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05/26/2024 05:11 AM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 6, 2023 09:50 AM
From: Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti and Sen. Timothy P. Kearney, Sen. Katie J. Muth, Sen. Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Administrative Name Change Reform
Last session, we introduced a package of legislation aimed at addressing the ongoing challenges and legal barriers transgender individuals and members of the LGBTQ community face when going through the name change process in the Commonwealth. Since introducing these bills, we have continued to hear from members of the community about the need to advance these pieces of legislation, especially at a time when members feel more under attack than ever. In that effort, we are re-introducing this package of bills so that individuals can more easily live as their authentic selves. 


This legislation will replace the antiquated judicial name change process in Pennsylvania with a simpler, more streamlined, and largely administrative process. The current process for legally changing one’s name is expensive, time-consuming, and fraught with danger for members of Pennsylvania’s transgender community.    


By replacing our current judicial name change process with an administrative one, Pennsylvanians will have a single office and streamlined process to navigate. This new statute would establish separate but similar processes for adult and minor applicants. Court involvement would only be necessary in specific circumstances, for instance:  In the event an application cannot be completed for technical reasons, such as the inability to obtain proper identity establishing documents, or in the event of a legitimate objection by a parent who currently has parental rights. All documents created would be automatically sealed to protect the identity of the applicant. Further, this administrative process will not include several problematic, unnecessary, and discriminatory components of our current name change process such as advertising requirements and a bar on convicted felons receiving a name change for two years after their sentence has been served.    


Please join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation to update Pennsylvania’s archaic name change process.  

Introduced as SB530