Remove the Felony Bar for Individuals Seeking a Name Change

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HB 2542 brings our state’s overly-restrictive name change law, in line with the majority of other states and helps those who are transgender, gender-expansive people and survivors of human trafficking live safer and more authentic lives by removing the ten-year waiting period and the lifetime ban. Make your voice heard in support of this bill!

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State Senators

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Support HB 2542!

I write to urge you to support HB 2542 on the Senate floor. This bill makes changes to Illinois’ current, overly-restrictive name change law, a law that is out of step with most other states across the country. It is time to change this law that directly impacts many residents of Illinois. HB 2542 allows for expanded name change requests while continuing to allow judges to assess whether or not an individual request for a name change should be permitted.

Imagine going through life with an identification document that is not accurate or presents a threat to your safety. Simply getting a new job, going to the bank, or trying to rent an apartment would be a threatening and anxiety-inducing experience.

Illinois’ name change law is one of the most restrictive in the country. It bars anyone with a felony conviction from changing their name for a full decade after they complete a sentence, and permanently prohibits name changes for people on registries. This provision harms people, denying them a chance to change their name and move on with their lives, especially those who are transgender, or are a survivor of human trafficking.

Our criminal legal system is supposed to be based in part on rehabilitation – not just punishment. Denying someone who is transgender the legal documents that reflect their identity for a decade simply prolongs their punishment and puts them at risk. HB 2542 allows a judge to assess on a case-by-case basis if someone is seeking to change their name for an appropriate purpose. The local State’s Attorney office also can weigh in.

It is critical for people to have legal documents that are accurate. We can provide this ability safely under HB 2542. Please co-sponsor and support this measure. Thank you.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]

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