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What to do if your Confederate-honoring Alexandria street gets renamed?

Forrest Street, named for Nathan Bedford Forrest (image via Google Maps)

As the city works through plans to systemize the renaming of streets honoring Confederate leaders, some Alexandrians could be taking a trip to the DMV or the bank.

One of the questions going into the renaming process has been: what will that mean for locals living on those streets? Ahead of the renaming process coming back for a public hearing in October, city staff put together a guide to what locals will and won’t have to change.

For the bad news first: the city said those living on a street honoring a Confederate will have to change the following if their street is renamed:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles: vehicle registration, driver’s license, state IDs. Address change can be done online – ID card replacement not required.
  • Passports: No address change is required until passport expires.
  • IRS – Tax Advisor: Put new address on next tax filing and on Form 8822. Mail a letter with the following information: full name, new address, old address, date of birth, Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer ID Number or Employer Identification Number.
  • Wills & Trusts: No address change required, though if desired, the City may provide certified letter as addendum to will/trust (if requested).
  • Social Security: The change can be made online.
  • Financials: Banks and investment services, Loan issuers, Credit card companies
  • Insurance: Health, dental, life, car, house and/or renters insurance
  • Subscriptions

The good news is there are parts of renaming that the city would handle. Including:

  • U.S. Postal Service: You do not need to request a change of address form.
  • Personal Property tax: You do not need to update your personal property records.
  • Land Records and Permits: The City will inform the Circuit Court Clerk and make any necessary alterations to all
    planning permits.
  • Utilities: The City will alert the following agencies regarding street name changes — AlexRenew, Dominion Energy, Comcast, Ting, and Washington Gas.
  • Voter Registration: The Registrar will change voting records.
  • Schools: The City will send notifications to the City School Board, Alexandria City Public School Administration, and principals.
  • Emergency Services: The City will update all of its emergency services of new street names, including — Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Fire Department, and 311 and 911. You do NOT need to notify these agencies. Your street name will be updated with no action on your part.

Strategic Initiatives Officer Dana Wedeles said there will also be a process for naming suggestions to be brought up from the community, though it requires a community-led meeting and a representative from a community organization to provide a justification for the name.

“That is the process we use for Parks and Recreation,” said Wedeles. “It’s a way to ensure there is community buy-in. It can be small, it can be three people meeting, it’s also meant as a way to filter some… we had many names in the [Jefferson Davis Highway renaming] process that were not serious.”

“You don’t want a Boaty McBoatface,” said City Council member Kirk McPike.

“That’s exactly the one I was going to say,” Wedeles answered. “This is a way to make sure there is some real seriousness and thought put into it.”

Photo via Google Maps

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