Your name and gender marker are a critical component of your identity. Ensuring these are reflected accurately is an important step in your gender transition. Below please find steps and links that might be helpful. This information is provided as a guideline. Cities, school districts, and employers may require additional information.
Legal Name Change
In order to legally change your name, you will need to submit a request to your local court. Click here to access a template. Once you are ready to submit your request follow this helpful guidelines:
Make sure your document has been signed and notarized
Include a check or money order with the amount to cover official copies of the court document once processed
Provide a self-addressed envelope to receive your court document(s)
For the state of Virginia you can access the status of your civil case here.
Social Security Administration
It is important that you update your legal name as soon as practicable with the Social Security Administration. You will need to bring the following:
Completed Form SS-5, which you can access here. You can also obtain the form at the SSA office
Court document with your legal name change
If you are interested in changing your gender marker with the Social Security Administration make sure to also provide:
Full-validity, 10-year U.S. passport showing the new gender;
State-issued amended birth certificate showing the new gender;
Court order directing legal recognition of change of gender; or
Medical certification of appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition in the form of an original letter from a licensed physician.
The document must have enough biographical data (e.g., name and date of birth) to clearly identify you.
You will need to provide a copy of your court document with your legal name change.
Your employer may require that you provide a copy of your updated Social Security Card. If you are covered under your employer’s medical benefits, make sure you contact your employer’s Human Resources department so that your name and gender (if applicable) are accurately reflected.
To obtain a passport with your new legal name and accurate gender marker you should:
Bring passport photos that resemble your current appearance
Proof of legal name change (if applicable)
A medical certification by a medical doctor (M.D.) or osteopathic doctor (D.O.) that indicates you are in the process of or have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. A template medical certification can be found here.
The statement must include the following information:
Physician’s full name;
Medical license or certificate number;
Issuing state of medical license/certificate;
Address and telephone number of the physician;
Language stating that
he/she has treated you or has reviewed and evaluated your medical history and that he/she has a doctor/patient relationship with you
you have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition to the new sex (the new sex, male or female, must be stated); and
The statement must clearly state the following: “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct.”