Ohio | 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. 

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:

Ohio Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Ohio, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. At least 30 days before the hearing, the applicant must publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper, though publication requirements can be waived for the applicant’s personal safety. Depending on the nature of the offense, applicants with prior criminal convictions may not be eligible for a name change.  (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2717.01).

For step-by-step guides on the name and gender changes for adults and minors in Ohio as well as county specific information, see Equitas Health Name & Gender Change Info.

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

Ohio Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update the name on an Ohio ID, an applicant must submit a court order certifying the name change. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles addresses name change here

In order to update the gender marker on an Ohio ID, applicants should follow the following steps:

  1. Fill out a Declaration of Gender Change signed by the applicant at the top and signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, psychologist, therapist, or social worker certifying the applicant's gender identity at the bottom.
  2. Send the completed form to this address:

Ohio Department of Public Safety
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attn: License Control
P.O. Box 16784
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6784

  1. Applicants will be notified in writing if the gender change is approved, please allow 7-10 days for processing.
  2. Applicants should bring the documentation of gender change approval to any local License Bureau agency to receive their new corrected card.


Ohio Birth Certificate Laws

Ohio statute does not provide any guidance on updating the gender marker on a birth certificate, and currently the Ohio Department of Health is refusing to issue birth certificates with updated gender markers, even when presented with a court order for gender change.

On March 29, 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s refusal to correct the gender marker on birth certificates for transgender people. You can read more about the pending lawsuit here: https://www.aclu.org/cases/ray-v-himes.

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