DEVON , England, April 14 (UPI) — A UK man won the right to have the name of a Disney character appear on his driver’s license after legally changing his name for charity.
Buzz Lightyear, who was formerly known as Sam Stephens, changed his name to raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
“I changed my name this time last year in April and at first the DVLA refused a driving license,” Lightyear said. “It has taken a year but two weeks ago they issued a driving license in my name.”
The 26-year-old from Devon said he checked with the DVLA when he decided to change his name and was told it would be approved to appear on his license.
“I was disappointed when I submitted my application and they said I couldn’t have a license in that name,” Lightyear said. “I had two appeal letters turned down and no one was listening to me so it feels like a victory for me for taking on this big company.”
Lightyear said his appeals were originally denied because using the name of a fictional character could cause complications while traveling abroad.
A spokesman for the DVLA told the BBC that a range of evidence was needed before the change could be allowed.
“We recognize people may choose to change their name for many reasons. The driving license is an important official document which is used both here and abroad,” they said. “That is why we look for a range of evidence to support the application before we update our records.”
Lightyear said he chose to change his name not only out of love for the character, but also to keep people interested in his fundraising.
“I didn’t want people donating money and then forgetting about it — I wanted to raise as much awareness as possible for CLIC Sargent,” he said.