Iowa | National Center for Transgender Equality

Welcome to our one-stop hub for name and gender change information. Find out how to update your name and gender on state and federal IDs and records. 

Not sure where to start? Here's a quick overview.

How friendly are the ID policies in your state?
State driver's license policy grades
State birth certificate policy comparison

Last updated November 2019

Name Change, Driver's License & Birth Certificate Policies in:

Federal IDs and Records:

Iowa Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Iowa, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. Subject to the court's discretion, the applicant may need to publish the petition docket information once in a daily newspaper in that county. (Iowa Code Ann. § 618.13 & §§ 674.1-674.14).

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

Iowa Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update the name on an Iowa ID, the applicant must submit a court order for name change. The Iowa Department of Transportation addresses name changes here.

In order for applicants born in Iowa to update the gender on an Iowa ID, they must submit an update birth certificate.

In order for applicants born outside of Iowa to update the gender on an Iowa ID, they must submit one of the following:

  • A certified copy of a birth certificate from another state with an updated gender marker;
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad with an updated gender marker;
  • A Certificate of Citizenship with an updated gender marker;
  • A notarized affidavit from a physician and surgeon that documents all of the following:
    • The provider completed sex designation treatment for the applicant;
    • A description of the medical procedures that constituted the treatment;
    • As a result off the treatment, the applicant's sex designation was permanently changed by surgery or other treatment;
    • The provider's full name, address, state of medical license, and medical license number.

Iowa Administrative Code § 601.5(7). 

Documentation should be mailed here:

Driver and Identification Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa, 50306-9204

Iowa Birth Certificate Laws

The Iowa state registrar will issue a new certificate of birth upon receipt of a notarized affidavit from a physician and surgeon stating that "by reason of surgery or other treatment by the licensee, the sex designation of the person has been changed. The state registrar may make a further investigation or require further information necessary to determine whether a sex change has occurred." Iowa Code Ann. 144.23 

To apply for an amended birth certificate you will need to call the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) at (515) 281-4944, or use their Contact Us page to request a packet of materials and forms to amend the gender on your birth certificate. You will need to submit:

  • A notarized affidavit on letterhead from a doctor including statement that your sex designation has been changed by surgery or other treatment, include the physician's full name, address, state of medical license, and medical license number
  • An "Amendment to Iowa Certificate of Birth" form that you must obtain from IDPH
  • A certified copy of a court ordered name change (if applicable)
  • A copy of a current government-issued picture ID
  • Any applicable fees - $20 per copy

Submit the application to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
​Bureau of Health Statistic
​Lucas State Office Building
​321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075

Join Our Mailing List

   Please leave this field empty