time you submit the application, it can be done by court order.