Ready to get started?

Schedule a free 15 minute consult today.

Contact Me

Name and Gender Change Guide

Important! You do not need a court ordered gender change to change your California driver’s license, social security card, or U.S. passport. You also no longer need a court order to have a new birth certificate issued reflecting a change of gender (for California birth records). You may want to get a court ordered gender change to amend your birth certificate if you were born outside of California. You DO need a court order for a change of name or if you are changing both your name and gender marker. Below are instructions to obtain a court order:

The process typically takes 4-6 weeks from filing the documents to the court date. Filing the packet costs $430 in San Diego, but the fee can be waived based on low income. (Form FW-001 & FW-003)

Print out and complete all necessary forms. Each form must be completed in a specific way. Templates can be found on ID_Please_FINAL_7.25.14 or visit advocates at your local LGBTQ center. I also have templates at my office, so we can complete all forms together in sessions if desired.

Make 3 copies of signed/completed paperwork. Keep one for yourself and bring the original packet and a copy of the packet to:

San Diego
Hall of Justice
330 W. Broadway (Downtown San Diego).
Civil Clerks Office is on the 2nd floor
Once you pass the security check, take the escalator up to the second floor. The Civil Clerks Office will be on your left. Wait in line to file your forms with the clerk. They will review your forms, stamp them and give you a case number and court hearing date and time. Please note that you may request that your court order be mailed to you rather than attending a court hearing.

North County
Vista Courthouse
325 South Melrose Ave, Vista, CA 92081
**Please note, for those visiting the North County Hall of Justice, you must bring a stamped envelope for your forms to be mailed to you.

Court Order Check Lists

Name Change Only Check List
CM-010
NC-100
NC-110
NC-120
NC-130
NC-121
FW-001 & FW-003 – if needed to apply for a fee waiver

1. File the forms at your county courthouse and pay the fee
2. Receive your court hearing date 

3. Attend your court hearing (if necessary) 


Name and Gender Change Check List 
**It is now possible to change your gender marker to nonbinary with the courts. Please contact an advocate at your local LGBTQ center to assist you with the process.
CM-010
NC-200
NC-110
NC-210
NC-121
NC-220
NC-230
FW-001 & FW-003 – if needed to apply for a fee waiver

1. Get a declaration from your physician (on letterhead or the NC-210) 

2. File the forms & physician’s declaration at your county courthouse & pay the fee (if necessary) 

3. Receive your court hearing date 

4. Attend your court hearing (if necessary) 


Gender Change Only Check List 
 (Only needed if you seek to change your gender on your birth certificate from another state. Please check with that state if a court order is needed).
CM-010
NC-300
NC-210
NC-121
FW-001 & FW-003 – if needed to apply for a fee waiver

1. File the forms and physician’s declaration at your county courthouse and pay the fee (if necessary) 

2. Receive your court hearing date 

3. Attend your court hearing 


Court date:

Dress in physical appearance and gender presentation that feels most comfortable to you. Arrive early to give you plenty of time to find parking and make your way to the courtroom. Bring both stamped copies of all the documents to the court house. Find the court room assigned to you and wait outside. There will be a list outside the court room on the wall that lists everyone’s name and assigned number on it. Search for your name and number. They will call out your last name only and number when it is your turn. After they call your name, you will be seated in the court room and the judge will review your documents. If everything is accurate, the judge will declare your new legal name!

After your court date:

Once you have the court order for a new legal name and/or gender marker, it is time to change additional documents. You may use the documents given to you by the court to go directly to the social security office after your court date if you want to get it done in the same day.

Social Security:

1333 Front St., San Diego, CA 92101
2160 El Camino Real, Oceanside, CA 92054

Fill out the form ss-5 for a corrected social security card. Please note that on the form, you will mark the gender that you legally changed listed on your court order. Your social security card will not list your gender on the card, but it is listed in their system so it is important that you point out your legal gender on the form when you turn it in so that the person will change it in their system. You will need to bring with you the court order (form NC-230) and personal identification such as drivers license, ID or passport. Once at the social security office, take a number and sit down. When your number is called, turn in your documents, show them your legal gender on the form and check that they have changed it prior to leaving.

