QT Says: How to Change Your Name And Gender Marker On Your Driver's License
For the next several weeks of QT Says we’re going to be doing something a little different! We get a ton of questions from our transgender patients, community members, and our fabulous QT followers about the details and how to’s of name change and gender marker change paperwork and processes. We know it can be a bit overwhelming (even when the outcome is exciting and good!) so we’re going to share all the details about the places and ways you can change your name and gender marker on various legal documents.
TO CHANGE YOUR NAME ON YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE:
In New York State, you must visit a local DMV office in person to change your name on all DMV records and documents. (All this in person stuff. When are the robots finally going to take over?)
You will need:
- Filled out form MV-44 to change your name on your driver license, learner permit or non-driver photo ID card (the form is available online and at the DMV office).
- Your current New York State driver’s license, or other proof of identity that displays your previous name and has a value of at least six points. (Please go to dmv.ny.gov/idlicense.htm for a list of the acceptable documents for this crazy 14 ￼point system you have to follow.)
- Your official name change document.
- To pay a fee of $12.50 for a new driver’s license or learner permit; or $5 for a new non-driver photo ID card. You can usually pay DMV fees with a credit card, cash, check, or money order.
So. Yes. You guessed it, you are standing in another line. Wait your turn.
But before you go, remember: You have to have your picture taken for your new license. So, haul out your cutest ensemble so you look appropriately smashing for the occasion.
Tell the staff person you’ve changed your name and want to update your license (or learner’s permit or non-driver ID card). Present all your information. The staff will look it over, take a new photo of you, and submit your request. Then they will return your court ordered name change document to you.
However, you will have to surrender your current driver’s license to the staff, and in its place you will receive a temporary paper driver’s license. Your new license or ID will be mailed to you. (All of this information is available at dmv.ny.gov/addr-name.htm)
NOTE: Surrendering your license can make it difficult to do things that require a photo ID, like being carded to buy alcohol or travel on a plane. Keep this in mind and plan accordingly!
If you own a vehicle — car, motorcycle, spaceship — you will also need to change your name on your vehicle registration and title. To change your name on a registration document and a title certificate, you must bring the registration document ￼and the title certificate that display your previous name. Requirements for Vehicle Registrations and Title Certificates can be found at: dmv.ny.gov/idreg.htm
You may decide to change your name and your gender marker with the DMV at the same time, or you may decide to do them at different visits depending on your circumstances.
TO CHANGE THE GENDER MARKER ON YOUR NEW YORK STATE DRIVER’S LICENSE:
You will need to complete form MV-44 (Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card). You can find this form online or at the DMV office.
Then bring the form MV-44, your current New York State license or non-driver’s ID card, and “proof of the sex change” to a DMV office in person.￼
“Proof of a sex change” for the DMV is a written statement from a physician,
a psychologist, or a psychiatrist that is printed on letterhead. (See an example online at PPSFL.ORG/transgender). You should ask your physician to use this letter and not give additional personal health information that is not required. The statement must certify your gender — the new one you’re trying to adjust your documents to match, male or female. (Yes, ye olde binary. New York State still says your gender must be one or the other on your license.)
There is a fee of $12.50 to make this change. The DMV office will issue you a temporary paper document that does not have a photo, and will not give your old license back to you. (This may make it difficult to travel by plane or buy alcohol or do any activity where an individual would be carded or needs a photo ID, plan accordingly.)
Your new license will arrive by mail. For more information, please go to: dmv.ny.gov/address-change/change-your-name-or-non-address-information-dmv- documents
You can also refer to a state by state guide about driver’s license gender marker change from The National Center for Transgender Equality: transequality.org/documents