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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions - Gender Marker Change

This article answers frequently asked questions about gender marker change in Texas.  

What is gender marker change?

Gender marker change is when state and government agencies change the gender marker (gender identifier, sex marker, sex identifier) on official documents (such as a birth certificate or driver’s license).

Gender marker change can help individuals change the listed gender or sex on official documents when their gender identity does not match the listed gender or sex.

Note: Texas currently recognizes the gender markers M (Male) and F (Female).

How do I change my gender marker?

Many gender marker changes require a court order. The first step is filing a Petition to Change the Sex and Gender Identification. A petition may need to include different information depending on whether you are an adult, a minor, or have a criminal history.

Note: TexasLawHelp.org does not provide gender marker change forms. Talk with a lawyer familiar with LGBTQ law for help starting a gender marker case.

Will I need proof of certain treatment to change my gender marker?

Different judges may require different forms of evidence when deciding a gender marker case.  Some judges may not grant gender marker changes at all.  It is important you talk with a lawyer in your area familiar with LGBTQ law before you try to start a gender marker case.

Can I change my gender marker without a court order?

It is possible to change your gender marker with some federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Department of State (on your U.S. Passport), and USCIS (immigration documents) without a court order by using different forms of proof.

Note: You cannot change your U.S. passport using a court order. The U.S. Department of State requires a physician's certification that uses certain language. Find more information under the link below.

Some other states may allow you to change your gender marker on state indentification or a birth certificate without a court order. However, it is recommended you get a court order because most driver's license and birth certifcate changes in Texas require a court order.

Note: Depending which documents you want to change, a court order may not be necessary. Talk with a lawyer familiar with LGBTQ law for advice specific to your circumstances. It is highly recommended you speak to an LGBTQ-friendly immigration lawyer if you want to change your gender marker on immigration documents.

Does getting a court order automatically change my gender marker?

No. You must apply to change your gender marker, using your court order, with each agency that has an official document listing your gender or sex.  These agencies include, but are not limited to:

  • Social Security Administration
  • Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (Texas driver's license or identification card)
  • Texas Department of State Health Services - Vital Statistics Unit (Texas birth certificate)
  • USCIS (documents showing identity and immigration status)
  • Military Records

You may also want to change your gender marker with other agencies or businesses, including with your banks or on an occupational license.

Where can I find information about gender marker change?

Click on the links below for more information on how to change various documents:

For detailed information and forms for gender marker change in Travis County:

For additional help or advice, contact a lawyer in your area familiar with LGBTQ law.

Can I hire a lawyer just to give me advice?

YES! You can hire a lawyer familiar with LGBTQ law just to give you advice, provide you forms, review your forms, or help you prepare for the gender marker change hearing.  You may then be able to handle the other parts of the gender marker change case yourself.  Hiring a lawyer for a limited purpose is called "limited scope representation."

Tip:  Contact the Lawyer Referral Service in Central Texas for help finding an LGBTQ lawyer experienced in gender marker cases.