Pennsylvania Identity Documents

Pennsylvania Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Pennsylvania, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. An applicant must also obtain a fingerprint card, available through the state police and some third-party services such as IdentoGO for a fee, and file it with the name change petition. The applicant must publish notice of the hearing in two newspapers, but publication requirements can be waived and records can be sealed for the applicant’s safety. The applicant must also obtain a judgment search for every county where they have resided within five years prior to filing the petition and present the judgment search results at the hearing in front of a judge. Individuals with a felony conviction may only change their name once more than two years have passed since the end of the sentence and if not under probation or parole, or if the individual has been pardoned. However, individuals who have been convicted of certain specified violent crimes are not eligible to change their name under the Pennsylvania statute. Upon approval of the name change for any person with a felony conviction, the court will notify the Attorney General and the State Police. (54 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 701-705).

Our Name Change Project connects low-income transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties with legal representation for their name changes. You can complete an application for assistance via our website.

We have also secured legal name changes for applicants subject to the felony bar in Allegheny, Butler, and Philadelphia Counties. While we ordinarily only assist people in Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties, and we cannot guarantee representation, please feel free to contact us if you live in another county and believe you are subject to the felony bar and would like to change your name.

Pennsylvania Drivers License Policy & Procedures

To update the name and/or gender on a Pennsylvania driver's license or state ID, the applicant must submit the following:

  1. "Request for Gender Change" form, indicating male, female, or non-binary/other (X)
  2. If changing the name, a court order certifying the name change and a Driver’s License Application to Duplicate/Correct

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation addresses name change here.

Pennsylvania Birth Certificate Laws

As of August 8, 2016, Pennsylvania Department of Health policy allows individuals to update the gender marker on their birth certificate with a letter from a physician stating that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. 

To apply for an amended birth certificate, applicants over the age of 18 should submit:

  1. Request to Modify an Adult’s Birth Record, or a Request to Modify a Teenage Child’s Birth Record
  2. A copy of your government-issued photo ID that verifies legal name and mailing address (listed gender does not matter), or two other forms of identification;
  3. A check or money order for $20;
  4. A physician's statement on office letterhead saying that the applicant has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. You can use our Sample Physician Statement.

Mail completed affidavit form, documents, application, fee and ID to:


PA Department of Health

Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries

ATTN: Birth Registry

555 Walnut Street, 6th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17101-1934 

To apply for an amended birth certificate for individuals under the age of 18 a parent must complete the Request to Modify a Teenage Child’s Birth RecordRequest to Modify a Preadolescent Child’s Birth Record, or Request to Modify a Child’s Birth Record, depending on the child’s age, and no medical documentation is required to be included with the application. The parent must indicate which sex should appear on the birth certificate, sign in the presence of a notary, and include a photocopy of the parent's ID. See the policy for specific instructions. 

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