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Legal Name & Gender Change

The RCSGD offers assistance in filling out the California legal name and gender change forms. We provide the paperwork and walk you through the process. Please contact, Quinn Solis (they.them), Associate Director of LGBT Resources at to schedule an appointment. Please note, the RCSGD staff does not give legal advice. If you would like to connect with a lawyer, contact the UCSB Associated Students Legal Resource Center

If you currently live outside of California and want to learn more about your state's legal name and gender change process, please visit the National Center for Transgender Equality's ID Documents Center or review their Identification Documents & Transgender People Overview PDF.


If you want to change your gender marker on your Driver's License and/or CA Identification Cards, you no longer need a court order. You can go directly to the DMV and fill out the form "Gender Category Request Form (DL 329S). You can find out more information on the DMV process to change your gender marker here.

You do not need to have undergone any specific medical treatment (i.e. there is no requirement that you’ve undergone hormone therapy, mental health services, or surgery) in order to change your gender marker using form DL 329S.

Before changing your name on your California driver’s license or state ID, you will first need to obtain a name change court order and update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This is because the DMV links its computer system with the SSA’s computer system to verify the information on a driver’s license application. This requirement applies to California residents seeking to change their existing California driver’s licenses, as well to people who are moving to California from out of state and wish to obtain a California driver’s license in a name different than the one appearing on their out-of-state ID. 

Note: If you wish to change both the name and gender marker on your California driver’s license or state ID, it is best to do both at the same time, if at all possible. This is because when both are changed at the same time, the name change is sealed in the DMV’s records. When a name change is not done at the same time as a gender marker change, the record is not sealed, and can be seen by third parties, such as the police or auto insurers. 


Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 179 (Atkins, Ch. 853, Stats. 2017) on October 15, 2017. Effective January 1, 2019, this legislation allows individuals applying for an original or renewal Driver License (DL) or Identification card (ID) to self-certify to their chosen gender category of male, female, or nonbinary. On September 1, 2018, the California Courts implemented a portion of SB 179 as it pertains to name and gender change processes. On January 1, 2019, the DMV began allowing individuals to self-certify and choose a gender category of male, female, or nonbinary on their DL/ID card.

Applicants wishing to change their gender are encouraged to schedule an appointment.
The DMV revised the Driver License & ID Card Application (DL 44), Commercial Driver License Application (DL 44C), and the electronic application (eDL 44) to allow individuals to request a gender category of male, female, or nonbinary.

DMV is using the following gender category codes on DL/ID cards:

  • F = female
  • M = male
  • X = nonbinary

Gender Category Request form (DL 329S) can be completed before your DMV visit.

There will be no additional fee to change the gender category on a DL/ID card. However, the standard DL/ID card application fees will apply.

The DMV will continue to update the SB 179 landing page on the DMV website in addition to revising publications to reflect the availability of a third gender category and the updated gender category process.

CA Birth Certificate


The VS 24 (“Affidavit to Amend a Record”) is available online through the California Vital Statistics website at VS24.pdf, or by calling (916) 445-2684, or by going to your local Recorder's Office 

• Check "Birth" as the type of record at the top of the page 

• Fill out Part I based on data in the original birth certificate 

• List the name and sex designation (or just the sex designation) as the item(s) you would like to change in Part II 

• Adults requesting a change to their own birth certificates may sign in the "affidavits and signatures" section, but do not need a second signature. If the change is for a minor, both parents should sign the form if possible. 

• On the second page, "Application to Amend a Record," fill in "$23" in the second field, "Enclosed is the fee of ___ for filing the affidavit and one certified copy of the newly amended record." 

• Fill in your name and contact information below the fee section 


You will need to submit the following along with the VS 24:36 

• A personal affidavit stating that your request is being made to conform your (or your child’s) legal gender to your (or your child’s) gender identity. 

o A template for adults is available at and a template for minors is available at

o In place of this affidavit, Vital Records will also accept a gender change court order. 

• Check or money order for $23.00 payable to "CDPH Vital Records" 

• If changing name as well: include a certified copy of the name change order and indicate that you would like the name changed on the VS-24 form. 

• If not changing your name: A notarized sworn statement

o Available at olledForms/VS111.pdf 

• Photocopy of the current birth certificate (optional, but may expedite the process) 


Mail all of these items to: 

California Department of Public Health Vital Records – M.S.

5103 P.O. Box 997410

Sacramento, CA 95899-7410 

Resource: Obtaining a New Birth Certificate After Sex Change, CA Department of Public Health (for people who are changing the sex marker on their birth certificate) 

If you submit a certified copy of a gender change court order, you do not need to include a notarized statement. 

Gender Change

To change your gender on your Social Security records, the SSA requires you to fill out the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5) and present one of the following: 

- A medical certification of “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition” in the form of an original 
signed statement from a licensed physician, e.g., an M.D. or D.O. (a model physician’s statement is provided below);

- A full-validity 10-year passport with the new gender marker;

- A state-issued birth certificate with the new gender maker; or

- A court order directing legal recognition of the new gender. 

As in most other situations, if you are under 18 and are not emancipated, you will need the permission of your parents or guardians in order to change your name on your SSA account. 

For people who receive SSI/SSDI: Changing your name and/or gender marker in your SSA account will not change your information on your SSI/SSDI (Social Security Insurance/Disability Insurance) account. If you have an SSI/SSDI account, you should tell the SSA to change your name and/or gender on this account as well. 

If you have the misfortune to encounter an SSA employee who does not understand the SSA’s policies or who has some bias against transgender people, do your best to keep calm. We would recommend asking for a supervisor, and if that does not help, you should not hesitate to try another office if there is one nearby.

