Name change; proof that applicant is citizen of United States. (HB151)

Introduced By

Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomac) with support from co-patron Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Name change; proof that the applicant is a citizen of Virginia. Requires that every application for a change of name contain proof that the applicant is a citizen of the Commonwealth. Amends § 8.01-217, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


02/20/2008: Passed the Senate


12/21/2007Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 088328596
12/21/2007Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2008Assigned Courts sub: Civil
01/21/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (20-Y 1-N)
01/21/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (20-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2008Read first time
01/24/2008Read second time
01/24/2008Committee amendments agreed to
01/24/2008Engrossed by House as amended HB151E
01/24/2008Printed as engrossed 088328596-E
01/25/2008Read third time and passed House (94-Y 3-N)
01/25/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE (94-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2008Communicated to Senate
01/28/2008Constitutional reading dispensed
01/28/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/12/2008Assigned Courts sub: Civil
02/18/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2008Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2008Read third time
02/20/2008Reading of amendments waived
02/20/2008Committee amendments agreed to
02/20/2008Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/20/2008Passed Senate with amendments (34-Y 5-N)
02/20/2008Reconsideration of Senate passage agreed to by Senate (38-Y 0-N)
02/20/2008Passed Senate with amendments (34-Y 6-N)
02/21/2008Placed on Calendar
02/22/2008Passed by for the day
02/25/2008Senate amendments rejected by House (4-Y 92-N)
02/25/2008VOTE: --- REJECTED (4-Y 92-N)
02/27/2008Senate insisted on amendments (40-Y 0-N)
02/27/2008Senate requested conference committee
02/28/2008House acceded to request
02/29/2008Conferees appointed by House
02/29/2008Delegates: Lewis, Griffith, Miller, J.H.
03/03/2008Conferees appointed by Senate
03/03/2008Senators: Petersen, Barker, Locke
03/13/2008No further action taken
03/13/2008Failed to pass in House


CG2 Consulting, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

There is no such thing as a "citizen of the Commonwealth," and it is unclear what the patron's intent is here nor why such legislation is needed.

Update: The bill was amended to "citizen of the United States" in committee and specific documents are not required to prove citizenship, excluding a passport. No rationale was offered for excluding lawful permanent residents and others in the US legally from use of the court system for name changes. It would be difficult to articulate a rational basis sufficient to defend the statute as now written from a constitutional attack.

This is another of the bills introduced this session that demonstrate that much of the immigration debate is not, in fact, about lawful presence, but is about status as an immigrant, documented or undocumented.

VirginiaImmigrantAdvocacy, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

This bill denies legal permanent residents and other lawfully present aliens access to the courts to seek a name change. There is a question whether this legislation is constitutional.