What are the requirements for the name I use when registering and testing?

Only English characters can be accepted. Use the name you would use when applying for a driver’s license or other government-issued ID. The first and last names provided when you create your ACT web account (or register by mail) will appear on all of your ACT documents. These include the ACT ticket you present on test day, the test center roster ACT sends to the test center, and your score reports.

On test day, you will be required to present acceptable photo identification. The first and last names on your photo ID must be consistent with the names on your ACT ticket. Before test day, check your photo ID against the names on your ACT web account and ticket. If there are significant differences, you will NOT be admitted to test. Please note the following:

  • Slight differences in your first name due to shortened names (such as “Dave” vs. “David” or “Jen” vs. “Jennifer”) are common and acceptable.
  • Differences in your first name due to traditional nicknames that are not based on shortening the name (such as “Jack” vs. “John” or “Peggy” vs. “Margaret”) will NOT be accepted.
  • If you go by your middle name, but your photo ID lists your first name, you must use your first name as your ACT name to be admitted to test.
  • The use of initials in place of first and last names (such as “JD” or “MJ”) will NOT be accepted for either your ACT name or your photo ID.
  • Differences in last name will not be accepted at the test center.

If you need to change either of the names (first and/or last) previously provided to ACT, contact ACT Student Services at 319.337.1270 or write to ACT-Reg@act.org. You may need to provide written documentation to support the change—such as a court order, adoption papers, or marriage license—before it can be made. This could cause you to miss testing on your preferred test day.