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Texas Name and Gender Marker Change Guide

LGBTQ+ Rights & Gender Identification

How to change your name and gender marker in Texas, with steps to update documents.
Overview

Guide Overview

This guide explains how to change your name and change your gender marker in Texas.

It also includes details about updating important documents after your name and gender have been legally changed. Because after you change your name or gender marker, you have more to do. You will also need to change your ID cards, your information with various agencies, public records, and personal legal documents (such as titles, a will, powers of attorney, a lease, or contract, etc.).

Keep a copy of your court order to prove you’re the same person listed on mismatched IDs. Ask an attorney for more help if you have any problems.

Research Tips

The Texas Name and Gender Marker Change Guide created by the Medical-Legal Partnership is a printable resource that this TexasLawHelp guide is adapted from. 

Changing your name and gender markers in Texas involves several steps. Click on the "instructions and forms" tab in this guide for changing each of the following:

  1. Name
  2. Social security card
  3. Birth certificate
  4. Driver's license
  5. Passport
  6. Immigration Documents
  7. Other documents (such as voter registration, financial information, student records, health insurance, wills, education records, and military records, among others).

Read the law about name changes in Texas Family Code, Chapter 45

Common questions about LGBTQ+ Rights & Gender Identification

In Texas, you usually need a court order to change your name or gender marker. Once you get a court order, you use it to have your IDs or other information changed.

  • You can always use a different name in your everyday life. Many people go by a nickname, middle name, or chosen name. However, most legal name changes in Texas (outside of changing your last name during marriage or divorce) require a court order.
  • You can change your gender marker on some federal documents and out-of-state IDs without a court order, typically by using a doctor’s letter or other proof. However, changing your gender marker on Texas documents (like your driver’s license or birth certificate) generally requires a court order.

You can have just your name changed, just your gender marker changed, or both your name and gender marker changed at the same time. If you want to change both your name and gender marker, you can change both at once so that you don’t have to pay to have your IDs changed multiple times.

You can change your name for almost any reason. However, you will need to show that you are not asking for your name change to do something illegal, like lie to others or run away from law enforcement or creditors.

To ask a court for your name change, you send in a petition that includes basic identifying information and a fingerprint card. Some counties might make you get a full background check as well. You might also have to give the court additional information if you have a criminal history.

For gender marker change, there is no Texas law that says what proof you need. This means it’s up to individual judges to decide what proof they want to see. 

Generally, you need at least one doctor’s letter that says you are receiving clinically appropriate treatment related to your gender identity. Some judges may require multiple letters, proof of certain treatment, like surgery, or treatment for a certain length of time. Click here for a sample letter for use in Travis County.

Some judges may not grant gender marker changes at all.

For judges that will grant a gender marker change, you will likely need to give them the same criminal history information you would for name changes. See the Criminal History section, above.

NOTE: Be careful if you’re handling your own case! Older cases in Dallas and Houston have denied gender marker changes on appeal. An adverse decision on appeal could prevent district court judges in your area from granting future gender marker changes for anyone else. If you feel you have been wrongly denied a gender marker change, contact an attorney.

Getting Gender Marker Change ONLY

You must file a Petition to Change the Sex/Gender Identifier of an Adult. You can find forms for only gender marker change from the Travis County Law Library on their website.

Again, forms from the Travis County Law Library are for Travis County and should not be used anywhere else. If you have questions about where you can or should file, ask an attorney.

To change the name of a minor, a caregiver having a legal relationship to the minor, meaning the parents, guardians, or conservators, must file a Petition to Change the Name of a Child. Minors at least 10 years old must agree to their name change in writing.

If more than one caregiver has a legal relationship with the minor, meaning the child has two parents, two guardians, or two conservators, both can petition together as co-petitioners. If one caregiver agrees but the other does not, the caregiver who does not agree must be told about the name change and will be given the chance to fight against the minor’s name change in court.

You can find forms for only name change of a minor on TexasLawHelp.org. These forms can be used anywhere in Texas.

Like with adult gender marker changes, there is no Texas law that says what proof you need to change a minor’s gender marker. This means different judges may or may not grant a gender marker change and may ask for different proof. And like a name change for a minor, the parents, guardians, or conservators must ask for the minor’s gender marker change.

You can find forms for a minor’s gender marker change or a minor’s name and gender marker change from the Travis County Law Library on their website

If minors are concerned that one of both of their caregivers may not agree to a name or gender marker change, they may choose to wait until age 18 when they can ask for their own name or gender marker change as an adult. You should contact an attorney if you’re worried that one or both of your parents, guardians, or conservators won’t support your name or gender marker change.

