How to Complete a Name and Gender Marker Change in West Virginia

Many people who identify as LGBTQIA+ choose to change their name or gender marker to align with their authentic selves. However, the legal process of doing so can often appear daunting and complicated. If you’re a West Virginia resident looking to complete a name and gender marker change, this blog post is for you! We’ll outline all the steps you need to take and provide you with the resources you need to navigate the process smoothly.

Step 1: File a Petition

Before you start the process of changing your name and gender marker, you must first file a petition with the circuit court or family court in the county where you reside. In the petition, you must explain why you’re seeking the name and gender marker change and provide any documentation supporting your request. This could include medical records, counseling records, or affidavits from friends or family.

Step 2: Attend a Court Hearing

After you file your petition, you’ll receive a court hearing date. During the hearing, a judge will review your request and consider all evidence presented. This process can often trigger feelings of anxiety or nervousness, especially for those who are already marginalized. To make the process smoother, you can prepare for your hearing by practicing what you’re going to say, bringing a support person with you, and dressing in business attire.

Step 3: Update Your Social Security and Driver’s License

Once your name and gender marker change has been approved by the court, you’ll need to update your legal identification documents. Start with your social security card then voter’s registration card and driver’s license. To update your social security card, you must complete an application for a corrected card and provide documents that prove your identity, age, and citizenship status. To update your driver’s license, you must visit the DMV with a certified copy of your name and gender marker change court order.

Step 4: Update Your Passport

If you plan on traveling internationally, you must update your passport to reflect your new name and gender marker. To do so, complete form DS-11, “U.S. Passport Application,” and provide a certified copy of your name and gender marker change court order, your current passport, and a passport photo.

Step 5: Update Other Important Documents

Finally, you’ll need to update any other important documents that reflect your name and gender marker, such as your bank accounts, insurance policies, and school records. Check with each institution to see what specific documentation they require to update your information.

Changing your name and gender marker can be a long and challenging process, but it’s an important step towards living authentically. If you’re a West Virginia resident, we hope this blog post helped you understand the steps you need to take to complete a name and gender marker change. Remember, you’re not alone. Seek support from friends, family, or local LGBTQ+ organizations if you need it, and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Give us a call at (304) 948-8529 and ask for Ken. Good luck!