Changing the Name on Official Records at Goucher College

The Office of the Registrar is responsible for maintaining a student's official academic records, and as such is the office that controls student name changes at Goucher College.  All inquiries and requests should be directed to this office.

The name on your official college records is the name that appears on your original application for admission to Goucher.  If you wish to change this name, please read the following directions carefully. 

Goucher College requires proof that your name has been legally changed in order to change the name on your official college records.  In order to request a name change, you must complete the Name Change Request form AND present documentation that your name has been legally changed.   The types of documentation that constitute proof of legal name change are listed below.  You must present the original legal document or a certified (i.e. notarized) copy with the original notary seal to the Office of the Registrar. Faxes cannot be accepted. Original documents will be copied for your file and returned to you.  

PERMITTED CHANGES TO STUDENT NAME

The legal name as maintained in the college's database will be the name that appears on your Goucher College official records, on your diploma, and in the official commencement program. Changes permitted to your name are as follows:

•·FIRST NAME: You may not drop or change your first name without legal documentation such as a birth certificate, court order, Certificate of Naturalization, or passport. International students may not alter any portion of their name from the way it appears on their passport.

•·MIDDLE NAME: You may change your given middle name to a middle initial (i.e. change "Sue" to "S.") without legal documentation. A birth certificate, passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or court order is needed to change the middle name or add additional middle names, expand the middle name from an initial, or remove the middle name completely. Name changes permitted based on a marriage license include replacement of the given middle name with the maiden name or inclusion of the maiden name with the given middle name. International students may not alter any portion of their name from the way it appears on their passport.

•·LAST NAME (SURNAME, FAMILY NAME): Your last name may be changed only on the basis of a marriage license, divorce decree granting restoration of the maiden or other name, Certificate of Naturalization, or court order. When changing your name based on marriage, you may replace your maiden name with your married name, or use both names. When changing your name based on divorce, you may replace your married name with your maiden name.  International students may not alter any portion of their name from the way it appears on their passport.

LEGAL DOCUMENTATION OF NAME CHANGE

Acceptable legal documents for name changes are determined by the reason for the change, as described below. Only original documents, or copies with an original notary seal are accepted. Faxed copies are not accepted. A driver's license, social security card, or marriage certificate issued by the church are not acceptable as legal documentation for a change of name, except when correcting a minor spelling error such as a transposition of letters.

•·MARRIAGE: Original marriage license bearing the filing stamp from the county or parish in which the license was issued. Copies with an original notary seal are accepted. Church-issued marriage certificates are not acceptable documentation for a name change. If your marriage license does not indicate a name change, you must present the marriage license and some other form of identification indicating that you have changed to your married name.

•·DIVORCE: Original divorce decree that includes a specific decree granting restoration of the maiden or other name. The decree must be signed by the presiding judge and bear the county filing stamp. If submitting a certified copy, you need only include the first page of the decree, the page containing the name restoration order, and the page bearing the judge's signature.  If your divorce decree does not indicate a name change, you must present the divorce decree and some other form of identification indicating that you have changed to your maiden or other name. 

•·COURT ORDER: Original court order signed by the presiding judge and bearing the county filing stamp.

•·CITIZENSHIP BY NATURALIZATION: Original Certificate of Naturalization.

•·CORRECT AN ERROR ON THE ADMISSION APPLICATION: Birth certificate or current, valid U.S. passport.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: International students' names must appear on your college records exactly as they appear on the passport issued by your home country. The U.S. entry visa may not be used as documentation for a name change.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR DEGREE CANDIDATES BEFORE GRADUATION:  Requests for name changes for degree candidates must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than one week after the graduation application deadline. Students requesting name changes after this date are not guaranteed that the change will be reflected in the commencement program.