Virginia Identity Documents

Virginia Name Change Laws

Last updated November 2023

To obtain a legal name change in Virginia, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. No publication is required. The application and public record can be sealed for the health and safety of the applicant and their immediate family. Individuals who are currently incarcerated or are on probation may be eligible for name change at the discretion of the court. (Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-217 (West)).

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

Virginia Drivers License Policy & Procedures

Last updated November 2023

In order to update name and/or gender on a Virginia ID, the applicant must submit an application for a new ID and a court order certifying the name change (if applicable), and selecting the gender (male, female, or non-binary) that they wish to appear on their ID. (No medical certification is required to select a new gender marker.) The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles addresses name change here.

Virginia Birth Certificate Laws

Last updated November 2023

The Virginia Department of Health lists the following requirements to update the gender marker on a Virginia birth certificate:

  • A request from the individual or their parent (if the individual is under the age of 18)
  • A copy of valid ID from the requestor
  • A properly executed Changing Sex Designation (VS42) form
  • A certified copy of a court order changing the person’s name if applicable. Please note a copy of the name change petition/application is needed if the court order does not show the individual’s name at birth, date of birth and place of birth.
  • $10 administrative fee to establish the new birth certificate
  • $12 for each certified birth certificate requested

The Changing Sex Designation (VS42) requires a licensed healthcare provider to certify that they have provided the applicant with clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition. No specific procedure or diagnosis is required. Virginia also no longer requires the applicant to obtain a court-ordered change of gender.

Mail application, VS42, supporting documentation, and a check for the appropriate amount made out to the Virginia Department of Health, to:

VDH, Division of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1000
Richmond, Virginia

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