Some state laws require proof of surgery to change the gender marker on a birth certificate. Note that the gender marker forms from the Travis County Law Library do not mention surgery. This leaves you with 3 basic options:

  1. You can try to apply with the standard forms available from the Travis County Law Library, but there’s no guarantee the other state will change your birth certificate.
  2. If you’ve had or plan to have gender-affirming surgery, you can ask an attorney about drafting custom gender marker change court documents that specifically mention the surgery. This might give you a better chance of getting your birth certificate changed.
  3. You might decide not to change your birth certificate. There are not many times you will need to show your birth certificate to someone else. If you need it as proof of citizenship (such as when you apply for a Texas driver’s license or a job) you can use a U.S. Passport instead, which is easier to update with the correct gender marker—see U.S. Passport section, below.

Each state and each ID has its own rules. The National Center for Transgender Equality has an ID Documents Center, with information about updating IDs from all over the U.S. The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) has information about updating documents in other countries.

Ask an attorney if you need help with documents outside of Texas.

Courts charge filing fees when you file a new petition, which often cost about $300 for a name or gender marker change. If you’re worried about being able to afford the fee, you can file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment (known as a Pauper’s Oath or Affidavit for Declaration of Indigency) asking the court to let you file for free. You can find the form on TexasLawHelp.org.

You can call your local court to ask about fee waivers. Some courts may want you to attach proof, like proof of income (such as paystubs), proof of government benefits, or proof of expenses. If you have questions about whether you can file for free, ask an attorney.

Texas Legal Services Center Medical-Legal Partnerships: Patients of TLSC  partner organizations (Kind Clinic and People’s Community Clinic) should ask your provider for a referral. 

Pro Bono Clinics

  • University of Texas School of Law Gender Affirmation Project: Law students under attorney supervision can help prepare court documents for name and gender marker change for free. Pro bono clinics are held multiple times each semester. Watch the Project’s Facebook page for updates and upcoming events.
  • Trans Legal Aid Clinic Houston: Hosts name and gender marker change clinics in Houston. See their Facebook page for information.
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers (Income and residency requirements): Hosts Gender Marker and Name Change Clinics in Houston. Check eligibility requirements on their website.

Legal Aid (income and residency requirements).

Generally, to qualify for legal aid, your income must be below 125% of the Federal Poverty Line, which looks at your household income and the number of people that live with you. Some legal aid organizations may get other funding that lets them serve people whose income is above 125% FPL. Even if you think you might be over income, you can still try to apply. Use TexasLawHelp's Legal Help Directory tool to find a legal aid organization that serves your area.

Other Legal Service Providers
Driver’s License Recovery and Occupational Driver’s Licenses:

Criminal Record Expunction and Nondisclosure:

Military: Modern Military Association of America

Self-Help Resources

If you want to change both your name and gender marker, you can do both at once. That way, you only have to pay once for things like court fees and changing your IDs. If you decide you want to change just one of them, that’s fine too. You can always change your name or gender marker again or change them separately, but you may have to pay fees again.

You must file a Petition to Change the Name and Sex/Gender Identifier of an Adult, available on the Travis County Law Library and Self-Help Center website

The forms also have instructions for filing your case and getting your court order. The Travis County Law Library forms are for Travis County and should not be used anywhere else. Ask a lawyer if you have questions about where you can or should file.

You must file a Petition to Change the Name of an Adult. You can find more information and forms for a name change on TexasLawHelp.org.

These name-change-only forms can be used anywhere in Texas.

NOTE: If you file for a name change, you may run into courts unfamiliar with transgender or nonbinary people. If you’re changing from a stereotypically masculine name to a stereotypically feminine name, such as from Alexander to Alexandra (or vice versa), this may disclose your gender identity to the judge and court staff. However, your name change cannot be denied simply because of your gender identity. If a judge denies your name change, you should contact an attorney.

Name changes are filed in state district court. You can ask your local district clerk about how to file your name change and to see if your county will have you get a background check. Ask an attorney if you have questions about where you can file your name change.

If your court order is granted, you should get at least five or six certified copies to make sure you have enough to update your IDs. If you need more copies later, you can order more from the clerk.

The clerk may be able to mail you certified copies of your order, hold copies for you to pick up in person, or email you digital copies. If you can, it’s usually better to get physical copies because many people will want to see the clerk’s raised seal on the paper to make sure it’s an official document of the court.

NOTE: if you filed a fee waiver, the clerk should waive fees for copies. If you did not file a fee waiver, certified copies usually cost just a couple of dollars ($1 to $2 certification fee, and $1 to $2 per page).

Many states let you change the gender marker on your birth certificate without a court order. Some let you update by self-determination, meaning you don’t have to give any evidence. Other states ask for less proof than a court order, like a simple doctor’s letter. 

If your birth certificate is from one of these states, you may not need a court order for a gender marker change. If you change the gender marker on your birth certificate, you should then be able to use the updated birth certificate to change the gender marker on other documents, like your Texas driver’s license. You might prefer this because it means you get to decide your own gender instead of a judge deciding for you. 

