According to a 2021 survey from Gallup, an estimated 11.3% of LGBT adults identify as transgender, equating to roughly 0.6% of the American population. Some individuals who identify as transgender undergo gender-affirming surgery, and others do not. The transition process is unique to every individual.
During or after the transition process, people who identify as transgender or non-binary may also choose to update their legal identity on government-issued documents, like their driver’s license and passport. In addition to male and female gender options, some states have added a gender-neutral “X” option for non-binary, intersex or gender non-conforming individuals.
In all 50 states, transgender individuals are legally allowed to change the gender on their driver’s license. But the process can be challenging. Some states require a birth certificate amendment and/or proof of gender-affirming surgery. Other states require a letter from a physician confirming that the individual is or has undergone hormone therapy.
Ultimately, the process of changing the gender on your driver’s license is different in every state. The table below includes information on changing the gender marker on your driver’s license in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and a link to get started.
State laws and Regulations
If you are considering changing the gender on your driver’s license, it is important to get familiar with the laws and processes in your state. Keep in mind that in all states, the process for changing your name is separate from changing your gender. Changing the name on your ID requires you to legally change your name with the Social Security Administration first. Here are the requirements in each state for changing the gender marker on your driver’s license.
|Alabama||Applicants must submit an amended birth certificate or a document signed by a surgeon verifying gender reassignment surgery.||AL birth certificate amendment form|
|Alaska||Applicants must submit a form for a new ID and one of the following documents:
1. Certification for change of sex document signed by a licensed provider certifying that the applicant has undergone the appropriate clinical treatment.
2. An updated birth certificate, passport or court order for gender change.
|Arizona||Applicants must submit the following:
1.Certified copy of the court order for gender change.
2. Signed statement from a licensed physician attesting that the applicant is committed to the gender-change process. Statement must include the physician’s license number and be presented within three months of the date it was signed.
|SAGA Name and Gender Change Guide|
|Arkansas||Arkansas drivers can request that the Office of Driver Services update the gender marker on their driver’s license to M, F, or X, with no medical documentation required.||AR gender change confirmation form|
|California||California driver’s licenses and ID cards can display a gender of M, F, or X, with no medical documentation required.
Drivers can apply for a new license with their preferred gender. To get a REAL ID, drivers must fill out the gender category request form first.
|CA driver’s license application
CA gender category request form
|Colorado||Applicants must complete the change of sex designation form to update their license. For underage drivers, the form must be signed by a parent/guardian and a healthcare provider affirming the applicant’s gender identity.||CO change of sex designation form|
|Connecticut||Applicants must submit a gender designation change form, with no medical documentation required.||CT gender designation form|
|Delaware||Applicants must submit a Request for Gender Change on Driver License/Identification Card form and get it signed by a medical provider certifying the applicant’s gender identity.||DE Request for Gender Change on Driver License/ID Card|
|Florida||Applicants must submit a signed original statement on office letterhead from their physician stating that the applicant is undergoing appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.||The Gulf Coast Transgender Alliance Posted DMV Gender Change Memo|
|Georgia||Applicants must submit a court order or a physician’s letter certifying the gender change. The document must include the person’s name, date of birth, date of gender reassignment operation and other identifying information.||Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia|
|Hawaii||Applicants must submit a Gender Designation Form completed by a medical or social professional affirming the new gender.
Hawaii driver’s licenses and ID cards can display a gender of M, F, or X, as indicated by the applicant.
|HI Gender Designation Form|
|Idaho||Applicants must submit an affidavit signed by a physician certifying that the applicant has undergone the appropriate clinical treatment.||ACLU Idaho – LGBTQ Rights|
|Illinois||Applicants must sign a form affirming their gender identity, with no medical signature or documentation required.
