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Name Changes At MIT

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Changing your name in the MIT computing systems is a little bit difficult, because there are many databases in the MIT computing systems.  How these databases update their records of your name - if they do so at all - isn't always clear or predictable.  

For the purposes of this document:
  • Legal name: one that is established or altered by an official document like a birth certificate, adoption record, legal change of name, divorce decree, or marriage certificate.
  • Common name: one that is different from someone’s legal name, but indicates how they would prefer to be addressed - Tennessee Williams rather than Thomas, for example.

Creating A New E-Mail Address

Changing your Kerberos username and email address is not recommended. You can use a mailing list to simulate a new email address, as this will only take a few more minutes than changing your Directory Name, as described below. To get a new email address, create a Moira list with that address at, and make sure it forwards email to your main address (or wherever you want to get email).  For more information on managing Moira lists and sending messages from them, please review this page and the relevant Knowledge Base articles.

Changing Your Name on Current Institute Records

For Faculty and Staff

If your legal name has changed, please refer to the documentation on the HR Name Change Notification Form page. It is also possible to use Atlas Self-Service at to update your “directory name,” which may be a common name. The directory name is listed in most public places including the MIT Directory and the M365 Email and Calendaring system.

For Active Students

Students who wish to change their legal name should complete a legal change of name form in the Registrar’s Office, 5-117. A copy of the court order, marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc must also be provided.

You can change your "administrative" first or middle name on WebSIS at under the “Biographic Information” section. The "administrative" name is used on class lists, grade sheets, and most MIT systems, including MIT Directory and Email and Calendaring systems.

For Guests and Affiliates

Temporary employees, contractors, and other affiliates who have active email addresses can contact Athena User Accounts if there is a need to update your name or have errors corrected.  Usually, Athena User Accounts will update an MIT Affiliate account to reflect a common and/or legal name.  If your MIT Affiliate account is sponsored by a specific person, Accounts is likely to contact that person to confirm that your name should be changed in the computer.

Changing Your Name on Your MIT ID

Students, faculty, and staff may update the name displayed on their digital and physical MIT ID. For instructions, see Changing your name on your MIT ID on the IS&T website

Changing Your Name on Your Diploma

The Office of the Registrar handles updates of diplomas and other documents for alumni. For more information, see:;

Changing Your Kerberos Username

Kerberos username changes are granted in most cases. Please be aware that this is somewhat of a process, because Kerberos usernames are used to access a large number of MIT resources, including your main email address. Things can potentially break, so it is highly recommended to check your accesses with a Service Desk member after the change has been executed. If there is a need to change your MIT Kerberos username, you may request this through Athena User Accounts.


If you’re very comfortable with the Athena command-line interface, you may also want to run ‘chfn.moira’ to update your Athena name. If you’re not sure which organization at MIT is responsible for your Institute records (e.g. you are enrolled in classes at MIT and also employed here), please contact Athena User Accounts and they can provide further guidance.


Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community

Last Modified:

March 22, 2024

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