New York | National Center for Transgender Equality

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New York

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:

New York Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in New York, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. The applicant must publish notice at least once in a designated newspaper within 60 days of the court issued name change order. Individuals who have a felony conviction are subject to additional notice requirements. The publication requirement may be waived and the records may be sealed for the applicant’s safety, if approved by the court.  (N.Y. Civ. Rights Law § 60-65).

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
  3. For a gender marker change, a letter signed by a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist, life counselor, social worker, or other professional on their letterhead certifying the applicant's gender of male or female

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles addresses name and gender changes here.

New York State Benefits Card

For information on changing your name and/or gender on a New York State Benefits card, see instructions on the Sylvia Rivera Law Project website.

New York City Municipal ID Card

If you live in New York City, the NYC Municipal ID Card is available and free regardless of immigration status, and the gender marker can be issued with three options: male, female, or no gender listed. You just mark on the application your desired gender designation and that’s your gender on the ID! See more information on how to apply on SRLP's website.

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 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 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, and
  5. Payment of fee by check or money order payable to the New York State Department of Health ($30 per birth certificate copy for mail order).

Applications should be submitted to:

New York State Department of Health
Director of Vital Records
Attention: Guy Warner
Personal and Confidential
800 North Pearl Street 2nd Floor
Albany, NY 12204

If you have any questions, or to request copies of the application and affidavit forms for adults, please contact Guy Warner, Director, Bureau of Vital Records directly at (518) 474-5245 or email vr@health.state.ny.us.

 

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 Attestion of Gender Identity OR Parent/Guardian Attestation of Gender Identity of Person Under 18;
  3. A signed photocopy of current photo identification;
  4. If also applying for a name change on the birth certificate, an orginal court ordered name change; and
  5. A check or money order for $55 ($40 processing fee plus $15 fee for new certificate) made payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Applications should be submitted to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Office of Vital Records, Corrections Unit
125 Worth Street, Room 144, CN-4
New York, NY 10013

If you have any questions, please call 311 or email tgnyc@health.nyc.gov.

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