New York Identity Documents

New York Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in New York, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. There is no publication requirement, but name change cases are public record by default and may be searchable online.The record may be sealed if the court finds that having a public record would jeopardize the applicant’s personal safety, including because of the applicant’s identity as transgender.  (N.Y. Civ. Rights Law § 60-65). 

The New York courts offer a free online resource here to help you with completing your legal name change. Our Name Change Project also connects low-income transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people in New York City and Long Island with legal representation for their name changes. You can complete an application for assistance via our website.

For instructions on legal name changes for minors under 18 in New York, see NCTE's Name Changes for Minors in New York resource.

New York Drivers License Policy & Procedures

New York State Driver's License or Identification Card

In order to update the name and/or gender on a New York State Driver's License or ID card, the applicant must submit the following:

  1. new application for an ID
  2. For a name change, a court order certifying the name change

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles addresses name and gender changes here. You do not need a court order or medical documentation to update your gender marker, and you can select M, F, or X.

New York State Benefits Card

You can correct the name on your benefit card by submitting a case change request through the ACCESS HRA website. For SNAP, select “Case Change.” For Cash Assistance, select “Case Change or Grant.” More information about updating your name for SNAP benefits and Cash Assistance can be found here. You will need a certified copy of your name change order, or an updated driver’s license, state ID, or passport with your new legal name.

All newly issued benefit cards do not list a gender marker.

New York City Municipal ID Card

If you live in New York City, the  IDNYC is a free identity document you can obtain from the city, and the gender marker can be issued with four options: M, F, X, or “Not Designated” to leave the field blank. There is no supporting documentation required for your gender marker selection.

New York Birth Certificate Laws

New York City issues birth certificates separately from New York State. If you were born in New York City, see below.

To amend the name and gender marker on a birth certificate from New York State, submit the following documents:

  1. A complete and signed application form:
  2. A notarized affidavit form affirming the individual's gender identity:
  3. A certified copy of the applicant's current birth certificate,
  4. If also requesting a name change, an original or certified copy of the court ordered name change, 
  5. If also requesting a name change, a cover letter requesting a name change for the birth certificate, including your current address, your new legal name, a daytime phone number to contact you, and your name at birth, date of birth, place of birth (city, town, or village), and each parent’s full name (maiden name if applicable), all as it appears on your birth certificate, and
  6. Payment of fee by check or money order payable to the New York State Department of Health (first amended copy is free; $30 per birth certificate copy for mail order).

Applications should be submitted to:

New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Amendment Unit

P.O. Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602

New York City

New York City will update the gender marker on a birth certificate to male, female, or X upon self-attestation by the applicant of their gender, no medical documentation required. See Adoption of Amendment to NYC Health Code.

Applicants should submit the following documents:

  1. A completed Birth Certificate Correction Application;
  2. A signed and notarized attestation of gender identity - use the Adult Attestation of Gender Identity OR Parent/Guardian Attestation of Gender Identity of Person Under 18;
  3. A photocopy of current photo identification;
  4. If also applying for a name change on the birth certificate, an original court ordered name change and a photocopy; and
  5. A check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for one new certificate; add $15 per additional copy) made payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Applications should be submitted to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
125 Worth Street, Room 144, CN-4
Attention: Group A

New York, NY 10013

If you have any questions, please call 311 or email [email protected].


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