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 July 2021

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

The gender marker on an Ohio birth certificate can be changed following the same procedures as those used for other changes to an existing birth certificate, as described here.  

To make this change, an applicant must obtain an Order for Correction of Birth Record from their local probate court (either one of Ohio's 88 county probate courts, or the equivalent court in another state). This order may be obtained at the same time as a court-ordered name change or separately. Each court will have its own procedures, requirements, and forms for obtaining this order, and applicants should contact their local court to determine what the will need to file.

An Order for Correction of Birth Record granted by an Ohio probate court will be sent automatically to the Ohio Department of Health, who will automatically make the correction in their records. Applicants from out of state may mail their original court order to: 

Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Statistics
PO Box 15098
Columbus, OH. 43215-0098

There is no cost for making this change to the birth record, though there is a fee to order a new printed copy.

The original birth certificate will be sealed, and the new birth certificate will contain the updated information with no marking or indication on the certificate that there has been a change made to the record.

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