To update the gender on their ID, Illinois drivers must:
1. Visit a Secretary of State facility to submit the incorrect license and provide acceptable proof of identity.
2. Submit the Gender Designation Change Form signed by the applicant.
|IL Gender Designation Change Form|
|Indiana||Applicants must submit their birth certificate showing a change of gender or a form signed by a physician certifying that the applicant successfully underwent all treatment necessary to change gender permanently.||Guide to driver’s license amendments in IN|
|Iowa||For applicants born in Iowa, they must submit an updated birth certificate.
For applicants not born in Iowa, they must submit the following:
1. A certified copy of a birth certificate from another state/country with an updated gender marker.
2. A Certificate of Citizenship with an updated gender marker.
3. A notarized affidavit from a physician and surgeon certifying the procedure.
|Iowa Guide to Changing
Legal Identity Documents
|Kansas||Applicants must submit one of the following options:
1. Confirmation of medical gender change, including a letter from the applicant and a letter from their physician.
2. Court order recognizing the individual’s gender.
3. The drivers’ birth certificate with their updated gender.
|Kentucky||Applicants must submit one of the following documents:
1. An updated birth certificate showing their correct gender.
2. A court order of gender change.
3. A 10-year passport showing the correct gender.
4. A letter from a surgeon stating that gender reassignment surgery has been completed.
|Louisiana||Applicants must submit a statement signed by a physician stating that they have undergone a successful gender change/reassignment.||Louisiana Trans Advocates|
|Maine||Applicants can change the gender marker on their license to M, F, or X. To update their driver’s license, applicants must submit a Gender Designation Form.||ME gender designation form|
|Maryland||Applicants can select M, F, or X designation when applying for or renewing a license, with no medical documentation required.||MD changing gender information|
|Massachusetts||Applicants can select M, F, or X on a driver’s license or ID, with no medical documentation required.
To update the gender marker on a driver’s license, the applicant must submit a new license and ID card application and indicate a change of information, plus the correct gender marker.
|MA License and ID Card Application|
|Michigan||Applicants must submit their current ID and a signed Sex Designation Form.||MI Sex Designation Form|
|Minnesota||Applicants can self-designate M, F, or X on a license or state ID, with no medical documentation required. The applicant can fill out the online application and indicate their preferred gender.||MN online application for a driver’s license|
|Mississippi||Applicants must submit documents certifying their gender change, such as a birth certificate or court order.||ACLU Mississippi|
|Missouri||Applicants must submit one of the following documents:
1. A completed Gender Designation Change Request Form.
2. Medical documentation showing completion of gender reassignment surgery.
3. U.S. Passport which reflects the gender designation requested by the applicant.
4. An amended U.S. birth certificate which reflects the gender designation requested by the applicant.
5. A court order declaring the gender designation requested by the applicant.
|MO Gender Designation Change Request Form|
|Montana||Applicants must submit a letter from a doctor stating that the person is in the process or has completed the process of changing their gender.||The Gender Expansion Project Name and Gender Change Guide: Becoming Me|
|Nebraska||Applicants must submit the following documents:
1. State ID Card Data Form.
2. Form signed by a licensed physician certifying that the applicant has undergone the necessary sex reassignment procedures required for social gender recognition.
|NE physician form|
|Nevada||Nevada will issue a gender marker of M, F or X on a driver’s license or state ID, with no medical documentation required.
To change the gender on a driver’s license, the applicant must appear in person to make this change. There is no limit to the number of times the change can be made.
|NV Name and Gender Change Information|
|New Hampshire||Applicants can choose the designation M, F or X on their license or ID. Applicants must submit a Change of Gender Designation Form signed by the applicant and a medical or mental health professional affirming the applicant’s gender identity.||NH Change of Gender Designation Form|
|New Jersey||Applicants must submit a Declaration of Gender Designation Change form.||NJ Gender Designation Form|
|New Mexico||Applicants must submit a Request for Sex Designation Change form, indicating M, F or X.||NM Gender Change Form|
|New York||Applicants must submit the following:
1. A new application for an ID.
2. Letter signed by a medical or mental health professional on their letterhead certifying the applicant’s gender of male or female.
|North Carolina||Applicants must submit one of the following documents:
1. A Gender Designation Form, signed by the applicant and a mental health professional, medical provider or social worker/case manager.
