So in my last post 6 months ago, I said we were starting the process and waiting for the name change court order. Surprisingly, we received it less than 2 weeks after we submitted it. That was great news! I’ve had friends who live in other states who have had to physically go to court and plead their case to change their kid’s name. For us, all we did was get a notarized signed form stating that we requested the name change. My husband dropped it off with the county court, and in about 10 days, the official court order showed up in the mail. YES!!
Pro tip: if you submit a name change request, be sure to also request 10 original copies of the court order. It’ll cost a few dollars for each, but you’ll need originals to mail to various places.
After we had that, then it’s a matter of applying for a social security name change, then the DMV for the drivers license name/gender marker change and then the passport. After that, there’s still a lot to do, but by having those primary identification documents complete, we were good to apply to colleges, get credit cards, change medical insurance, etc. I was very fortunate to have my husband do 99% of the legwork with these things since he quit his job and was taking a few months off. No lie, he spent hours driving to various places (sometimes a few times because we didn’t have the correct items, etc). Of course you don’t have to quit your job to do it, but since it takes a fair amount of time, visits, and phone calls, it’ll just take you longer to do it while you are also juggling a full time job.
You can visit my earlier post on detailed information on how to complete name and gender changes along with helpful legal links. In light of the new change in federal administration to majority republican and considering Pence has made it clear he is anti-LGBT, you may want to do these things sooner rather than later. I don’t want to create panic, however if laws change, it may be more different or impossible to get certain changes done.
We still have some additional clean up to do with changing TN’s name everywhere. Most of the items are minor, but necessary (I remember everything I had to change when I got married and took my husband’s last name!) so we are working our way through them slowly. Here is a nice Change of Name and Gender Marker Checklist to give you a start at making your own list of items to change.