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Name change

Hi, there - 

I have found that some clients are interested in the fact that I have a doctorate in my field (clinical nutrition) and that not everyone takes the time to read my Bio.


I'd like to amend my name on Upwork to "Dr. Shari Y." instead of "Shari Y." (which is what I have now).  I know that I can request the name change, but I wanted to ask a question about my identity badge.  My identity has been verified via ID and video chat and I now have the little check mark beside my name.  Will changing my first name to "Dr. Shari" mean that I'll lose that or, alternatively, have to start over?  I don't mind uploading a copy of my doctoral dipoloma if need be, but wanted to ask this question before messing things up with my profile.

Community Member

re: "or, alternatively, have to start over?"


You can't start over. That would be a serious ToS violation, and could lead to account suspension or termination.


I don't know if Upwork will allow you change your name like that, but one thing you can do right now - on your own - is mention your degree in your profile overview text and state that you prefer to go by "Dr. Shari."

Hi, Preston - 


No, I'm sorry I didn't articulate it better but I definitely did not mean start over-start over.  I meant, simply, would I have to undergo the verification process all over again if I did a name change.  I found a way to change my first name (requires approval, but is super-straightforward) - looks like I can definitely change my name in general (except username, which makes sense) - but I don't want to lose my ID verification as a result, so I thought I would ask here before trying that.


When I did the video call with Upwork, they made sure my Upwork name exactly matched the name on my ID, which of course doesn't include "Dr."


I noticed that some people on Upwork have "Dr." in front of the first name; for example, "Dr. Michael F." or "Dr. Yolanda T."  It didn't occur to me to do this when I first set up my account because I assumed people would just see that information in my Bio.  However, not everyone seems to read the Bio.  And since I'm often tapped (in the real world, I mean) to, for example, write/edit/proof regulatory documents and other highly scientific manuscripts, I thought it might be beneficial to show up on Upwork as "Dr. Shari Y." instead of just "Shari Y." - but it's no worry if I can't make that change without messing something up.  I'll just leave it as is if I can't get a definitive answer.


Thank you for your quick response.  🙂

Hi Shari,


Just to confirm that, I`m checking this with our team and once I have more information I will post an update here. Thank you.

~ Goran

Goran, thank you!  I would very much appreciate that.  


Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Thank you for your patience Shari.

Yes you`re allowed to add Dr. in your name but it is not allowed to shorten your last name to your last name initial. Your name will need to be your full legal name after you add the Dr. at the beginning. Hope that this clears up the confusion and If you have any additional questions, let me know.

~ Goran

Goran, I truly appreciate your help.


For the sake of clarification, if are a doctor (and want it noted as such), we are not allowed to choose the second option on the attached screenshot?


That's interesting, as I have seen several people on Upwork with "Dr. First Name, Last Initial", which is what gave me the idea in the first place.


To be clear, though, I always knew I'm allowed to change my name to put "Dr." in front.  What I'm concerned about is whether I'll lose my status as "Identity Verified" if my "new" name no longer matches my government-issued ID, which is what they wanted to confirm with my video meeting a few days ago.


Not sure if I'm making any sense.  If not, I'm so sorry for the confusion.

Hi Shari,


To add to Goran's reply and clarify, you have to have your last name on file on your Upwork account, it cannot be an initial. However, when others view freelancers' profiles, they always see the first name and last name initial. And you can definitely add Dr. at the beginning, that won't change your verification status. The setting you're referring to is to set how your profile is discoverable in search engines.


Thank you.

~ Bojan

I cannot add Dr. before my name?? 

Hi Raazia,


We’ll have one of our agents reach out to you via a support ticket to assist you with this concern. 


Thank you for reaching out to us. 

~ Bojan
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