2. A passport or birth certificate with the proper gender marker.
3. A court order recognizing the gender.
|NC Gender Designation Form|
|North Dakota||Applicants must submit a letter signed by a physician or therapist stating that their gender transition has been completed in accordance with the World Professional Association for Transgendered Health Standards of Care (WPATH).||Dakota OutRight resources|
|Ohio||Applicants must follow these steps:
1. Fill out a Declaration of Gender Change, signed by the applicant and a medical professional certifying the applicant’s gender identity.
2. Applicants are notified within 7-10 days if the request is approved.
3. Once approved, the applicant can bring the documentation of gender change approval to any local License Bureau agency to receive their new corrected card.
|OH Declaration of Gender Change Form|
|Oklahoma||Applicants must show an original or certified court order or a notarized statement from the physician who performed the procedure.||Oklahoma Equality Center Offers Name and Gender Change Assistance|
|Oregon||Applicants must apply in person, surrender their current Oregon ID, and submit an application for an original, renewal, or replacement ID. The sex designation options are M, F or X, and no medical documentation is required.||OR license application form
OR DMV Change Gender Designation
|Pennsylvania||Applicants must submit a Request for Gender Change form, indicating male, female or X.||PA Request for Gender Change on ID|
|Rhode Island||Applicants must complete a Gender Designation Form, signed by the applicant, and submit their RI license and take a new photo.||RI Application for New license
RI Gender Designation Form
|South Carolina||Applicants must submit medical documentation of gender change and a document certifying the gender change, like a birth certificate or court order.||Gender Benders Name Change Resource|
|South Dakota||Applicants must submit, in person, the following forms:
1. Court order certifying the gender change.
3. Signed affidavit from a licensed physician certifying that the applicant’s gender has been medically altered.
|Transgender Map South Dakota resources|
|Tennessee||Applicants must submit a statement from the attending physician that necessary medical procedures to accomplish the change in gender are complete. A court order recognizing the gender change is also acceptable.||Campaign for Southern Equality Tennessee resources|
|Texas||Applicants must submit a court order certifying the gender change.||Texas Department of Public Safety Name and Gender Change Information|
|Utah||Applicants must submit a passport or birth certificate certifying their gender.||Transgender Map Utah resources|
|Vermont||Applicants can update the gender on their driver’s license to M, F or X with no documentation.
If applying for a new license, drivers can fill out the Replacement License Application with the appropriate gender marker selected.
|VT new license form
VT license replacement form
|Virginia||Applicants must complete the following steps:
1. Submit an application for a new ID.
2. Submit a Gender Designation Change Request, with a medical or mental health professional certifying the applicant’s gender identity.
|VA Gender Designation Change Request form
VA driver’s license application
|Washington||Applicants must submit a Change of Gender Designation Request form indicating M, F or X, signed by the applicant, plus a copy of their old license. There is no medical documentation required.||WA Change of Gender Designation Form|
|Washington D.C.||Applicants must submit the following to the DMV:
1. D.C. driver’s license application indicating M, F or X.
2. Appropriate documentation of identity, residency, ability to drive, etc.
3. Gender Designation Form indicating M, F or X, signed by the applicant.
|D.C. driver’s license application
D.C. Gender Designation Form
|West Virginia||Applicants must submit a Gender Designation Form signed by a licensed physician.||WV DOT Gender Designation Form
Fairness WV Name and Gender Change Guide
|Wisconsin||Applicants must submit one of the following documents:
