Name Change Olympics

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by LauraE51, Jul 27, 2021.

  1. LauraE51

    LauraE51 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm a pilot and i'm transgender. Now, i know this forum runs Red, but i'm happier flying as Laura than as <deadame>.

    I initiated my name and gender change last December, receiving a court order in late January. Then began the gauntlet of changing my name in every nook and cranny that could be found. However, in late July, i still don't have my updated pilot's license.

    The process began on February 24th where i participated in a hour long Zoom meeting with the Fresno FSDO office, providing them a variety of documents to prove my identity along with the court order. In return, they had me fill out several additional forms, sign and scan them, and return them during the call, all encrypted. Once completed, they submitted the application electronically to the FAA.

    Or not.

    Now, all airmen records are online at the FAA web site, so i can find out their processing times and access my license to see if it's updated

    By May, after seeing that the FAA was processing licenses submitted in April, i wrote to the FAA. I then discovered that the Fresno office was mistaken that the paperwork could be completed online. The FAA wanted paper. So, after contacting Fresno again, he collected the documents and sent them to the main FAA office.

    Or not.

    Last week, i noticed that the FAA was working on applications dated late June and given that the Fresno office sent them on May 19th, i again wrote to the FAA, and found that that they've not received the May 19th communication. Really? Again?

    So, i once again contacted Fresno and they resubmitted all my paper work again.

    Or not....

    They also sent me the temporary license they'd created on February 24th. How nice, except that temporary certificates are only valid for 120 days, meaning that it expired last month.

    Just another day in FAA paradise.

    Onward.
    Laura
     
  2. PPC1052

    PPC1052 Final Approach

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    The bureaucratic red tape must be very frustrating. Good luck.
     
  3. Katamarino

    Katamarino Pattern Altitude

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    Good luck Laura! It's a shame they're making it so difficult.
     
  4. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    It’s the FAA they are a mostly incompetent organization, other than ATC. Sort of wish the ATC guys fell outside the organization…my experience is when it comes to taking responsibility or doing the right thing it’s problematic with them. Good luck in your journey Laura for some reason I bet success is just around the corner.
     
  5. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    A name change should be a straightforward matter for any agency to handle. But leave it to the FAA to make it hard.
     
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  6. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude

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    @bbridges51 With a name change would the FAA allow you to fly under your previous name while holding the name change documentation on your person, while paperwork floats through the system? I'm thinking about a women in a traditional marriage who elects to change her last name.

    Also +1 on the best wishes to persevere through the bureaucracy.
     
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  7. LauraE51

    LauraE51 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    While i could bug the FAA for a new temporary license, i'm just going to keep carrying my old one until the new one arrives, which hopefully happens this year.

    It shouldn't be THAT hard to change your name, as i assume plenty of women pilots update their licenses when they marry. The CA DMV was much easier and faster.

    As for ATC, all my contacts have been positive. yes, there's the occasional grumpy one, but we've all had bad days. i've found them to be incredibly helpful.

    Laura
     
  8. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I would unfortunately assume that after three times, there may be some hidden motives at that FSDO to prevent the name change from going through. As you probably know, those biases run deep in some people.

    Perhaps, if you are allowed, try another FSDO office - it is not uncommon that people are faced with one FSDO being totally incompetent and unwilling to help and another will be the total opposite for any given subject matter. This goes for airworthiness, certificates, medicals, etc.
     
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  9. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    This **might** open up a new can of worms, such as suddenly being issued two licenses. Now that would be fun to have to explain.

    Wish you the best of luck Laura. With government red tape sometimes you just have to keep fighting it.
     
  10. mr_happyland

    mr_happyland Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It suspiciously sounds like somebody at the Fresno FSDO wants to make this difficult for you personally. Maybe I'm wrong but it's not a far-fetched thought.

    Perhaps try another FSDO? Best of luck.
     
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  11. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What's better than one *certificate*? Two certificates!!! Valid point, however, it stands that providing the second FSDO the previous documentation should be enough for any competent individual to figure out......oh yeah..... competent and FAA......I kid.......right?
     
  12. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Good luck. I would also suggest going to a new FSDO if possible. But be careful in case it is referred back to San Jose and they are vindictive because you went around them.

    I would at a minimum contact your congressional critter. This is where they are actually useful.

