Changing an Adult's Name to Conform to Gender Identity

You can ask the court to change your legal name to make it match your gender identity.  The requirements for this process are different from a traditional name change process.  This is not a recognition of gender change.  Click if you want to ask the court to recognize a gender change.

To ask the court to change your name to conform to gender identity, follow these steps:


You have two options to fill out your forms:

  1. Complete your forms online.

    or
     
  2. Download and fill out the forms listed below:
  • Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100), including the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-110).  If you are changing your name to conform to your gender identity, make sure to check box 6 on Form NC-100 to tell the court you are changing your name to conform to your gender identity.
  • Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125 / NC-225).
  • Civil Case Cover Sheet (Form CM-010).
  • In steps 5 and 6, you may also need the Decree Changing Name Form (Form NC-130).

Some courts also require you to fill out local forms to ask for a name change, like a criminal background information form. Ask your local court clerk if there are local forms you have to fill out. You may be able to find your court's local forms on your superior court's website. Make sure to keep copies of any local forms you fill out.

If your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center helps people with name change cases, ask them to review your paperwork. They can make sure you filled it out properly before you move ahead with your case.

The court will keep the original; the copy is for your records.

Important: If you are changing your name to conform to your gender identity, you do NOT have to publish the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity  (Form NC-125 / NC-225).

The clerk will stamp your forms with “Filed,” keep the original and return the copy to you.  

You will have to pay a filing fee. Find out how much the filing fee is for a first petition (sometimes called a “first appearance” or “first papers”). If you cannot afford the fee, you can ask for a fee waiver.

When you file the forms with the superior court, the court will issue the Order to Show Cause for Change of Name to Conform to Gender Identity (Form NC-125 / NC-225).  This order will direct any person who objects to the name change to file a good cause objection within six weeks from the date of the order.

If you are in state prison or county jail, or are on parole under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, serve copies of the of the Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100) and the Attachment to Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-110) to a government agency, as listed below:

  • If you are in state prison, you must provide copies to the warden. Check with the warden's office as to how that should be done.
  • If you are in county jail, you must provide copies to the county sheriff's department. Check with that department as to how that should be done.
  • If you are on parole, you must provide copies to the regional parole administrator of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Check with the administrator's office as to how that should be done.

After you have provided a copy to the sheriff, warden, or regional parole administrator, file a copy of the completed proof of service with the court.  You may use Proof of Service Form POS-040.

If no good cause objection is filed within six weeks of the date on the order to show cause, the court will grant the request without a hearing.  You may check with the court after six weeks to see if any objections were filed.
 
If an objection is filed and a hearing is set, the court will send you notice of the hearing date.  Go to court on your court date and take a copy of the papers you filed, along with the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130) for the judge to sign.

If the judge approves your request for a change of name, the judge will sign the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130). Once you get your signed decree, get a certified copy from the court clerk. You can use this to change all your legal documents, including your birth certificate, social security card, and other government-issued identification like your passport or driver’s license.

More information about changing your birth certificate here.

Related Information:


Gender Change
You do not need a court ordered recognition of gender change to change your California driver's license, social security card, or U.S. passport. You also do not need a court order to have a new birth certificate issued reflecting a change of gender (for California birth records). You may want to seek a court ordered recognition of gender change to amend your birth certificate if you were born outside of California. Please see the section on Gender Change if you want to find out more about changing your name and gender, or for recognizing only your gender change, and want to find out all your options.

Denial of Name Change
In some limited cases, the judge may not agree to change your name. Click to learn about the main reasons why your petition may be denied.