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Out of State Gender and Name Change

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I live in Mississippi but was born in California. Mississippi is completely bass-ackwards when it comes to changing your gender marker; they literally do not have a form for it. So, while I can get my name legally changed here, it seems that I need to change my gender marker through a California court. I found some resources on how to do this, but nobody is answering phones at the courthouses in California right now because of Rona. I’m not expecting anyone to know offhand exactly how, but I will think I need to amend my birth certificate in order to get my gender marker legally changed. I have no idea how much this will cost or how to send my paperwork (notarized?) all the way there without talking to someone at the courthouse first. 
Does anyone have any advice at all on this?




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I am a CA girl, and changed my birth cert from that state, while living out of state. All I needed was a Doctor's letter stating I had completed gender transition and providing the new name court document and it was only like $24 per certified copy as I recall. I did it all by mail from here in WA state.


In theory, you could change your name first in MS state court, then use that and a Dr's letter to change the info (name / gender) on the CA birth certificate afterwards.


Here is the CA vital records link on how to amend your record, hope this helps....



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Similar situation for me. Born in Illinois but haven't lived their since I was young. Just needed my doctor sign off on one of the forms provided by the state  of Illinois that I had undergone some form of GCS. Sent it to the appropriate department in Illinois with a certified copy of my name change paperwork. I requested 2 certified copies of the amended birth certificate which I received about 2 weeks later.

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So, I have a question, I was born in Ohio.  Ohio won’t change a birth certificate.  So how do you get a gender marker changed in that circumstance?  Will states change your name and drivers license without a revised or otherwise adjusted birth certificate?  What about a passport?



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1 hour ago, Willow said:

So, I have a question, I was born in Ohio.  Ohio won’t change a birth certificate.  So how do you get a gender marker changed in that circumstance?  Will states change your name and drivers license without a revised or otherwise adjusted birth certificate?  What about a passport?




You are going to have to check the regulations in the state where you live.  If they will let you change things like driver's license and other ID, then your birth certificate is not that important.


Where I live, you could change your gender on your provincial ID - driver's license and health card - no problem as long as you changed your birth certificate first.  With my British birth certificate, the Brits were happy to change it provided I gave them evidence that I had changed my gender locally first.  Catch 22.  Chicken and egg. 


I did some lobbying, and they finally changed the regulations here last year, so I was able to get a local gender-change certificate that allowed me to change my other provincial ID.


Since each jurisdiction is different, you have to see what your local regulations allow.  If they don't have a process other than getting your birth certificate changed first, you are out of luck.  If they have something like the new procedure where I live, then there might be a way forward.

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Well, I can’t get ahold of anyone at the California clerk’s office, so I can’t proceed with the birth certificate yet. I called Mississippi vital records, and someone there advised me to edit my petition for legal name change into a petition for gender marker change. They said that several people have had success with that. I could possibly get my gender marker on my driver’s license changed with that. It’s at least $150 to file that with the court, though, so I’m having a lawyer friend of the family take a look at the petition beforehand so I don’t waste my money. I’d hate to file the petition and then not have it granted.

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  • 2 months later...

Hoo boy...


After months of research, preparation, saving, and waiting, I finally went before a judge last week to try to get my gender marker changed on my ID. Long story short, my request was denied. The judge said that this was because she couldn’t just write a court order for me to give to different agencies (like the DMV). She said that each agency involved has to be party to the request. Apparently, I have to have a separate court order for each one along with other necessary paperwork filed through the chancery court.

The judge advised me to hire a lawyer, but there is no way that I can afford to do that. I just left a message with the Mississippi ACLU. I just don’t know where to go from here.

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That's a pain, @TrIIIy!


According to this (https://transequality.org/documents/state/mississippi), you wouldn't use the court order for various agencies like the DMV.  You'd get the court order just for Vital Records, and use that plus a medical statement to get your birth certificate changed.  Then, you should be able to use your updated birth certificate to get everything else changed.


If you weren't born in Mississippi, you would contact whatever state you were born in to change your birth certificate, and then take that to the various agencies.

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@KathyLaurenThat’s my understanding now as well. I have tried calling the California court, but they have been out of the office for quite some time due to the pandemic. I’ll just have to wait until they open again to get the information that I need to proceed with a birth certificate amendment.

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@TrIIIySince it is a California Birth Certificate you need to change, go here:




I got my CA Birth Certificate amended simply by going to this web site of the Department of Public Health, Vital Records.  They have a how-to pamphlet and the forms on line here.

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@VickySGV does that work for people who live outside of California?


The judge I saw didn’t know anything about amending birth certificates out of state, and the website says that I need a court order.

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Also, I would need to change both my name and gender marker on the birth certificate, so I would definitely need a court order.

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@TrIIIyYour name change order from your current state can be used for that purpose to amend your CA birth certificate.  Except in very rare circumstances Judgments ( Orders ) must be accepted by Sister States per U.S. Constitution and this type of order is no problem to us here in CA.  Since Jan. 01, 2020 the gender issue is met with a doctor's statement that you have taken irreversible steps to change your gender.  That should have been in a booklet that is downloadable from the link I sent you.  In my case I had had surgery at the time, but it is no longer necessary for the BC change. 

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