    Tim

    Sent from my HD1907 using Tapatalk
     
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  13. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Line Up and Wait

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    Did you mean Fresno? Or, why San Jose?
     
  14. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    Because my wife asked about planning a trip there as I was replying. :)
    Yes, Fresno is the correct answer.

    Tim
     
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  15. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    M2C - the fact that you're changing your last name, first name, and gender, the fact that they don't have the processing in place to deal with these relatively rare occurrences, I suggest it isn't because someone / the FAA hates transgenders and is out to get you. For something that is "done every day", it takes 5 months to mail me a license after my check ride was put in online. For something out of the ordinary, it takes months / years to process medicals. For something even more rare (you're changing a lot that it tagged to your identity), my guess is that they are wondering in the dessert.

    Identifying the problem is what you need to have before you can resolve it. Thus, suggest call every other day, mail multiple copies, etc.
     
  16. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I would love to wander into a dessert, especially one that is frozen and chocolate. But I suspect that you feel the OP is wandering into the desert, down a Rocky Road.
     
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  17. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    Congratulations on the court order, Laura. Bureaucracies have a lot of catching up to do: I hope the FAA's foot dragging doesn't get you down, and that you're able to see your real name on your license soon. Happy skies!
     
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  18. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    It could be just a matter of Hanlon's Razor like you're suggesting, but as Laura mentioned, the FAA must deal with every day with name changes from female pilots who just got married, so it's hardly a new kind of request.

    Discrimination isn't always overt and targeted; sometimes it manifests itself as just not caring enough to prioritise something, like the Canadian government with the northern Indigenous communities who still don't have safe drinking water after >25 years. It's always "soon, soon, be patient…".

    That's a much harder type of discrimination to fight than the overt kind, because there will always be people jumping in to make excuses and try to explain it away. :(
     
  19. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    1- they don’t. Given the number of female pilots, given the slice of that population that gets married on any given day, given those that wish to change the their name - they don’t have a lot of experience daily. But it is something that has happened over time so they might have finally figured it out. You’re also assuming that name change goes smoothly - it may or may not.

    2. A transgender pilot is rare for the FAA on any given month.

    3. It involves changing first name and gender - which is a key identifier. It is a request different than a female getting married and changing last name.

    I really don’t think bad people in the FAA have it out for you.
     
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  20. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is there a way to bypass the FSDO sending the docs and go DIY? Certified mail, return receipt, and you’ll know it got delivered, when, and who signed for it. Of course, you’ll need the correct address and other routing info to get it to the proper in-box.
     
  21. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Filing Flight Plan

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    A wise man once told me..."Don't ascribe to malice what can be explained by simple incompetence." This is doubly true when dealing with government bureaucrats. Although there are certainly some bureaucrats who take pride in their work, and there are a few who may be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., most simply have no motivation to do their job in an efficient and timely manner. The FAA is one of the worst agencies for this. There are no consequences for them if they disappoint their customers (the taxpayers). I say this as someone who has dealt extensively with the federal government across several agencies including the Defense Department, VA, and State Department. I second the suggestion of getting your congressman or senator involved as this is one of the few ways to motivate these agencies.
     
  22. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Quite true. And it’s actually easy.

    I’ve done this a several times, to speed the issuance of a visa for a visitor or employee coming to the USA.

    Every member of Congress has a big staff for constituent affairs. Young college grads, you call or email, then they contact an agency that’s balky. Typically they ask for the status of your application, or request expedited service. Often, but not always, it can really speed things up.

    (The member of Congress actually doesn’t have to get involved, and their party affiliation is irrelevant.)
     
  23. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Be prepared to spend serious money getting your medical back. The FAA takes a hard line on mental health issues. I suspect you are going to have a hard time proving that your mental health issues and any drugs you are taking leave you fit to fly.
     
  24. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    Robert Hanlon originally, but I'm happy to take credit. :)
     
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  25. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Soooooo…. The Olympics are still called the Olpympics, right?
     
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  26. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    @LauraE51 — let us know when there's progress. As you've seen in this thread, a lot of your fellow pilots wish you success.
     
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  27. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    Congrats Laura on the court case and your personal courage! Persevere… no great words of wisdom just wishing you the best in the struggle to get things square with the FAA.

