If you need support throughout this process, Identity Health Clinic offers a Legal Support Group. Please reach out to the clinic at frontdesk@identityinc.org or 907-865-3247 for more information.

Amending ID Documents

Step 1: Request a Name & Gender Change

  1. Forms: the two forms you are REQUIRED to fill out in order to legally change your name: a petition for name change and a report for name change (type or use black / blue ink when filling out these documents). 
    • Situational forms:
      • exemption of payment fees here – without this exemption it costs $150 to file the change of name request
      • Waive the publication of name change (for personal safety) here – without this your name will likely be published in a newspaper or online.
  2. Locate the probate court of the county you live in here. If you live in Anchorage, the address is 825 West 4th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501.
  3. Take the two required forms, $150.00, and either – or both – of the other two documents that may be relevant to your situation to file at your local court. 
  4. After you have filed at the local court office, you will then receive a letter in the mail that will include a confirmation and date of your court hearing (which will be at least 40 days after the time you filed the documents) 
    • While waiting for your court date, begin the process of getting a doctor to sign this form, if you are changing your name AND updating the gender marker on your Driver’s License. 
  5. Court hearing: this should be relatively short; they want to make sure you aren’t changing your name to avoid debt or defraud anyone.   
  6. After the judge approves your name and/or gender marker change the court will give you two copies of the certificate that proves you legally changed your name and/or gender. It is recommended you pay to get two or three extra copies in order to update other official documents like SSN or DL.
  7. You have 30 days after you receive a legal name change to update your license. 

**Detailed instructions for this process can be found here and if you are a guardian of child needing to correct name & gender marker,  specific instructions for child’s name change here

Step 2: Update Your Social Security Card

  1. Find your local Social Security office here and make an appointment (Anchorage’s is: Room A11 222 W 8th Ave Anchorage AK 99513)
  2. Fill out the application for a Social Security card 
    • When completing the form SS-5, list your new court-ordered name.
  3. In order to correct your SSN’s gender marker bring one of the following:
    • A signed letter from a doctor on letterhead showing appropriate clinical treatment – the doctor must use this template 
    • A valid 10-year passport showing your updated gender: instructions on how to update the gender marker on your passport here 
    • A birth certificate showing your updated gender: instructions for Alaska birth certificate laws here (scroll down the page to find “Alaska birth certificate laws”)
    • A court order recognizing a change of gender 
  4. In order to correct your name, bring one of the certified copies of your name change
    • All documents you submit must be either originals or copies certified
      by the issuing agency. The SSA won’t accept photocopies or notarized
      copies of documents.
  5. If not born in US bring proof of immigration status 
  6. Bring all relevant documents to the closest social security office. 

Step 3: Update Driver's License / State ID

  1. Schedule an in person appointment at your local DMV here
  2. Print, fill out, and bring an application for a new DL (these should also be available to fill out in person at the DMV office) 
  3. To update your name, bring one of the certified copies of your name change.
    • Submitted documents must be an original certified copy. Photocopies and fax copies are not acceptable. 
  4. To correct the gender marker on your ID, fill out this “certification for change of sex marker on government ID” form. This form must be signed by one of the following:
    • physician in medicine or osteopathy
    • social worker
    • psychologist
    • professional counselor
    • physician assistant
    • advanced nurse practitioner
  5. Bring a new driver’s license application, a certified name change document, the form signed by an official, and the $20.00 renewal fee.

Step 4: Update Passport / Birth Certificate

Passport:

  1. Find the closest location to correct your gender / name markers on your passport in person here
  2. Instructions for updating gender marker on passport

 

Birth Certificate:

*This is more complicated than updating your passport and often your passport can be used in place of a birth certificate; it’s not necessary to update both.

  1. Fill out an Alaska birth certificate request form 
  2. To correct a birth certificate’s gender marker, obtain a letter from a medical or mental health provider attesting to appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. 
  3. To update the name, bring a certified copy of the Decree of Name Change
  4. To update the gender marker, a letter from a medical or mental health provider (use this gender change letter template) OR a certified copy of a court ordered change of sex
  5. Fee ($60 for the amendment fee and one certified copy)

* Other helpful resources:

  1. A checklist for the process of correcting name & gender marker on official documents
  2. A guide to Alaska specific procedures
  3. Updating ID info support & resource page 
  4. Financial resources for changing IDs

Steps to Changing Your ID Documents

Change Your Name

Name changing in Alaska is done through the courts. The Court system has special forms available at http://courts.alaska.gov/shc/family/shcname.htm.  A name change generally requires filing a petition for change of name with the court, as well as publishing the information about the name change. Sometimes, the court will ask a person to publish the name change proposal in the legal notices section of a newspaper; sometimes, the court will ask that it be posted on public bulletin boards.

