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West Virginia

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. 

Most courts and government offices have resumed normal operations with the formal end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Make sure to contact your local court or other government offices for details on their current operating hours and procedures, including if they require appointments for in-person visits.. You should keep dated copies of any materials you submit by mail or electronically. 

Last updated November 2023


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

Federal IDs and Records:

West Virginia Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in West Virginia, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. At least ten days before the hearing, the applicant must publish notice of the hearing time and place in a Class I legal advertisement. A certified copy of the order will be filed in the county clerk’s office. Individuals who are currently incarcerated or registered as sex offenders are not eligible to change their name. Individuals convicted of murder are not eligible to change their name until 10 years after discharge from prison or parole, whichever occurs later. W. Va. Code Ann. §§ 48-25-101 to 48-25-107.

For more detailed information see our West Virginia Name and Gender Change Guide.

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

West Virginia Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update the name on a West Virginia ID, the applicant must submit a birth certificate or court order demonstrating the name change. In order to update the gender marker on a West Virginia ID, the applicant must submit a Gender Designation Form signed by a licensed physician. The West Virginia Department of Transportation addresses name and gender change here.

West Virginia Birth Certificate Laws

West Virginia will amended the gender marker on a birth certificate with a court order for gender change. The Vital Registration office will not issue a new birth certificate, but will strike through the existing name and gender on the birth certificate and type the new information above. The abstract/short form of the birth certificate will indicate that a change was made but will not show the previous name and gender.

In order to request an updated West Virginia birth certificate, the applicant should submit:

  • A birth certificate request form
  • If requesting a name change, a certified court order for name change
  • ​If requesting a gender marker change, a court order for gender change from any state. 
  • ​Payment of any applicable fees

Send application to:

Vital Registration - Room 165
​350 Capitol Street
​Charleston, WV 25301-3701

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