    I agree - keep us posted!
     
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  28. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Line Up and Wait

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    Do you have any data to that effect, or are you simply impromptu negative without data?

    The two transgender pilots I know had no medical issues...
     
  29. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    What was your motivation for posting that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  30. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    i wondered the same thing myself…. Unfortunately didn’t have to wonder too hard :(
     
  31. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    When I got married, the Airman registry looked at our marriage certificate at Oshkosh and changed it on the spot. The AIRCRAFT registry was a complete 'nother story. It took me beating on them for YEARS to change my wife's name on the Navion registration.

    Any problems with the FAA medical folk. I know of two other pilots (both also A&Ps) that made the transition and it used to be a bit arduous there as well.
     
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  32. Deelee

    Deelee Pattern Altitude

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    Total ignorance? Mean-ness? Maybe unable to read and/or comprehend the written English word?

    When did OP mention anything about any drugs or mental heath issues that would cause issues with the FAA? From what I read, this is a story of a slow-moving bureaucracy whose right hand may or may not know what its left may or may not be doing.

    But seems as though @JScarry may have issues reading and or comprehending the written english language. Isn't there something in part 61 about being able to read, write and understand English? Maybe @JScarry should be prepared to spend serious money getting their medical back....

    @LauraE51 , good luck. Sorry you are going through this with the FAA. Pretty sure it will work out and this is just a beuqacratic mess-up. At least I hope it is. Hoping you get it sorted out soon and get back to doing what we all love to do - commit aviation!
     
  33. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The FAA often gets behind on processing stuff.

    I suggest you call them, they will often mail out an extension to your temporary certificate immediately if you talk to someone and they see it's their fault stuff hasn't gone through.
     
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  34. Pilots Of America Management

    Pilots Of America Management MC Announcements and Communication Management Council Member

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    This thread was temporarily locked, in order to remove some inappropriate posts.

    We are re-opening it, with a reminder that this is an inclusive community, that we celebrate aviation in all of its forms and by any and all practitioners, and exclusionary/discriminatory remarks will not be tolerated.

    --the MC
     
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  35. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    @LauraE51

    Sorry the thread devolved. You likely find enough of that crap in real life you do not need it here.
    I know it can be done, I have two friends who went through the same process.

    Tim
     
  36. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    The FAA obviously isn't really set up for name changes, which seems weird since I'm sure they happen in marriages all the time.

    Personally, I'd take your ID, a scanned copy of the court order on an ipad and your old and new certificate and go fly. But I'm just a realist, not a bureaucratic bean counter.

    if you would like something better, ask at the FSDO maybe?
     
  37. LauraE51

    LauraE51 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I must say i'm blessed to be part of this community. Flying has been a passion since i was 16 and each time i take-off, i'm reminded of the wonder that i'm privileged to enjoy.... Most likely, this is just a big screw-up by both the FSDO and the central FAA office. The application and materials were resent by Fresno, so i'll be patient for another month before going ballistic. LOL.

    As for my medical, I'm Basic Med (thanks AOPA for that). Now, i understand the comment about problems with medicals. In the past, being trans was considered a mental illness. Now, the illness is more part of society's reactions to us. Overall, i'm blessed to be who i am finally.

    Laura
     
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  38. Rushie

    Rushie En-Route

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    When I tried to change my name with the FAA when I got married, they not only changed my name, they changed my gender. Suddenly I was a “Mr.”. I’m female, always have been and always will be so who knows what goes on with bureaucratic internal machinations.

    I missed whatever post was deleted but want to say that even if this forum “runs red” (which I’m not sure of), please don’t buy the myth that all “red” voting people are bigots. Some are, just like a lot of “blue” people are. In any case, no matter what one believes, rudeness is inexcusable.

    Good luck with the paperwork, it’ll come through eventually, and happy flying!
     
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  39. joycem137

    joycem137 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lord. This honestly reminds me of my quest to get the registration on my aircraft renewed. I think the FAA hates doing paperwork, which is ironic given the amount of paperwork they make all of us do.
     
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  40. joycem137

    joycem137 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My experience is that they're not really set up for any data changes. I've put my address change in a number of times, and requested multiple copies of my aircraft registration, and yet I still don't have my new aircraft registration at my new address.