Tennessee | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Tennessee

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:

Tennessee Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Tennessee, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. No publication is required. Individuals who have prior felony convictions must provide additional documentation, and individuals who have been convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or sex offense are not eligible to change their name. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-8-101 to § 29-8-105 (West))

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

Tennessee Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update a Tennessee ID, the applicant must submit:

  1. If updating the name, a court order certifying the name change
  2. If updating the gender marker, "A statement from the attending physician that necessary medical procedures to accomplish the change in gender are complete" or a court order recognizing gender change.

See Tennessee Department of Safety Rule addressing name and gender marker changes 1340-1-13-.12 (5) and (6) here. See the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security website addresses name change here.

Tennessee Birth Certificate Laws

Tennessee specifically prohibits amending sex on a birth certificate: "The sex of an individual will not be changed on the original certificate of birth as a result of sex change surgery." Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-3-203(d).

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