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What to know about baby names reportedly banned in America

Millions of babies are born and named in the U.S. each year, but certain names or naming conventions are reportedly banned by state governments.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and singer Grimes reportedly learned this fact in 2020 when they tried to name their firstborn son X Æ A-12 in the state of California.

The pair modified the name’s numeric 12 to the Roman numeral XII, which is acceptable and in accordance with California state law, Fox News Digital previously reported.

Other name guidelines the Golden State enforces include restricting names to 26 characters in the English alphabet and a ban on pictographs, emojis and obscene or derogatory names, according to The Bump – a parenting news website.

So, why do states get a say in citizen baby names? 

The reason is that birth certificate issuance falls under state jurisdiction, a detail that’s noted on usa.gov – the official online official guide to government information and services.

Here are five states in America that are said to have name restrictions, according to a report from usbirthcertificates.com, an informational vital record obtainment guide that’s independent of national and state governments.

Georgia

The state of Georgia only prohibits symbols (including accents) in baby names, according to usbirthcertificates.com.

Babies born in New York have a character limit for their first, middle and last names.
Babies born in New York have a character limit for their first, middle and last names.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

New York

New Yorkers who welcome babies are given a 30-character limit for first and middle names and a 40-character limit for last names, according to usbirthcertificates.com. The Empire State reportedly has a ban on numbers and symbols in names.

Ohio

Ohioans are prohibited from using numbers in names, but they’re allowed to have hyphens, apostrophes and spaces in names, according to usbirthcertificates.com.

Texas

Texans have a 100-character limit on first, middle and last names, and each name can only be written in the English alphabet, according to usbirthcertificates.com. The Lone Star State reportedly prohibits numbers and diacritical marks in names.

Virginia

Virginians can’t use numbers, symbols or other special characters (including umlauts and tildes) in names, according to usbirthcertificates.com.

A few uncommon names have been attempted in various parts of the U.S. and subsequently deemed illegal by state courts, according to a report from usbirthcertificates.com.

Ten examples of prohibited baby names reportedly include King, Queen, Jesus Christ, III, Santa Claus, Majesty, Adolf Hitler, Messiah, the symbol @ and 1069.

Other names that can be rejected from birth certificates are names that reference trademarked brands, according to usbirthcertificates.com. Disparaging terms can also be rejected, the site states.

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