1. An affidavit or statement from a licensed physician certifying the gender change.
2. A court order for gender change.
|Trans Law Help Wisconsin|
|Wyoming||Applicants must submit the Gender Designation Change Request Form, signed by the applicant and a medical or mental health professional, to a Wyoming driver exam office.||WY Gender Designation Change Request Form|
Advice from trans advocates
Every transgender individual who goes through the transition process has different intentions. For some, changing their legal documents is an essential step in confirming their new identity. For others, changing their gender marker is less critical or may come later in their journey. Here is some advice for individuals going through the transition process from trans advocates:
Mia Edwards, case manager for the PROUDWST Me Program at The LOFT Gay Center
“The best advice I could offer is to find a trans knowledgeable/friendly therapist,” says Mia Edwards, case manager for the PROUDWST Me Program, part of The LOFT Gay Center in New York City. “Most folx starting their journey will need help processing their thoughts and navigating a cis-hetero world which may not be accepting.”
Working with a mental health professional who specializes in trans issues can also provide some guidance if you are struggling to navigate the transition process or if you want to learn more about your options.
“With help from your therapist, begin to map out what next steps look like for you. You will need to have clarity on what trans looks like for you. Some folx medically transition and some do not. It is a very unique and personal journey…there is no ‘one way’ to be trans.”
Edwards also explains that a support system is key for individuals who are transitioning.
“Having a support system in place can be invaluable when facing challenging situations,” she says. “A support system might look like joining a peer support group, enlisting accepting family and friends as allies and advocates, having access to trans-knowledgeable and accepting healthcare providers and finding resources to support your legal rights.”
Kira Lingala, peer navigator for the PROUDWST Me Program at The LOFT Gay Center
“All trans folx have different desires and goals. Some identify along the gender binary, meaning they express and identify exclusively as men or women. Others are non-binary or gender non-conforming,” says Kira Lingala, peer navigator for the PROUDWST Me Program, part of The LOFT Gay Center in New York City.
“This is relevant because a non-binary person may not want to change the gender marker on their driver’s license and other documents to ‘male’ or ‘female.’ Although about 18 states provide a gender-neutral option, the majority still do not, making it impossible for some non-binary and trans people to change these documents.”
Lingala also recommends that trans folx build a strong support system during their transition, if possible. She suggests that individuals look into resources like Centerlink, WPATH, and National Center for Transgender Equality.
“CenterLink can help individuals find an LGBTQ+ center near them, WPATH sets guidelines for transgender healthcare (but their approach is controversial for some within the community), and the National Center for Transgender Equality has more information on policies, such as those related to changing ID documents,” adds Lingala.
Finally, she mentions that trans individuals should look into The LOFT’s TransMission grant program, which will be accepting new applications for small grants from trans folx across the country this fall.
Abby Churchill, founder and director, Trans Law Help Wisconsin
“Everyone’s transition is a unique experience, and as such, there is no universal roadmap,” says Abby Churchill, J.D., founder and director of Trans Law Help Wisconsin. “The best place for one person to start might not be on someone else’s journey. A great resource that speaks more to this is the Transition Roadmap from UCSF. ”
“The trans community itself is a great place for someone to start building a support network if they wish to do so,” she says. “Many individuals find connecting with others who have transitioned in their own way an invaluable experience.”
Although not every trans or non-binary person will choose to change the gender marker on their driver’s license, Churchill mentions that people who do might also consider changing the gender on their Social Security card, passport, birth certificate, credit cards, insurance documents, employment documents, medical records and academic records.
She adds that there is no one-stop shop for changing the name and gender on a legal document. “It can take years and can be quite expensive to bring all of one’s documents in alignment with their gender identity,” says Churchill. As a result, she reminds her clients that this process is a marathon, not a sprint.
For some people, changing their gender identity on legal documents like their driver’s license is an important part of their transition journey, and for others, it is not. There is no right or wrong decision, and everyone’s transition journey is unique to them. You can find several resources, both online and in-person, that can help you navigate the process in a way that feels right for you.