Earlier this week, X Æ A-12 Musk, the son of Grimes and Elon Musk, was born. Given the atypical nature of the boy’s name, it quickly took over the internet, even more so after Grimes explained the meaning behind it. What the name may not be able to take over, though, is the kid’s birth certificate, as it might not actually be a legally viable name.
TMZ reports that according to a supervisor at the Department Of Public Health Vital Records Office in Los Angeles (where the child is believed to have been born), legally acceptable names can only use the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Family law attorney David Glass, meanwhile, told People that while the name “isn’t technically illegal,” it “won’t be accepted as valid by the state.”
“In California, you can only use the ’26 characters’ of the English language in your baby name. Thus, you can’t have numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts, or other symbols or emojis. Although an apostrophe, for a name like ‘O’Connor,’ is acceptable. [If the birth certificate is filled out] with the odd numbers, dashes and symbols, it will be submitted and then rejected, and they’ll be asked to submit it again. They have an opportunity to appeal the rejection of the birth certificate application, but it’s unlikely that it will be granted because, again, California […] has been struggling with using symbols. […]
Anything that has to be filed with the state, they have a handbook that includes this particular sentence that says the birth certificate must be filled out ‘using the 26 alphabetical letters of the English language.’ I don’t think you can say it’s illegal — it just won’t be accepted. So your child won’t have an official name and won’t have a birth certificate and you can’t get a social security number until you have a birth certificate and on down the line.”
The name is apparently pronounced “X Ash Archangel,” so something like that could be a legally acceptable alternative to “X Æ A-12” should Grimes and Musk run into issues. The most important news, though, as Musk noted, is that the baby is “happy, healthy & cute as a button.”