Office of the University Registrar

Names

The Office of the University Registrar supports students’ identity by allowing them to manage four different name types in University systems.

Student Record Name

The Student Record Name at the University of Washington is the name that is provided initially by the applicant through the admissions application process.

International students: on F and J visas – the Student Record Name must match the full name on their passport.

Financial Aid recipients: Students applying for financial aid should coordinate student record name changes with the Office of Student Financial Aid. Please contact osfa@uw.edu to provide documentation of your record name change.

Legal Name
Note: The Student Record Name is often referred to informally as “legal name;” but this is incorrect. There are names that require legal documentation to change from one name to another, but one’s name is not considered legal or not legal, per University of Washington Attorney General Office guidance.

Where Student Record Name is Used

The Student Record Name appears on the official transcript, financial documents, and immigration documents issued by the University, even if a student has identified a different Preferred, Commencement, or Diploma Name. It is also used as the default for Commencement and Diploma Name if the student has not provided an alternative by the specified deadline for such purposes.

How to Update Student Record Name

For a student to change their Student Record Name, legal documentation, or proof of usage demonstrated by mail and documents with the desired name is required of the student’s new name. A Student Record Name change may be processed either in person, at the Office of the University Registrar, 2nd Floor Schmitz Hall, or via email to registra@uw.edu.

International students on F and J visas should review the ISS Name Change process before submitting a Student Record Name change request.

Student Record Name change requests will be accepted for students who are currently enrolled and for previous students whose records are maintained in the student database. If there is a request for a Student Record Name change on a student’s academic record whose record is on microfilm, approval needs to be given by one of the registrars.

Documents

A certified copy of a court order or a marriage certificate or a dissolution decree reflecting the new name in full is the primary document required. If these documents are not available, then the student must demonstrate usage. The student must provide proof that they are the person whose Student Record Name is being changed. This typically requires a photo ID. Once verified, the student must submit a minimum of two of the following documents. At least one of the documents must have a date of birth, a photograph, and a signature:

  • Former ID
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid military ID
  • Student ID
  • Other Valid ID: Must be issued by an institution of higher education, state or federal agency
  • Valid passport
  • Original copy of citizenship form that contains signature & photograph
  • Foreign country’s passport
  • A federally recognized Indian tribe’s enrollment card or a US Bureau of Indian Affairs identification card containing the signature and photograph of the individual
  • Employee identification cards
  • Business License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Utility, telephone, medical bills that show name used

Middle Name

Students may change their middle name(s) to an initial or vice versa without documentation. Documentation is required if a student is adding or deleting a middle name.

Transcripts

Once the Student Record has been updated to a new Student Record Name students can follow the Official Transcript ordering process to purchase a new official transcript.

Processing Time

Note: While the main Student Database is updated immediately, not all systems that rely on the Student Database update student record changes immediately. Some update nightly, some update weekly, and some update only once per quarter.

Preferred Name

A Preferred Name is the name that a student would like others at the UW to call them instead of their Student Record Name. The Preferred Name (or Chosen Name) is one that students can change as often as desired.

Where Preferred Name is Used

The Preferred Name can be consumed by a wide variety of applications at the University, including the unofficial transcript, class rosters, Husky Card, and the Electronic Advising Record System (EARS), to name a few. Be sure to provide a Preferred Name to the University only if you would be comfortable with anyone seeing this name in print.

How to Update Preferred Name

Log into identity.uw.edu [UWNetID required] to make changes.

Review the Preferred Names FAQs to learn more.

Commencement Program Name

The Commencement Program Name is used in the annual online or virtual commencement program on each of the three University of Washington campuses.

Who Manages the Commencement Program Name

The Commencement Program is managed by the Office of Ceremonies for the University of Washington, or by the Commencement Offices on the UW Bothell and UW Tacoma campuses.

How to Update Commencement Program Name

Students who have graduated or will graduate during a specific academic year are sent an email (to their @uw.edu email address) providing them with the opportunity to either opt out of being listed in that year’s Commencement Program or to provide a Commencement Program Name for the program. There is a deadline for this action, which is based on publication and/or printing deadlines.

Students who miss the stated deadline will have their Student Record Name printed.

For more information visit the Office of Ceremonies website.

Diploma Name

The Diploma Name appears on the official University of Washington diploma if a student has designated a specific Diploma Name to be used apart from the Student Record name.

Where Diploma Name is Used

Diploma Name appears on the official University of Washington paper printed and ceDiploma.

How to Update Diploma Name

First-time diploma recipients
Students who have graduated are sent an email (to their @uw.edu email address) around 6 weeks after their graduation date regarding their diploma. This email gives students the opportunity to submit the Diploma Name and diploma mailing address for their diploma. There is a deadline for this action, based on diploma printing timelines.

Students who miss the stated deadline will have their Student Record Name printed on their diploma and it will be mailed to the permanent address per UW records.

Replacement diploma recipients
Graduates who have received their initial diploma and would like to purchase a replacement diploma with a Diploma Name that differs from the original can follow the directions to choose a Diploma Name on the Graduation and Diplomas webpage.

Additional Identity Information

Gender

Requests to change the gender listed on the student record can be made either in person at the Office of the University Registrar or by emailing registra@uw.edu. No documentation is required.