Changing your name in Ohio
In order to legally change your name in Ohio, you must:
1) be 18 years of age or older;
2) have resided in your county for at least 1 year;
3) file a completed petition with your local Probate Court, accompanied by a CERTIFIED COPY of your birth certificate, and pay a filing fee
**don’t have your original or a certified copy of your birth certificate? The good news is Ohio is an open document state, so you can go to any vital stats office and request a certified copy of your birth certificate (for a nominal fee)**;
4) take your time-stamped copy of your petition to the Legal News for publication, and pay a publication fee;
5) attend the hearing, if required. Bring your legal announcement and 2 forms of ID.
TransOhio, in conjunction with community partner Equitas health is currently conducting free legal clinics around the state to assist individuals with completing name change petitions and gender marker changes on documents. Look for details on website and social media regarding future clinics.
Changing Your Gender Marker on Ohio Drivers License
Changing your gender marker on your Ohio driver’s license- use the form below. The form includes a simple affidavit completed by a medical provider or counselor which certifies that transition has been completed (no surgery or special procedures or treatment required) as determined by the applicant and provider. The forms are sent into the BMV which issues a notice to report to BMV and obtain new license with corrected gender marker. Name changes on driver’s license can be easily obtained after filing and obtaining name change in probate court of county of residence.
To update your driver license, use this form. In lieu of the form, you can also present a letter and a certified copy of your birth certificate.
Changing Gender Marker on US Passports
To change name and gender marker on your passport, you need a certified name change order, certified birth certificate, a physician’s letter, and a photo ID. The letter must be written by a medical doctor; a general practitioner, endocrinologist, or surgeon. It can NOT be written by a life coach, religious authority, social worker, or therapist.
The National Center for Transgender Equality has prepared a useful guide on changing your gender on US Passports. You can find that guide here.
Changing Gender Marker on Social Security
To change name and gender marker on your Social Security record, you need a certified name change order, certified birth certificate, a physician’s letter, and a photo ID. The letter can be written by a licensed therapist, general practitioner, endocrinologist, or surgeon. It can NOT be written by a life coach, religious authority, or social worker.
Information on changing your gender marker with Social Security has been provided by the US Social Security administration and can be found here.
Changing Ohio Birth Certificate
Ohio Birth Certificate- Currently Ohio Dept. of Health does not permit the changing of gender marker on birth certificates although name changes can be accomlished. The Dpt. of Health does so on a belief that that Ohio’s statute does not give them authority to make such changes even if with a court order and currently all requests and court orders are simply being ignored and filed away.
The statute does NOT prohibit such changes and Ohio is one of only three states where the process cannot be accomplished. TransOhio and other equlity organizations and the ACLU have been involved in numerous meetings with the Dpt. of Health to get them to change their errant policy and it may ultimately require more extensive legal action. TransOhio is encouraging all those who support such changes to write to the Dpt. of Health to encourage them to adopt the policy which has been put forth by TransOhio and other members of the coalition. The Ohio Dpt. of Health’s refusal to do so is not only not justified, it is placing transgender people at significant health risks.
**The content on this website is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. TransOhio is not a law firm or legal entity. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and any member of TransOhio Board of Directors. The information contained should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state.**