Gender identity is a complicated enough subject, but a lifetime of gender dysphoria can seem to pale in comparison to trying to navigate the complexities of correcting all of your gender markers on government documents, I.D. cards, and databases. If this has been your experience, we are here to support you in getting all the information that you need to ensure that all government documentation reflects and confirms your gender.
- Can I change the gender on my birth certificate?
In almost all states you have the ability to change the gender that is listed on your birth certificate, however, the requirements for doing so can vary greatly depending on the state in which you need to make the change. In Texas, you can obtain a change in gender on your birth certificate by obtaining a court order reflecting that you have undergone a sex change. There is no Texas law that specifically addresses this, which means that judges have a great deal of discretion in determining whether to grant such an order.
- Can I change the gender listed on my driver’s license?
States have different procedures and policies when it comes to changing the gender marker on your driver’s license or state-issued identification card. However, in nearly all states it is possible; it is just a question of how to go about it. Texas makes it more difficult than many other states, by requiring a court order from a judge before it will make the change.
- Do I need to have gender-affirming surgery to change the gender listed on my birth certificate?
In some cases, states or departments will require proof of gender-affirming surgery in order to update your gender on your birth certificate, however, most states are moving away from that requirement. Because there are no clear laws that regulate this in Texas, judges have broad discretion on whether to grant the court order of gender change that is required to change the gender listed on your birth certificate. Some judges may prefer to have proof of surgery, while others may be fine with a letter from a medical professional, or your own statement as to how you identify.
- Do I need to have gender-affirming surgery to change the gender listed on my passport?
Because passports are issued from a federal department the regulations and procedures are more clear cut than state-level requirements, which can vary greatly between states. Changing the gender marker on your passport does not require gender-affirming surgery and in most cases can be accomplished with a simple renewal.
- Do I have to go to court to change the gender on my driver’s license?
In many states you are able to simply select the gender that you would like to appear on your license when you renew your license or ask for a replacement. However, in Texas, you are required to get a court order from a judge confirming that you have had a change in gender. This does require you to go to court. It can also be hard to predict the outcome of the proceedings since there is no real standardization of how these decisions are made.
- Do I have to go to court to change the gender on my birth certificate?
If you wish to change the gender listed on your birth certificate to accurately reflect your gender in Texas then you will have to go to court and obtain a court order confirming that your gender has changed. Judges have broad discretion in determining whether or not to grant these orders, so your experience can vary from one jurisdiction or county to the next. Sometimes orders from other states will be honored.
- How do I legally change my name?
You can legally change your name by following the procedures to do so in your state. This is generally a fairly straightforward process, but may require you to go to court and obtain the permission of a judge. It can be a more complicated process if you have felonies, but it is still possible to obtain a name change. If you change your name, it is important to inform all credit bureaus and other government agencies.
- Can I legally change my name without changing my gender?
Yes, you are able to change your name without changing your gender. Changing your name and gender have different legal requirements and processes, so if you wish to change one or both, it is important to see what is required and follow the appropriate steps.
- Can I change my gender on my school records?
Yes, you have the right to ensure that your academic records accurately reflect your sex and gender and this change can generally be made by contacting the educational institution’s records department. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that gives students (and former students) the right to access and amend their educational records.
- How do I change the gender marker on my passport?
Changing the gender marker on your passport is an easy process. The U.S. Department of State does not require any medical documentation or explanation if you wish to select a gender that does not match your birth certificate, supporting documentation, or even past gender selections. Currently, the only options for gender on passports are male or female. You are free to choose either one. The State Department has announced plans to add an X for a non-binary gender option in the near future.
Contact the Covington Law Firm in Richmond, Texas
If you are a Texas resident in need of help updating your government documents to reflect your sex, gender, or name change, it can be an overwhelming and confusing process. The experienced attorneys at the Covington Law Firm are here to help and make this process as easy and efficient as possible. Contact the Covington Law Firm today to schedule your consultation and talk directly to a lawyer about how they can help you.