Court order to recognize change of gender in California
This guide can help you:
- Understand when you need a court order recognizing change of gender to update a gender marker or sex identifier
- Ask for a court order recognizing your or your child's gender change
- Find out where to update your gender marker or sex identifier on your IDs
Ready to get started?
The steps and forms you need to fill out vary depending on your situation. Answer a few questions to get the right set of instructions.
In California, you can ask the court for an order recognizing your or your child's gender change. When you ask for the order, you can ask for a gender marker of female, male, or nonbinary. The process takes about two months.
When you need a court order to update gender markers
You may not need a court order to update a gender marker or sex identifier on identity documents.
California identity documents: You don't need a court order to update the marker or identifier on your
- California Birth certificate
- California Marriage certificate, if your spouse agrees
- California driver's license
Find out how to update identity documents from each government agency identity.
Out-of-state birth certificates: You may need a court order
Find out what the place that issued your birth certificate requires. The Transgender Law Center has a State-by-State Overview: Changing Gender Markers on Birth Certificates
Federal identity documents: You don't need a court order
The Transgender Law Center has a Guide to changing identity documents with different federal agency requirements.
Steps to get a court order
To start the process, you file forms with the court
You pay a $435-$450 filing fee. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive it.
If you’re asking for a court order recognizing your child's gender, your child's other parent may need to get a copy of your request before the judge will make a decision. This is called serving court papers.
A judge will make a decision in about 1 to 2 months
After you get the court order, you can use it to have identity documents updated.
You can follow the instructions in this guide. Since you are out of state, there are a few differences, like where you file. Find out more about the differences if you live out of state.
Get a court order recognizing gender
Answer a few questions to get step-by-step information for getting a court order recognizing gender. You can also ask for a name change at the same time.
Find out about name change
Learn more about the name change process if you want to change your or your child's name to match gender identity.
Find out how to update a gender marker on identity documents
Get information about how to update gender markers on identity documents.