SSA Check Lists

Social Security Name Change Only Check List
1. Get a court-ordered name change 

2. Complete and submit the ss-5 form with a certified copy of your court order at an SSA office 


Social Security Name and Gender Change Check List
1. Get a court-ordered name change 

2. Complete and submit the ss-5 form with a certified copy of your court order at an SSA office 


Social Security Gender Change Only Check List
1. Complete and submit the ss-5 form with your documentation at an SSA office 


DMV

Make an appointment at the DMV closest to your home. Print and fill out form DL329 and have your doctor complete the section for physicians. Bring your court order (form NC-230), personal identification such as drivers license, ID or passport and form DL329. Once you are called up to the window, they will give you form DL44 to complete to change your name. They will review all your documents and send you over to get a new photo taken. They will send you an ID in a few weeks or a new drivers license in approximately 4-6 weeks, depending on which you are requesting to change.

DMV Check Lists

Name Change Only
1. Complete an original DL 44
2. Include certified copy of your name change order 

3. Submit the forms and pay the application fee $27


Gender Marker Change Only
1. Complete an original DL 44
2. Have a physician or psychologist complete the DL-329
3. Submit the forms and pay the application fee $27

Name and Gender Marker Change
1. Complete an original DL 44
2. Have a physician or psychologist complete the DL-329
3. Include a certified copy of your name change court order 

4. Submit the forms and pay the application fee $27


Vehicle Registration
1. Complete the New Registered Owner section of your CA Certificate of Title
2. Complete a REG 256
3. Submit the forms 


Bank

Before you go to your bank, you must have your new ID or drivers license for identification. Bring your court order in case they request it.

Birth Certificate

California law allows a person born in the state to receive a new birth certificate recognizing their gender identity. Note that if you are only changing your name on your birth certificate, you will use form (VS-23) and if you are changing your gender marker or your name and gender marker you will use form (VS-24). You cannot use a photocopy or download the form online. Forms VS 23 and VS 24 must be originals, on the Department’s special bond paper. You can get one directly from your local Office of Vital Records or order online or by phone. Currently the fee is $35 and it is recommended that you get 2-4 copies which are $25 each.
a. Order via the internet at: https://apps.cdph.ca.gov/AutoForm2/Page/SecureCode.aspx
b. Call Department of Health Services Forms Customer Service at (916) 445-2684 

c. Pick up at a local office: 


San Diego County Department of Health
And Local Registry of Births and Deaths
3851 Rosencrans St. Ste. 802
San Diego, CA 92110

#619-692-5733

San Diego County Recorder
1600 Pacific Hwy, Room 260
San Diego, CA
Birth Certificates Office #619-237-0502

California Birth Certificate Check Lists

Name Change Only
1. Complete an original VS-23 

2. Attach a certified copy of your court order 

3. Mail documents along with payment 

4. Copy of original California birth certificate (if you have it) 


Name and Gender Marker Change
1. Complete an original VS-24
2. Certified copy of your court-order
3. Mail documents along with payment 

4. Copy of original California birth certificate (if you have it) 


Gender Marker Change Only
1. Complete an original VS-24
2. Mail documents along with payment 

3. Copy of original California birth certificate (if you have it)

Passports

To apply to obtain or renew a passport, you will need:
1. Two 2×2 inch photograph of yourself
2. Proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a previous passport or a birth certificate. It must be an original copy. Photocopies are not accepted. They will mail it back to you.
3. A valid form of government-issued photo identification such as a previous passport, driver’s license or state or tribal identification card
4. A completed form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport, available online at https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/212239.pdf
5. Legal documentation of name change, if needed
6. Current applicable fees, available at http://travel.state.gov/passport/fees/fees_837.html
7. If you are only changing your name, you do not need to complete the DS11, only complete DS-5504. There are no associated fees to change your name only.


Take these documents and fees in person to any passport acceptance facility. These include courthouses, post offices, some public libraries and certain county and municipal offices. To find the acceptance facility closest to you, visit the State Department’s website, Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page, at https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/ or call the National Passport Information Center at (877)487-2778.