Modernizing Name Change Procedures

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

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.

According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality, 51% of transgender women and men and 11% of non-binary people tried to complete the name change process. However, 24% of them were worried that changing their name would out them.

House of Delegates Judiciary Committee // HB 0519

Member Email Address Phone Number
Luke H. Clippinger (Chair) luke.clippinger@house.state.md.us 410-841-3488 | 301-858-3488
Vanessa E. Atterbeary (Vice Chair) vanessa.atterbeary@house.state.md.us 410-841-3471 | 301-858-3471
Curtis S. (Curt) Anderson curt.anderson@house.state.md.us 410-323-4324
Lauren R. Arikan lauren.arikan@house.state.md.us 410-841-3334 | 301-858-3334
J. Sandy Bartlett sandy.bartlett@house.state.md.us 410-841-3370 | 301-858-3370
Jon S. Cardin jon.cardin@house.state.md.us 410-841-3054 | 301-858-3054
Frank M. Conaway, Jr. frank.conaway@house.state.md.us 410-841-3189
Daniel L. Cox dan.cox@house.state.md.us 410-841-3288 | 301-858-3288
Charlotte Crutchfield charlotte.crutchfield@house.state.md.us 410-841-3485 | 301-858-3485
Debra M. Davis debra.davis@house.state.md.us 410-841-3337 | 301-858-3337
Wanika B. Fisher wanika.fisher@house.state.md.us 410-841-3340 | 301-858-3340
Robin L. Grammer, Jr. Robin.Grammer@house.state.md.us 410-841-3298 | 301-858-3298
Wayne A. Hartman wayne.hartman@house.state.md.us 410-841-3356 | 301-858-3356
Jazz M. Lewis jazz.lewis@house.state.md.us 410-841-3691 | 301-858-3691
Lesley J. Lopez lesley.lopez@house.state.md.us 410-841-3021 | 301-858-3021
Michael E. Malone michael.malone@house.state.md.us 410-841-3510 | 301-858-3510
Susan K. McComas susan.mccomas@house.state.md.us 410-836-9449
David Moon david.moon@house.state.md.us 410-841-3474 | 301-858-3474
Jesse T. Pippy jesse.pippy@house.state.md.us 410-841-3118 | 301-858-3118
Emily K. Shetty emily.shetty@house.state.md.us 410-841-3181 | 301-858-3181
Charles E. Sydnor III charles.sydnor@house.state.md.us 410-841-3802 | 301-858-3802
Ronald L. Watson ron.watson@house.state.md.us 410-841-3448 | 301-858-3448