Chosen/Preferred First Name

Charlotte is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus environment as a foundation for your success! We recognize that a legal name or assigned sex isn’t always a good fit for everyone, and that there are many reasons one might use a name, gender identity, or pronouns that is different from their legal name or assigned sex.

Your Chosen/Preferred First Name

We are aware that many students use a first name other than their legal first name and want to ensure it is easy for you to update that information. We strive to create a personal experience by allowing opportunities for every member of our community to get to know each other better.

  • One of the many ways we are doing this is by allowing you to provide your “chosen/preferred first name” which can be used on your 49er ID card, in emails, in classrooms, and in everyday conversation.
  • We appreciate your patience as we are rolling out this functionality across the multiple systems on campus.


What are the reasons for this option?

Many members of the Charlotte community use a preferred first name that differs from their legal first name. These may include individuals who prefer to use:

  • a middle name instead of a first name
  • an anglicized name
  • a name that most aligns with an individual’s gender identity
  • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing

At Charlotte, we strive to create a personal experience consistent with being a member of the Niner community.

What is a chosen/preferred first name?

A first name by which an individual wishes to be identified that is other than the individual’s legal first name. Charlotte provides a process for any student or employee to include a chosen/preferred first name (PFN). While Charlotte will work toward primary use of the PFN, use of one’s legal first name will continue to be necessary in some instances.

Can I request any chosen/preferred first name I want?

Yes, although…

  • Charlotte reserves the right to deny a request to include a chosen/preferred first name (PFN) if the request constitutes a misrepresentation, is fraudulent, or otherwise violates a University Policy and/or the Code of Student Responsibility.
  • These issues related to misuse of the PFN process will be referred to the Dean of Student’s Office or Office of Human Resources for investigation, review and possible referral to other units on campus.

Can I specify a preferred middle or last name?

No, a chosen/preferred first name includes only your first name. If you wish to change your middle or last name, you will need to submit a Demographic Change Request and provide documentation to the Office of the Registrar.

How do I submit a chosen/preferred first name?

Log in to MyCharlotte ​> Select Student Self Service under Quick Links > Select Personal Information in the 4-square menu > Select Personal Information Dashboard > Make the appropriate selections to update your information

Do I have to get a new 49er ID card if I submit a chosen/preferred first name?

No, the decision to request a new 49er ID card is entirely optional.

How do I get a new 49er ID card with my chosen/preferred first name?

After submitting your chosen/preferred first name in Banner Self Service, allow 24 hours for your record to update and export to the 49er ID card system. You may then request a new 49er ID card at the 49er Card Office located in the Auxiliary Services Building, at the ID Office located in the Popp Martin Student Union or at the Center City Campus.

Please be aware that if you have plans to use your 49er ID card for various legal, immigration, employment or voting purposes, the name listed on your 49er ID card may not match records maintained by other agencies outside of Charlotte.

How much will a new 49er ID card cost?

If you exchange your current 49er ID card there is no cost to replace your card due to a name change, otherwise there will be a $20.00 replacement fee due at the time of card distribution.

If my department wants to begin utilizing chosen/preferred first name, who do I contact?

The first step would be to take a look at the systems your department utilizes. Not all business processes can utilize the chosen/preferred first name (PFN). If your department manages a particular system and makes the transition to using PFN, please notify the Office of the Registrar to update the online listing. If there are departmental reports that you wish to update, please contact the report manager to add this information. There is a script that can be embedded in most reports to display the PFN when it exists, replacing the legal first name. And finally, it will be important to work with departmental team members to encourage the usage of PFN, even if it takes a little extra time to ensure you’re addressing the faculty, staff, or student by their PFN. Being aware of which systems utilize PFN and which do not is also helpful. Knowing which systems have not utilized PFN may prompt the need to ask the individual how they would like to be referenced.

Why does my preferred first name appear in some places, but not others?

First, determine where your reporting data originates. There are many ancillary systems on campus that provide data, including the Office of the Registrar. Once you have identified the office responsible for providing the data, reach out and request that preferred first name is used, if available. It will be helpful to include the name of the report or system you are referencing.

For Office of the Registrar supplied data, contact Jessica Miller,

Do federal, state, and other government agencies use chosen/preferred first name?

Some campus departments interact with and send reports to federal, state, and other government agencies that verify the identity of a student, faculty, or staff by using their legal name and other personally identifiable information that prohibits the use of preferred first names. View the System Updates chart to see where chosen/preferred first name will not be used.

Even though these systems may not be using chosen/preferred first name, Charlotte is still committed to using chosen/preferred first name when interacting with students and colleagues. It is important to use one’s preferred first name to create a more welcoming and affirming campus environment, as a way to personalize the Charlotte experience.

I work the main desk or front counter for my department. How does this impact me?

It is important to know how to search using the preferred or legal first name. This could be different depending on the systems being accessed. If a chosen/preferred first name is provided, that is the name that should be used.

What if I intentionally do not use a student, staff, or faculty member’s chosen/preferred first name and/or preferred gender pronoun?

Intentionally and persistently not using the name and/or gender pronoun that corresponds to the gender identity with which a student or employee identifies could be considered unlawful sex discrimination under federal law. Any student or employee who believes they are being discriminated against in this manner should report the behavior at The report will be directed to the appropriate university office for review and response.

What if I see misuse?

If you notice an inappropriate chosen/preferred first name used by a student, reach out to the Office of the Registrar, so that they can connect with the student. If you notice an inappropriate preferred first name used by a faculty or staff member, reach out to Human Resources, so they can connect with the employee.

What if I unintentionally use a student, staff, or faculty member’s legal name instead of their chosen/preferred first name?

We are striving to create an ethically responsible, respectful, and inclusive campus environment in alignment with the vision and values of the university. If you unintentionally use a student’s or employee’s legal first name, correct yourself once you notice or when feedback is provided, apologize, and continue to practice utilizing preferred first name.

If the unintentional use of preferred first name is a result of confusion with an LGBTQ student, we encourage you to attend the Sexuality and Gender Education (SAGE) Program training to become more aware of how important it is to use a correct preferred name with the LGBTQ community. For other training opportunities, reaching out to knowledgeable offices, such as Title IX, Human Resources, etc. is encouraged.