What do I do if I think I need to know someone's legal name? How do I ask for a legal name?

  • If your role involves working with information or records that require you to request a legal name, it is important that this is done respectfully, discreetly, and with empathy.

  • Analyze if there are any other unique identifiers that you can use to confirm identity (employee/student ID number, street address, phone number, email etc.)

  • Confirm that you are authorized to ask an employee for their legal name and that it is necessary for the business operation you are facilitating.

  • Ensure the setting is discrete and private when requesting their legal name. Reiterate your commitment to confidentiality.

  • Make it clear why you are asking and why you need their legal name. Provide the person with information about where their legal name will be used and who will have access to it.

  • Ask for their legal name by asking, “Do you have a legal name that is different from the name that you use?”