West Virginia Name & Gender Change Guidelines

BY IN West Virginia On November 1, 2014


Map of W.Va LGBT RightsThis 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.


West Virginia law about name changes: West Virginia Code §48-25-101

What You Need:

Total Estimated Costs: $165.00


  • Fill out the petition and get it notarized. File this petition along with $145.00 at the county clerk’s office in the county where you live.
  • You will be given a court date.
  • After filing your petition, and at least 10 days before your court date, publish a legal advertisement (see your county clerk for specific guidelines) declaring the new name that you want.  The publication area for this advertisement should be your entire county, and it needs to include a provision that your hearing may be rescheduled without further notice or publication.
  • The clerk can tell you which newspaper is best to publish in.
  • Once publishing is complete, you will receive a Public Notice Affidavit from the newspaper.
  • Appear at your court hearing and if your name change is granted you will receive a name change court order.
  • Once you have your name change order, take the order to the Social Security office and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

*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 West 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.


West Virginia will change both name and sex, and will issue an amended birth certificate with the old name struck over and the new name and sex typed in the margin.

You will need an original or certified copy of the court order for your name change, and an original letter from your SRS surgeon.

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


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