Rhode Island | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Rhode Island

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:

Rhode Island Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Rhode Island, an applicant must submit a notarized name change petition to the court. Along with the petition, the applicant must submit a certified copy of their birth certificate and a copy of their Bureau of Criminal Identification records (follow the instructions for state background checks here). You can request waiver of the publication requirement or publish notice of the hearing in a local newspaper once a week for two weeks (use this form). The advertising requirements may differ by county. (R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. §§ 33-22-11 & 33-22-28).

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

Rhode Island Drivers License Policy & Procedures

The Rhode Island DMV will update the gender marker on a driver's license or ID card upon request of the individual to M or F. No medical documentation is required.

In order to update the name on a Rhode Island driver's license or ID, the applicant needs a name change order and must first change their name with the Social Security Administration and wait 24 hours for the name change to register with SSA. Then the applicant should submit:

  1. Application for License or Identification Card
  2. Name change order
  3. Social Security card or SSA notice with updated name
  4. Current RI license or ID
  5. Applicable fees

In order to update the gender on a Rhode Island driver's license or ID, the applicant should:

  1. Complete a Gender Designation Form signed by the applicant
  2. Submit current RI license or ID
  3. Take a new photograph
  4. Pay applicable fees

See RI DMV name and gender change instructions for more information.

Rhode Island Birth Certificate Laws

The Rhode Island Department of Health will issue an amended birth certificate with a male, female, or gender-neutral (X) marker for individuals who submit documentation that they have received appropriate treatment. The registrar will issue an amended certificate that does not specify what was changed but does show that it has been amended.

To apply for an amended birth certificate the applicant should submit:

  1. A birth certificate request form
  2. An affidavit by the individual if they are 18 or older, and if not by the their parent(s), legal guardian(s) or legal representative;
  3. An affidavit by a physician, certified nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant who has treated or evaluated the individual, stating that either the "individual has undergone surgical and/or hormonal treatment based on contemporary clinical standards and/or other treatment appropriate for the individual for the purpose of gender transition based on contemporary clinical standards, or (ii) The individual has an intersex condition, and that in the physician’s ... professional opinion, the individual’s sex designation should be changed;"
  4. The court order for any name change (if applicable), and
  5. Payment of any applicable fees.

For information on the Rhode Island Department of Health website click here.

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