However, it can take weeks or months for a state to change your birth certificate. If you’re also changing your name, you will most likely need to get a court order anyway, so it might be easier and faster for you to get a court order for both name and gender marker change simultaneously.

It’s up to you to decide how to move forward, and you can ask a lawyer for advice.

Getting a court order does not automatically change your name or gender marker. You must then apply to have each one of your IDs and all your information updated. Information about changing specific IDs is below.

Getting a court order isn’t a perfect guarantee that everyone will immediately update your information. You shouldn’t have any issues with the standard government IDs listed below, but if you have issues getting other information updated, you can ask an attorney for more help.

It’s usually best to update Social Security first, because other government agencies will often check your information with Social Security. However, you can update your IDs in whatever order you’d like. You usually have to show other IDs regardless of which ID you’re updating, and chances are some won’t be updated with your new name or gender marker yet. That’s fine, because the court order is proof of your legal name and/or gender marker change.

There may be some IDs you can’t update, or you may not want to update some of your IDs because you don’t really use them, they cost too much, it’s too difficult, or some other reason. It’s usually easier when all of your IDs match, but it should be okay if some don’t. You should always keep a copy of your court order to prove you’re the same person listed on mismatched IDs, and you can ask an attorney for more help if you have any issues.

Instructions & Forms

You should change your name and gender marker with the Social Security Administration (SSA) first, because many government agencies will check your name and gender with Social Security.

Will changing my information with Social Security affect anything else?

You will keep your same Social Security number and record. Changing your name or gender marker does not affect your social security if you’re getting or will get any social security benefits.

If you get Medicare or Medicaid, then the gender marker listed on your insurance may be changed when you update Social Security. Sometimes insurance companies won’t pay for care when they think your gender marker doesn’t match with the services you received. You should work with your provider or contact your plan to try to fix the denial. You can also ask an attorney for advice or more help. See the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Trans Health Project for more information about health insurance.

Checklist Steps

You will need to bring at least one of the following as proof of identity:

  • U.S. driver’s license
  • State-issued non-driver identification card
  • U.S. Passport

If you do not have one of the above documents and cannot get one within 10 days, you may use one of the following documents that includes either your photo or your date of birth:

  • Employment ID card
  • School ID card for the current school year
  • Health insurance card or Medicaid card (not a Medicare card)
  • Certified copy of your medical records from a clinic, doctor, or hospital
  • U.S. military identification card
  • Life insurance policy

NOTE: immigrants who qualify for a social security card and minors have different proof of identity requirements. You can learn more on the SSA website or read the full policy in SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS).

In addition to proof of identity, you will need to bring at least one document for proof of name change and proof of gender marker change.

Acceptable documents for proof of name change:

  • Marriage document
  • Divorce decree
  • Certificate of naturalization
  • Court order

Acceptable documents for proof of gender marker change:

  • Full validity, 10-year U.S. Passport (5-year U.S. Passport for minors) with the new gender marker
  • State-issued birth certificate with the new gender marker
  • Court order
  • Medical certification signed by an MD or DO. Social Security provides a sample letter on their website.

Mail or take all necessary documents in-person to your nearest local SSA office. Social Security will mail original documents back to you if you apply by mail, but it is recommended you complete this step in-person so that you do not have to go without an ID. Find your nearest office using the Social Security Office Locator

Always stay polite. If the worker at the Social Security Office doesn’t know about gender marker change, ask to speak to a manager or supervisor. If needed, you may point out the gender marker change policy on the Social Security website in the Program Operations Manual System (POMS) RM 10212.200 Changing Numident Data for Reasons other than Name Change.

NOTE: Social Security offices are still mostly closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however they are offering appointments for some in-person services. This means, even if you’re able to get your court order, you may have to wait before you’ll be able to go in and update your social security card. You can find more information on the SSA’s website

Forms Required

The Texas Department of Public Safety says on its website that you need an updated birth certificate or a court order to change the gender marker on your driver’s license. You must tell DPS about a name change within 30 days. If you’re a registered voter, you should be able to change your voter registration when you apply to change your Texas ID.

To change your name or gender marker, apply to replace or renew your ID. A replacement costs about $11, and it will not update your expiration date. A renewal costs about $33 and will update your expiration date. For more information on fees, see the DPS website.

What if my license is suspended and can’t be renewed or updated?

Even if your driver’s license is suspended, you can apply for a non-driver’s state ID with your new name and gender marker.

You can check your driver’s license eligibility on the DPS website.

If your license is suspended or you are having issues with traffic tickets, you should contact an attorney. You can find resources for help with driver’s license eligibility at the bottom of this article.

