Name and Gender
UPDATE September 2018
SB310 now allows Transgender Inmates within the California Department of Corrections to change their name and gender without the consent of the Warden. The same forms apply like those of citizens.
SB179 allows a person to choose non-binary on their identification. In addition, the medical declaration is no longer necessary. The person can self declare by declaration by using Court Form NC-300. All other forms are required.
When choosing non-binary it may preclude you from international travel. Please consult an attorney before choosing non-binary.
NAME AND GENDER CHANGE
California law treats transgender persons differently than cisgender persons when it comes to name and gender changes with the understanding of the systemic and economic discrimination against transgender people. Qualified applicants do not require the financial burden which often became a road block in their Transition. Subsequently, this prevented thousands of transgender people from employment and housing and increased violence and harassment against them.
California Civil Code 1278(2)
“If no objection is filed at least two court days before the date set for hearing, the court may, without hearing, enter the order that the change of name is granted. If the petition seeks to conform the petitioner’s name to his or her gender identity and no objection is timely filed, the court shall grant the petition without a hearing.”
Sub.(b), “If the provisions of subdivision (b) of section 1277 apply, the court shall not disclose the proposed name unless the court finds violence, stalking, sexual assault or gender identity in the petition are false.”
California Civil Code 1277 (a)(1) states that you should have a hearing within six to 12 weeks. In addition, at the bottom of this paragraph it states, “If the petition seeks to conform a petitioner’s name to his or her gender identity and no objection is timely filed, the court shall grant the petition without a hearing.” Sub.(5), “If the petition for a change of name is sought in order to conform the petitioner’s name to his or her gender identity, the action for a change of name is exempt from the requirement for publication of the order to show cause under this subdivision.”
California law has carved out very unique exceptions to remove systemic discrimination and provide transgender petitioners the tools they need to become authentic. Transgender petitioners are not required to appear unless there is a serious issue or there is a criminal record that could affect public safety, and these same petitioners do not have to place the change in publications like cisgender people.
Riverside County Superior Court has very unique forms that must be filed for the name and gender change, the courts website as of April 2, 2016 is not current with the new forms and standards.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR NAME AND GENDER
1. You must be under a physician’s treatment for Gender Dysphoria.
2. There are two forms in which your physician will have to complete. The FIRST FORM is known as a declaration – NC-210/NC-310 Declaration of Physician. Some transgender petitioners have been harassed by the judge because the form requires the physician’s signature but nowhere does it require the physicians title like “MD” or “PO”. Legally this is not required, but you may desire to include this to prevent potential frustration in the future.
The SECOND FORM the physician needs to complete is for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. It allows name and gender changes on the petitioners California drivers license or identification card.
3. After receiving these documents the petitioner can complete the rest of the following forms, which are self explanatory.
4. If no one contests the name and gender change the court will grant the change and will not require the petitioner to be present. The court's clerk will inform the petitioner that the judge ‘may’ require them to appear if there is a problem with the forms. If this occurs you can request a private hearing so that you are not OUTED in court. Do not waive your rights to HIPPA since Gender Dysphoria is a medical condition. If the petitioners presence is not required the court clerk will call the petitioner and inform them to pick up their name and gender change form called NC-230 Decree Changing Name and Gender. The petitioner will receive ‘two’ free certified copies which can be used for changing documentation with the Social Security Office, Department of Motor Vehicles, Passports, etc. It is important to get addition color copies for updating petitioners information on utilities accounts, credit cards, titles, rental agreements, etc.