Office of the University Registrar

Preferred Names FAQs

Detailed information regarding the types of name records maintained by the University, including Preferred Name, can be found on the Names page.

Note: Students may choose whatever Preferred Names they would like for their first, middle, and last separately. However, students need to make sure that what they choose represents the name they want to appear to their instructors, on their Husky Card, etc.

For example, many students have changed their Preferred Names to a pronoun not realizing that their full Preferred Name will now read as She/Her or He/Him or They/Them. Please review this information about how the use of Pronouns is being implemented at UW.

Students who change their Preferred Name after the first day of the quarter must notify professors and teaching assistants of the change to their Preferred Name. The University will not notify when students have provided or changed a Preferred Name, although they will be able to see Preferred Names and student identification numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Preferred Name?

The term “Preferred Name” refers to a name that an individual wishes to use that differs from their student record name on official UW documents and/or differs from the name that is listed on a student or employee’s original UW record that has not been changed per UW name change procedures.

How do I get my Preferred Name printed on my Husky Card?

You may provide the University with your Preferred Name by logging into Identity.UW and following the directions. Please allow 1-2 business days for your Preferred Name to be updated in the Husky Card system before visiting an ID Center location.

Do I have to use a Preferred Name on my Husky Card?

No. Using your Preferred Name for your Husky Card is an option for students and employees but is in no way a requirement.

Can I get my Preferred Name on my Husky Card?

Bring your current card with you to an ID Center location to request a replacement Husky Card. Please note, all name change replacements are assessed the standard $25 replacement fee. U-PASS holders should allow 24-48 hours for their new card to begin working on transit.

Will I have to pay the Husky Card replacement fee?


How will having a Preferred Name instead of my student record name on my Husky Card affect me?

Your Preferred Name is for use within the University community. If you choose to have your Preferred Name on your Husky Card it cannot be used as proof of legal identity and may impact its use as a form of ID. It is advisable to carry a government-issued form of ID such as a driver’s license or passport with you.

Why does the University use Preferred Names on non-UW official documents?

The University of Washington values and honors diverse experiences and perspectives and strives to create a welcoming and respectful learning environment, to promote access, opportunity, and justice for all. Referring to students by the name they wish to be called in classrooms and when interacting with University personnel supports a respectful learning environment.

What does a Preferred Name mean at the University of Washington?

The term “Preferred Name” refers to a name that an individual wishes to use that differs from their student record name on UW documents and/or differs from the name that is listed on a student’s original UW student record that has not been changed per the UW name change procedures.

How do I provide the University with my Preferred Name?

Log into Identity.UW and follow the directions to set your Preferred Name with the University. You may choose a different first, middle, and/or last name as your Preferred Name.

Where will the Preferred Name appear?

  • UW Directory
  • Husky Cards
  • Class lists
  • Photo class rosters
  • Student Data Base SRF305 screen used by University administrators
  • GradePage (the tool for faculty to submit grades).
  • Canvas
  • MyUW
  • MyPlan
  • MyGradProgram
  • EARS Advising tools
  • Panopto

What documents will not have Preferred Names?

Student record names, not Preferred Names, will appear on transcripts, diplomas*, official student accounts and financial aid records, certification documents, student employment records, and immigration/SEVIS documents.

Preferred names do not appear on diplomas but graduates are able to request a diploma name of their choosing for their diploma.

Where will my student record name be used?

Your student record name will be used in business processes and other activities that require, per the UW Preferred Name policy use of your student record name. These include:

  • International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) Documentation
  • Student Financial Services Documentation
  • Financial Aid
  • Student Employment Records
  • Federal Requests for Information
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • Transcripts
  • Academic Certifications
  • Diplomas

How do I change my student record name?

Please review the Name Change Process to learn how to formally change your student record name as a student at the University.

What is a legal name?

Technically, legal guidance affirms that there is no actual legal term referred to as a “legal name.” It is common for many organizations to refer to legal name as the name that appears on your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card. At the UW we use the term student record name and in order to change this for official UW documents, a student must complete the name change process.

Do I have to use a Preferred Name?

No. Using your Preferred Name for your Husky Card is an option for students and employees but is in no way a requirement.

When will my Preferred Name go into effect?

You may provide the University with a Preferred Name or update your Preferred Name anytime at Identity.UW. It will take 24 business hours for the update to appear in the applications provisioned for Preferred Names.  You may change your Preferred Name at any time and more than once.

Why would someone want to use a Preferred Name?

The reasons for choosing a Preferred Name that may be different from a changed name through the UW name change process are personal and different for each individual.

Students may have many reasons for asking to have their Preferred Names, over their student record names, displayed on non-UW official documents:

  • Preferring to use a nickname or middle instead of their student record first name
  • Choosing a name that aligns with their gender identity
  • Desiring to use a “Western” or “Americanized” name rather than a name in another language
  • Wanting a preemptive name change while in the process of legal divorce proceedings

What are the terms and conditions of setting a Preferred Name at Identity.UW?

When you set your Preferred Name, you agree that:

  • You have not set a Preferred Name with an intent to impersonate someone else, to deceive, or to defraud;
  • Hate speech, inappropriate language, or repeated frequent use of this feature may bar you from using this feature, at the University’s discretion;
  • Your Preferred Name may be used in any UW system.

Are there any Preferred Name restrictions?

Preferred Names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. The University reserves the right to remove a Preferred Name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language.

Does a referred first name affect my student record name?

No. Setting a Preferred Name does not change your student record name.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Please email the Office of the University Registrar at