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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, a legal name is 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.|
|A common name is 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.|
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 http://web.mit.edu/moira, 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.
If you wish to update your name or have errors corrected, you should contact Human Resources if your legal name has changed. The Human Resources department can update it everywhere. It is also possible to use Atlas Self-Service at atlas.mit.edu 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 Exchange Email and Calendaring system.
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 student.mit.edu. The "administrative" name is used on class lists, grade sheets, and most MIT systems, including MIT Directory and the Exchange Email and Calendaring system.
Temporary employees, contractors, and other affiliates who have active @mit.edu 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.
Creating an MIT ID Card requires presenting a current government-issued photo ID at the Card Office, and the MIT ID card is required to match the legal name on the government identity forms. In the event that a person's legal name is changed, that person should update their name with in current Institute records with the appropriate office, then visit the Card Office with legal proof of change of name.
The Office of the Registrar will update diplomas and other documents for alumni only if they are able to present a legal change of name and gender document from a court. The Registrar will update documents for Mrs. Jane Doe whose original diploma says “Joe User,” but not for Mrs. Jane Doe whose original diploma says “Jane User.”
Kerberos username changes are rare, and generally only done in the case of legal name change. Be aware that this is somewhat of a hassle, because Kerberos usernames are used to access a large number of MIT resources, including your main email address. Things can break. It is generally easier to create an email list with a suitable email address instead of a new Kerberos username. 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, feel free to investigate the man page for the command ‘chfn’. 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.