How to fix name mismatch between birth certificate and driver's license
May 19, 2023 7:13 AM   Subscribe

My name on my driver's license is a shortened version of my legal name on my birth certificate, social security card, and passport (think along the lines of Jon vs Jonathan.) With my recent state move which might require my first RealID drivers license, will this be an issue?

I prefer the shortened name and just kind of went with it with my first driver's license. It didn't seem to matter at the time but I fear the RealID process might have an issue.

My shortened name is on: Driver's License, credit cards, phone, email.
My longer legal name is on: birth certificate, passport, social security card.

Should I try to rectify this before it blows up in my face? How? With my move to a new state I fear they won't allow me to turn in a DL from another state with the shortened name and request one in the new state with the longer one.

Help! I fear the bureaucratic red tape of both fixing it and not fixing it.

(note: I know RealID compliance deadlines keep getting pushed back but presumably I should figure this out before it's no longer optional.)
posted by bluecore to Law & Government (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When you get your Real ID, they will be using the documents with your long legal name on them. Your new ID will have the long legal name on it. Your old state's license will not matter in this process. If they ask (they probably will not), explain that the old state mistakenly used a shortened version of your name.
posted by schyler523 at 7:23 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]

having my old license in my legal name helped the process be quicker, but you can easily bring along other items that can take its place.

i don't think you will have any problems as long as you can provide all of the other documentation.

atleast where i live (in a non RealID state) getting it done took longer than a regular id, but not prohibitively long and now i have an ID for 8 years.
posted by domino at 7:30 AM on May 19

Your problem might arise with the part that confirms your address. You need two items in your name that confirm your address but they give you lots of options - car registration, hospital bills, insurance etc. that should have your full legal name on them anyway.
posted by domino at 7:34 AM on May 19

I had the reverse problem (incorrect name on my SS card) and that was a real chore to resolve sufficiently to get issued the new license. As long as you have lots of alternate forms of ID, proofs of address, etc., that all match correctly, I think you will be fine.

But I believe that to get your preferred name back on your license, you would have to fix/change things with Social Security first.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:56 AM on May 19

It’s annoying but not the end of the world to go and get your real ID listen ce. Go and do thag now before you move because correcting/dealing with anything across state lines always ends up being just that much harder
posted by raccoon409 at 8:28 AM on May 19

Probably it's best to rectify it, but for what it is worth, I have Shortname on my driver's license, credit cards, bank accounts, and Longername on my birth cert., passport, SS card, Medicare care. Longername=Shortname + 2 letters at the end, so not as big a difference as you, but different. I have real ID on the driver's license. Never had a problem, including international travel, car rentals, medical providers, etc.
posted by beagle at 9:06 AM on May 19

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