Virginia Name & Gender Change Guidelines
This document is intended for informational use only, and is in no way intended to constitute legal advice or the opinions of the Campaign for Southern Equality. Because the law is constantly changing, the Campaign for Southern Equality cannot guarantee that this information is accurate and up-to-date. Procedures may vary by county. If you have any questions, please consult a licensed attorney.
Virginia law about name changes: Virginia code § 8.01-21
What You Need:
- Name Change Petition
- Civil Cover Sheet
- Social Security Form
- Additional instructions can be found here.
Total Estimated Costs: $152.00
- Fill out the Name Change Petition and get it notarized. Make two copies of this form. Fill out the Civil Cover Sheet.
- Take all forms along with self addressed stamped envelope and $132.00 and file with the circuit court clerk in the county where you live.
- You will be given a court date. Appear in court on that date and if your name change is granted you will receive a certified copy of your name change order approximately three weeks later.
- For additional copies of the certified order you can pay $2.50 each.
*Additional documents may be required: Driver’s license or picture ID, birth certificate or current passport, copies of current bills showing current address.
Don’t Forget: Once your name change has been approved, you will need to update this with several government agencies. This includes changing your name with the Social Security Administration and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to change your name with Social Security Administration prior to changing it with the DMV. You will need to bring the copy of your name change order along with $20.00 for a corrected license.
Virginia will issue a new birth certificate as of 2005. The law about changing the gender on your birth certificate can be found here: Virginia Code Annotated § 32.1-269.
Provide the State Registrar with a certified copy of a court order indicating that your sex has been changed by medical procedure, or provide the State Registrar with acceptable evidence (pre-operative diagnosis, postoperative diagnosis, description of procedure, and notarized affidavit from your physician) and request that they issue a new birth certificate.
If your petition is denied, you can petition the circuit court in the county where you live or the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Division I, for an order compelling the Registrar to amend the vital record. See also 12 Virginia Administrative Code 5-550-320, if a notarized letter from the physician performing the surgery is presented, a court order may not be necessary.
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