Changing Your Legal Name and/or Gender Marker
The legal processes for changing one’s name or gender marker are unique to each state and sometimes, to each type of identity document. The path for each person to legally change their name and/or gender marker on their documents depends upon the state in which they were born, the state in which they currently reside, and the documents they wish to change. Some states require court orders to update state ID documents, while others utilize an adminstrative procedure. Learn more about your state’s process by visiting the ID Documents Center on the National Center for Transgender Equality website.
Resources for Getting Started
Purdue University undergraduate and graduate students may obtain legal advice from Student Legal Services at no charge at any point during the process of changing one’s name and/or gender marker.
If you are looking for resources to complete a formal process to legally change your name and/or gender marker in Indiana, read the FAQ on Name and/or Gender Marker Changes in Indiana from the LGBT Law Project at Indiana Legal Services.
The National Center Transgender Equality provides information on the ID Documents Center webpage for navigating name and gender marker change processes in each state.
Lambda Legal provides assistance via its Help Desk in navigating name and gender marker change processes and maintains a list of local and state organizations that provide state-specific assistance.
The Indiana Coalition for Court Access provides instructions for obtaining a court order for a name change and/or gender marker change.
The Indiana Bureau of Moter Vehicles (BMV) allows holders of an Indiana learner’s permit, driver’s license or identification card to change their gender marker on that credential by visting a BMV branch office. Review the list of acceptable documents to complete this process.
The process for updating a name and/or gender marker change is regulated differently in each state. Lambda Legal provides a state-by-state guidelines for changing a gender marker on a birth certificate.
Information for updating a name and/or gender marker on social security records can be found on the National Center for Transgender Equality’s social security resource webpage.
Since the U.S. passport is a federally-issued document, the rules that govern changing one’s name and/or gender marker may differ from the rules used by each individual state. For more information about the process of changing one’s name and/or gender marker on a U.S. passport, please visit the National Center for Transgender Equality’s passport resource webpage.
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Information for Students