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Preferred Names May Be Used on Stanford ID Cards

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Recognizing that legal names may not always align with the identities individuals wish to express, the university will permit faculty, staff, and students to get new campus ID cards that reflect a preferred name.

This extends a policy introduced this past summer that offered new students the first opportunity to print an ID card with a preferred name.

How to add a preferred name

If you’d like to add a preferred name, you can do so by entering it into the university data systems.

  • At this time, faculty and staff members can set a preferred first or middle name only online, and should contact University HR to add a preferred last name.
  • The name on your ID card will be printed exactly as you have entered it in the system. There is no name validation at the time of printing.
  • Stanford’s mobile system doesn’t allow individuals to have a blank first or last name. If your preferred name doesn’t include a first name or a last name, you can choose not to use Stanford Mobile or put a character or number in the field that would otherwise be blank.
  • To learn more, refer to this list of frequently asked questions.

Once you’ve updated your information to include a preferred name, it will display in the Stanford directories and Stanford Mobile, if you use the app. You aren’t required to obtain a new ID card, but you may request one if you’d like.

How to request a new ID card

Starting Oct. 1, 2023, you may submit a request for a “preferred name” ID card to Campus Card Services. If you already have an ID card, there is a $25 replacement fee associated with this service. It’s important to note that an ID card can be issued only if you show a valid government-issued identification that verifies your legal name, even if a preferred name is printed on your ID card.

Free to express your true self

Members of the Stanford University community may have many reasons for selecting a name other than their legal one. These could include:

  • Opting to use a shortened derivative of a name, a middle name, or initials
  • Choosing a name that aligns more closely with their gender identity
  • Embracing a name they are currently in the process of legally changing

We’re excited to support this important change that endeavors to further foster an environment where every member of our community feels deeply respected, valued, and comfortable in expressing their authentic selves.


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