Social Security Administration

The following steps are required to amend your name with Social Security: 

1. Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5 (when completing Form SS-5, list your new 
court-ordered name).

2. Pay the small fee SSA generally requires to issue a new Social Security card.

3. Show proof of your: 

o U.S. citizenship or immigration status (e.g., a birth certificate or passport. This document does not need to be in your current name/gender as long as you can document the change.)

o Legal name change (e.g., a certified copy of your court order; the SSA may also accept proof of name change through marriage, adoption, divorce, or Certificate of Naturalization)

o Identity (e.g., a driver’s license or other photo ID. This document does not need to be in your current name/gender as long as you can document the change.)

4. Take your completed application and documents to your local SSA office or mail them to the SSA.

5. Provide additional documentation to verify identity, if necessary. 

If the SSA cannot match your old name with your current identity, it may require you to show additional identification. If you experience difficulty because of this policy, please contact Transgender Law Center. Consult the SSA website if you would like further information. 

US Passport

To change your name and/or gender on your U.S. Passport, you will use one of three forms, DS-5504 (“Application for a U.S. Passport - Name Change, Data Correction, and Limited Passport Replacement”), DS-82 (“U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals”), or DS-11 (“Application for a U.S. Passport”). You can download each form at: 

The following guide will help you determine which form is appropriate for your situation. 


This form should only be used for making a data change (name change, printing error, etc.) for a previously issued, currently valid U.S. Passport within one year from the date of issue. You may submit this application by mail and there is no accompanying fee for routine processing. It may not be used to change your gender marker. 

You must use the DS-5504 form if any of the following are true and the passport is valid and has been issued within the past year: 

- You need to change your name on your valid U.S. Passport

- You need to extend the validity of a limited validity passport or upgrade it to a full-validity passport

- You need to correct a printing error in your valid U.S. Passport 

The DS-5504 is available at: 


You should use this form if your passport meets all the following conditions and has expired or was issued more than one year ago: 

- Your passport is undamaged and can be submitted with your application;

- Your passport was issued when you were age 16 or older;

- Your passport was issued within the last 15 years; and

- Your passport was issued in your current name or you can legally document your name change (with a 
court order or marriage certificate changing name). 

This form also may not be used to change your gender marker. You will have to submit a fee along with your application, but you can apply by mail. Keep in mind that if you are asking for a name change, you will need to submit a certified copy of your court order. 

The DS-82 is available at: 


The DS-11 application is the basic application for a U.S. Passport and it must be used if any of the following are true:

- You have never been issued a U.S. Passport; 

- You are under age 16;

- You were under age 16 when your previous passport was issued;

- Your most recent U.S. Passport was issued more than 15 years ago;

- Your most recent U.S. Passport was lost or stolen;

- You are requesting a gender marker change; or

- Your name has changed since your previous U.S. Passport was issued but you are unable to legally document your name change. 

The DS-11 application must be submitted in person.

You can fill out the DS-11 online, but you must then download it and submit it in person with a fee. It is available at 

A list of places where you can submit the DS-11 is available at: 

If you are applying for a passport for the first time, you must also include proof of U.S. citizenship (generally a birth certificate). If you have changed your birth certificate, in most cases you do not need to submit any gender change paperwork such as a surgeon’s letter or court order. Instead, you should fill out the standard application form and include a copy of your changed birth certificate. If you are applying for a U.S. Passport for the first time and you have not changed your birth certificate, you must submit an affidavit from your attending physician or surgeon stating that you have had “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.” 

Individuals can also get a renewable two-year limited validity passport if they are just beginning their gender transition. It has the effect of a full passport, but it is only valid for two years. To receive a limited validity passport, individuals must submit the same materials as noted above. However, the second paragraph of the physician’s letter must read: “(Name of patient) is in the process of gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).” During the two-year limited validity period, the passport can be converted into a full passport by submitting via mail a DS-5504 and a physician’s statement indicating that the person “has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.” Submit these documents to the address specified on the form. Unless you request expedited service, no new fee is required. If you have questions about the requirements for obtaining a limited validity passport, you may want to check with the U.S. Passport Agency at 1-877-487-2778. 

Immigration Documents

In general, you can change your name on any document issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) if you provide supporting documentation such as a court order. You can usually obtain a name change from the court of the jurisdiction where you live. 

You can receive an initial or amended document reflecting your post-transition gender by presenting one of the following documents: 

- An amended birth certificate, passport, or court order recognizing the new gender (court orders 
recognizing legal change of gender are only available in some jurisdictions); or

- Medical certification of the change in gender from a licensed physician (a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)).

Specific language is required; a model declaration is included below. You may also be asked to present evidence of your identity reflecting your new legal gender. 

Submit this documentation along with the form that corresponds to the document you wish to update: for instance, Form I-90 is the application form to replace a foreign national's "green card,” Form N-565 is the application form for a replacement naturalization certificate. 

You may want to contact an immigration attorney who is knowledgeable about transgender issues in the state where you live. If you don't have contact information for such an attorney, the organization "Immigration Equality" in NY can help you find an attorney. They can be reached at (212) 714-2904 or

Model Physician's Letter for SSA & U.S. Passport 

[On letterhead providing Physician’s Address and Telephone Number] 

I, (physician’s full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), (issuing U.S. State/Foreign Country of medical license/certificate), am the physician of (name of patient), with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whom I have treated (or “with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated”). 

(Name of patient) has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender, male or female). 

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct. 

Signature of Physician Typed Name of Physician Date 

Model Physician’s Letter for Documents Issued by USCIS 

Identical to the model letter provided for the SSA/Passport, but must include the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) registration number or a comparable foreign designation after the physician’s medical license number and issuing state/country of medical license. It should also be on office letterhead, and must follow the given language exactly. 

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