Massachusetts | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Massachusetts

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. 

COVID-19 disruptions: Due to the current COVID-19 public health crisis, many courts and government offices are temporarily closed or operating for emergency business only; contact the office nearest you for details. You may unfortunately experience delays in getting a response from state or federal government agencies or in the processing of your name or gender marker change requests as a result. For your safety and the safety of others you should not travel to any government office at this time. You should keep dated copies of any materials you submit by mail or electronically. We understand this is a hardship for many, and we encourage you to reach out for support if you are distressed.

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

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Last updated May 2020

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

Federal IDs and Records:

Massachusetts Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Massachusetts, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. The applicant must give public notice of the petition, however the publication requirement may be waived for a good cause (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 210, §§ 12-14), and is generally waived if an individual is changing their first name only. 

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

Massachusetts Drivers License Policy & Procedures

Massachusetts will allow an M, F, or X on a driver's license or ID. No documentation of gender is required.

To update the name or gender on a MA ID, the applicant must submit a new License and ID Card Application indicating a change of information.

  1. For a name change, the applicant must submit a legal name change order with the application, and must first update their name with the Social Security Administration.
  2. For a gender marker change, fill out a new License and ID Card Application and indicate a change of information and the correct gender marker (no provider signature needed).

Massachusetts Birth Certificate Laws

Massachusetts will issue an amended birth certificate of birth upon receipt of an affidavit from the applicant and a notarized statement from a physician that “the person has completed medical intervention, appropriate for that individual, for the purpose of permanent sex reassignment and is not of the sex recorded on the record.” Mass. General Laws Ch. 46, §§ 13-E. Surgery is not required and a court order is not required. The reissued birth certificate may be marked as amended but will not specify what was amended.

To apply for an updated birth certificate an applicant should submit:

Applications may be submitted by mail or by in person to the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics: 

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
Attn: Amendments
150 Mt. Vernon Street, 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125
 

For more information or to make an appointment, telephone (617) 740-2600 or email Vital.Regulation@state.ma.us. Amendments also may be made at the Clerk’s Office in the city or town of birth.  Applicants can visit the Registry of Vital Records amendments website here and review the factsheet on birth certificate gender marker amendments here.

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