ORDER YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE ONLINE
Members of the LGBTQ+ community, and transgender, non-binary, and intersex individuals in particular, have long fought to be able to legally change their name and gender marker more easily. For many, this is not only a matter of identity but also personal safety and improved quality of life.
Name change and transgender birth certificate laws vary by state. In this article, you will get an overview of the steps you need to take to see your name and gender identity reflected on official documents.
Here is a step-by-step guide to have your name change recognized by law:
If you are concerned about your safety and/or privacy, you can ask for the court case to be sealed.
If the judge rejects your application, you can ask them the reason for their decision. This will make it easier for you to appeal or have your case re-heard in the future.
Make sure that you seek legal advice and speak with a lawyer before deciding on your next steps.
Now that you have your court order, you need to update your documents so that they reflect the name change.
Remember: to change your name on documents is not the same as to change gender identity and, therefore, update your gender marker. Each document has its own process to change the gender marker or choose a gender-neutral X marker (where possible.) The specific requirements not only depend on the type of document but also on the state/institution issuing it.
Here is a list of documents that need to be updated once you have your court order:
There are several other documents you will need to update and entities you may want to inform of your name change, depending on your specific circumstances. Examples include immigration records, voter registration, and Selective Services.
To change your name on your birth certificate, you will need to submit a request with the Vital Records office of the state where your birth was registered. You will need to provide a certified copy of the court order, as well as other IDs and an application form, as part of your petition.
Not all states allow to request a non-binary birth certificate, and laws on changing a birth certificate’s gender marker vary greatly. Requirements can go from a court order to proof of reassignment surgery.
Once amended, your birth certificate will be sent to you by mail.