If you have concerns about your safety, you can ask the court to let you change your name without publicly posting the name change. Transgender people who fear being targeted for hate crimes can make that request. People who are changing their names to escape from a stalker or abuser may also ask the court to waive the publication requirement for safety reasons. At the end of this process, you will appear in court, and the court will determine whether to grant the name change.

Although the process is not spelled out in the court rules, you may wish to ask the court to issue an order legally changing your name and your gender at the same time. Some individuals have reported success using that avenue. Such a court order should be recognized by both the Alaska DMV for your driver’s license and by the Alaska Division of Vital Records for your birth certificate. If the court decides to change your name only, don’t feel frustrated; see the sections below for help with gender marker changes.

Change Your Social Security Card

We recommend that after you obtain your court order, you next go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to change your records and get a new Social Security card. Having your Social Security information changed will
make changing your Alaska driver’s license or state ID easier. Additionally, changing your name and gender with the Social Security Administration may alleviate some workplace issues.

The following steps are required to amend your information with Social Security.

  • Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5)13
  • When completing the form SS-5, list your new court-ordered name.
  • SSA generally charges a small fee to request a new Social Security card.
  • Show proof of your: 1)U.S. citizenship; 2) legal name change; and 3) identity.
  • Take your completed application and documents to your local SSA
    office (222 W 8th Ave A11, Anchorage, AK 99513).
  • All documents you submit must be either originals or copies certified
    by the issuing agency. The SSA won’t accept photocopies or notarized
    copies of documents.
  • Possible additional documentation requirements to verify identity.

Change Your Driver’s License Gender Marker

Alaskans no longer need to get any kind of surgery to change their driver’s license gender markers.

You can use a passport showing your true gender to support a change of gender marker on a driver’s license. The U.S. State Department has adopted rules allowing transgender people to change their gender identifier based on a physician’s certification. You may wish to change your passport and then use your corrected passport to change your driver’s license. You could also use a birth certificate showing one’s correct gender marker or a court order, though these are often more difficult to obtain. Learn more.

 If you do not have a passport, cannot afford to get one, or your passport does not bear the correct identifier, you can still change the gender marker on your driver’s license. The DMV has a form allowing health care providers to certify the gender of a patient they have treated or evaluated. The provider need only state that the change of gender is expected to be permanent and that you have had “appropriate clinical treatment,” without restriction to the nature of the treatment. Get DMV forms.

Change Your U.S. Passport

As of January 28, 2011, surgery is no longer required to change the gender marker on a U.S. passport. Instead, you need to provide a letter from your physician on office letterhead that confirms whether your gender transition is in process or complete.

If you are renewing your passport and requesting a gender change, you must use form DS-11, Application for a U.S. Passport, and apply in person, even if you would otherwise be eligible to renew by mail.

To apply for a new passport, individuals must submit in person a form DS-11, along with passport photos, proof of U.S. citizenship (generally a birth certificate), a valid form of photo identification, and fees. If the gender marker on any of the documents conflicts with the desired gender marker on the passport, then the above-mentioned physician’s letter is also required. Review Passport forms.

Change Your Birth Certificate Gender Marker

If you were born in Alaska, you can amend your birth certificate to reflect a new gender through the Division of Vital Statistics. A birth certificate will be amended to reflect a new gender upon presentation of a signed original statement, on office letterhead, from a licensed:

(1) Physician in medicine or osteopathy;
(2) Social worker;
(3) Psychologist;
(4) Professional counselor;
(5) Physician assistant; or
(6) Advanced nurse practitioner.

The certification provided must be made under penalty of unsworn falsification. The letter must include the licensed provider’s full name, address, telephone number, professional license number, license-issuing jurisdiction, original signature, and a statement certifying that

(1) The licensed provider has treated the applicant or reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the applicant with regard to the condition necessitating the requested change;
(2) The applicant has had appropriate clinical treatment for the condition necessitating the change; and
(3) The change is expected to be permanent.