Washington | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Washington

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. 

Not sure where to start? Here's a quick overview.

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Last updated September 2019

Name Change, Driver's License & Birth Certificate Policies in:

Federal IDs and Records:

Washington Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in Washington State, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. No publication is required. The court case file can be sealed for the applicant’s safety if the individual is a victim of domestic violence. Individuals under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections must give the department a copy of the application at least five days before the order is entered. The court can deny the application except for legitimate religious, cultural, or marital reasons. (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 4.24.130).

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

Washington Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update the name and/or gender on a Washington state ID, an applicant must submit:

  1. If changing name, a document demonstrating the name change, such as a court order or birth certificate,
  2. If changing gender, bring ONE of these documents showing the correct gender:
    • Valid US Passport
    • Certified US Birth Certificate
    • Valid Driver’s license or Identification card issued by a US state or territory
    • Court Order indicating gender designation change
    • Valid US Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
    • Valid Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
    • A Change of Gender Designation Request form signed by a medical or social services provider (a licensed physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, naturopath, advanced registered nurse practitioner, physician assistant, certified osteopathic physician assistant, or social service worker)
  3. A copy of your valid WA driver license, ID card, EDL, EID, or instruction permit
  4. Payment of the driver licensing fee.

​Submit the application in person at a driver licensing office, or mail to the following address (if submitting by mail, you must send the Change of Gender Designation Request Form):

Programs and Services, Record Response
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9030
Olympia WA 98507-9030

If submitted by mail, you will receive an authorization letter and then can receive your new card online or at a driver licensing office.

The Washington State Department of Licensing addresses name change here and gender change here.

Washington Birth Certificate Laws

Starting January 27, 2018, Washington State will change the sex designation on a birth certificate to M, F, or X upon request of the applicant. No provider documentation is required for adults over 18 or emancipated minors. 

To apply for an updated birth certificate, the applicant should submit:

Send the application to:

Washington State Department of Health
Center for Health Statistics 
PO Box 47814
Olympia, WA 98504

The Washington State Department of Health has instructions for a gender change on a birth certificate here​. For additional help, call (360) 236-4300 or email SexDesignationChange@doh.wa.gov

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