A 27 year old man from Devon has won a year long battle with the DVLA this week. The man, birth name Sam Stephens, had been in the legal battle with the DVLA for wanting to change his name to Buzz Lightyear since 2015.
Buzz, an electrical wholesale manager, is from Bideford in Devon. He officially had his license changed by the driving agency two weeks ago, winning his year long battle with them. Buzz changed his name by deed poll for a very good cause. He raised over £2000 for the Clic Sargent charity, which aids children and young people with cancer. To earn the money, Buzz took part in a marathon dressed as the fictional character, originally from Pixars’ Toy Story. He signed the deed poll to legally change his name on the finish line of the marathon, which took him 5 hours and 18 minutes to complete. He stated that although the run was hard, he knew he was supported by family and friends, who waited for him at the finish line.
The DVLA originally denied Buzz’s name change request because the name is fictional. Mr. Lightyear however, responded with “There are plenty of Harry Potters in the world so they had no right to tell me I couldn’t have a driving licence in this name.” The agency also refused to grant Buzz two appeals since his original request. It was annoying for Buzz, who had legally obtained the name on other documentation for a year. They argued that if they were to grant Buzz the name change on his licence, the company would be brought under disrepute if he went abroad. However, the agency granted his name change two weeks ago, saying that needed supported evidence that proved his identity.
Buzz decided on the name change because Toy Story was his favourite film growing up. He would wake up and ask his parents if he could watch it. He said he wanted to do something that had a lasting impact for the charity, noting that although the money was a great contribution, it’s a great way to introduce people to the cause once they asked about his name. “It’s a good ice-breaker, but I’m not sure how my future wife will feel about being Mrs Lightyear.” He also stated how much of a nuisance it was for when making reservations at restaurants or booking cinema tickets. He was also fined by the Devon Football Association recently, after he gave a “false name” during a football match in his home town. When asked if he would ever change his name back to Sam Stephens, Buzz simply said “I think when it comes to getting a mortgage I might have to go back to being Sam again.” but only time will tell.