For many transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people, having identification that matches their authentic selves is a crucial step in living a full and authentic life. However, many individuals face misidentification on various legal documents – from driver’s licenses to birth certificates.
Fortunately, there are processes for people to change and correct their name and gender identity markers. In this article, we will discuss the process for legally changing your name or gender marker on a birth certificate in North Carolina.
Feeling free to express your gender identity without facing discrimination seems like a no-brainer. However, GNC, non-binary, and transgender people often face harassment when expressing their gender. Processes that should be easy can become complicated when your identification doesn’t match your gender expression and identity.
Birth Certificate Modernization Bill
Individuals wishing to change their name need less paperwork and fewer steps than before. If you want to adjust the gender marker on your birth certificate, it’s crucial to remember that the laws of the state where you were born will determine how difficult this process can be.
In North Carolina, you can make name and gender marker corrections on birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and other documents. As a transgender woman or man, there is no need for medical transition or surgery to make these corrections.
In the past, North Carolina statute required trans individuals to present proof of a “sex reassignment surgery” to change their name and gender marker legally. However, this is no longer the case.
In a court settlement in the Federal Court in 2022, transgender individuals born in North Carolina can now correct the gender marker on their birth certificate without having surgery. This groundbreaking decision is an enormous accomplishment for trans rights.
What May Be Corrected On a Birth Certificate?
North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services now issues birth certificates that reflect the gender identity of an individual without “sex reassignment surgery” or medical transition. This monumental ruling provides legal documents with markers that reflect your gender identity.
Process to Change a Trans Person’s Birth Certificate
To correct your birth certificate in North Carolina, you must complete and mail the Birth Certificate Modification Application Form. In order to correct your name, you will need to have a court order. However to correct your gender marker, there are now several options for providing “proof” of your correct gender.
Changing Your Name in North Carolina as an Adult
Documents you will need for obtaining a name change in North Carolina:
- SBI and FBI criminal record check report (after getting your fingerprints)
- Notice of Petition for Name Change (File Stamped and Publicly Posted with 10 days notice)
- Verified Petition for Name Change
- Two (2) Affidavits of Character
- Affidavit Regarding Outstanding Tax/Child Support Obligations
- Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
- Proof of Identification
- Proof of Residency
- Filing fee ($120) cash or certified check or Petition to file as an Indigent to have the fee waived
Once you have all your paperwork together, you must meet the various deadlines imposed in filing your petition with the county clerk. The clerk will inspect the documents submitted with the petition before approving or denying it.
If the clerk grants your name change, you will receive a Court Order for your name change. You can use the court order to change your name on necessary identification documents such as your:
- North Carolina driver’s license
- Social security card
- Birth certificate
If you have changed your name before, you can come up against a North Carolina law that limits the number of times you may change your name. If you have already changed your name once, contact a name change attorney to assist you in obtaining a new legal name and updating your birth certificate.
Correcting Your Gender Marker in North Carolina
To legally change the gender marker on your birth certificate in North Carolina there are several options for what proof you can submit. Medical transition is no longer required.
To correct the gender marker on your birth certificate, you may submit a sworn statement along with one of the following IDs:
- State-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
Alternatively, you may submit a sworn statement along with a certification that confirms your gender identity issued by:
- Licensed healthcare professional
- Social worker
- Case manager
Whether you have undergone gender transition surgery or not, you can now correct the gender marker on your North Carolina birth certificate with your correct sex designation. As a transgender person, your correct gender on an amended birth certificate and other documents can help you feel protected from discrimination.
GNC, non-binary, and trans people deserve legal documents reflecting who they are as much as anyone else. While working with the judicial system may seem daunting, working with a name change attorney can help make the necessary processes easier. An attorney can ensure your rights to receive accurate identification.
Driver’s License Corrections Made Easy
In North Carolina, there is no need for a court order to correct gender markers on a driver’s license. To correct your gender identity marker, visit the DMV and bring the “Sex Designation Form.”
As of now, you may only choose between “female” and “male” for your driver’s license in North Carolina. You’ll need to work with a health provider or therapist who will certify your gender identity. However, there is no need for proof of any gender-affirming surgery or medical procedures to correct the gender marker on your driver’s license.
Our Experienced Name Change Attorneys Can Help
The legal process of changing one’s name and correcting gender markers in North Carolina can be tedious. It requires meticulous planning and knowledge of the regulations set by courts, vital statistics offices, and DMV – all while ensuring that everything is completed within the designated timeframes.
Working with us at Scharff Law can give you the legal knowledge necessary to make changes. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, our attorney, Amily McCool (she/her/hers), will proudly stand by your side to support you and assist in your name and gender marker correction. We’ll provide you with all the support necessary to live authentically, using whatever identity or name best reflects who you are.
We have successfully represented individuals in name and gender identity corrections. Contact us today to learn more or schedule your free consultation.