Bill Title: Action for Change of Name – Procedures and Requirements
Bill Number(s): SB0905 and HB1005
Bill Sponsor(s): Senator Jeff Waldstreicher (D-18, Montgomery County) and Delegate Emily Shetty (D-18, Montgomery County)
Position: Support with amendments
Legislative history: Received hearing in Judiciary committee
What would this bill do?
This bill would change the procedures for name changes. Some people choose to change their names to better reflect their gender identity. A legal name change order is almost always required to update the name listed on many forms of official IDs and records, such as driver’s licenses, passports, and Social Security cards.
First, this bill would eliminate the current requirement to publish the petition for a name change in a county newspaper. For minors, the bill would require that the petition be served to the individual’s parents or guardians.
Why is this bill needed?
Often, the publication requirement is a significant burden that causes undue stress for transgender individuals by forcing a private choice into the public sphere. The publication of a name change can exacerbate the negative outcomes experienced by transgender and non-binary individuals, including unnecessary scrutiny by law enforcement, denial of housing, employment, health or public benefits, and verbal harassment or physical violence. In addition, this requirement can create a financial barrier as the cost of publication can range from $30 to $300 depending on the county. Reversing this requirement would make the name change procedure less burdensome.
House of Delegates Judiciary Committee // HB 0519