Checklist Steps

The form can be found here

For proof of name change you may use:

  • Marriage license
  • Divorce decree
  • Annulment
  • DSHS marriage verification letter
  • Certified court order
  • Updated birth certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalization

For proof of gender marker change you may use:

  • Original certified court order
  • Updated birth certificate

You may also need to bring proof of citizenship or immigration status and proof of identity. See a list of acceptable IDs for proof of citizenship or immigration status here. See a list of acceptable IDs for proof of identity here.

Take your application and all necessary documents to your local DPS office to apply in person. You can make an appointment here.

As with Social Security, if the front desk worker doesn’t know about gender marker changes, you can ask to speak to a supervisor or manager. 

Some people have been able to change the gender marker on their Texas driver’s license or non-driver’s ID by using updated out-of-state IDs, or even based on their appearance. However, because DPS says you need a court order or updated birth certificate, you should get a court order before trying to change your ID.

NOTE: Texas DPS offices are offering appointments during COVID-19.You can find more information on the DPS website.

If you’re younger than 26, you may want to look at the Selective Service information below.

Forms Required

Texas will change a birth certificate that is “proved by satisfactory evidence to be inaccurate.”  Vital Statistics will take a court order as proof of name and gender marker change.

You can find more Information on the Vital Statistics website.

Checklist Steps

The application Form VS-170 can be found here.

  • NOTE: In the Fee Schedule on page 1, you should fill in the box for “New Birth Certificate based on child’s sex or parent’s race or color See ‘Correcting the Child’s Sex or Parent’s Race or Color’ on Page 3.” 
  • At the bottom of page 4 you should also check the box that says, “We are/I am requesting a new birth certificate be filed to incorporate the correction to the child’s sex or parent’s race or color.”
  • This costs $10 more, but it makes sure that Vital Statistics will print a new birth certificate with the changes. Otherwise, Vital Statistics will attach information about the change to your original birth certificate without changing the birth certificate itself.

You will need proof of identity. Texas Vital Statistics has a list of acceptable IDs here

You will also need proof of name and/or gender marker change. You need a certified copy of your court order to change both your name and your sex marker.

NOTE: Vital Statistics has previously refused to change birth certificates based on an order for “Gender Identifier Change,” because gender on Texas birth certificates is listed as “Sex.” This is why the forms in this guide are for “Sex/Gender Identifier Change”. That way, you should be able to change all IDs whether they list your gender marker as “Sex” or “Gender”.

You cannot ask for a change to your Texas birth certificate in person. You MUST apply by mail.

  • Regularly processed requests are sent by USPS to:

    Texas Vital Statistics
    Department of State Health Services
    P.O. Box 12040
    Austin, TX 78711-2040

  • Expedited requests must be sent by overnight mail, such as FedEx, LoneStar, or UPS (NOT USPS) to:
    Texas Vital Statistics
    MC 2096
    1100 W. 49th Street
    Austin, TX 78756

Check the Vital Statistics website or the application form for any changes to the mailing addresses. Processing time for a regular application currently takes about 25-30 days, and expedited applications are processed first. Check for updated processing times here.

A fee schedule may be found on the Vital Statistics website. A regularly processed request costs $37, plus the cost of mailing. An expedited request costs $42, plus the cost of expedited mailing.

NOTE: Because you can only ask for a Texas birth certificate change by mail, COVID-19 should not change anything.

Forms Required

If you are getting a passport for the first time and have already changed the other IDs you need to show in your passport application, you should be able to apply normally. If you’ve had a passport but it’s now expired, you can apply for a new passport with your court order using the same instructions for updating a passport below.

If you already have a passport and you’re changing your gender marker, you apply as if you’re applying for a new passport.

Limited Validity Passport
The Department of State previously issued 2-year limited-validity passport to applicants whose doctor specified they were “in the process of getting appropriate clinical treatment”. If you have a limited passport for this reason, and it’s still valid, you can use the same Form DS-5504 to ask for a full-validity passport. 

If your 2-year passport has expired, you can apply for a regular passport using Form DS-11 under the instructions above.

If you only changed your name and not your gender marker, the process for updating a passport can be different. If it’s been less than a year since you got your passport, you will apply by mail. You will need:

  • Form DS-5504
  • Your most recent U.S. Passport
  • Your court order for name change, and
  • Once color passport photo.

You should not have to pay any fees unless you ask for expedited service. You MUST send your documents by USPS to the address listed on Form DS-5504. Other companies cannot deliver to the P.O. Box.

If it’s been more than a year since got your passport, you might be able to renew your passport by mail using Form DS-82. You must submit your most recent passport with your application, and the passport must:

  • be in good condition (only normal “wear and tear”),
  • have been issued when you were 16 or older, and
  • have been issued within the last 15 years.

If your passport doesn’t meet those three conditions, you’ll have to apply for a new passport normally using Form DS-11 under the instructions above. See the Department of State’s website for more information.

Checklist Steps

The Form DS-11 is on the Department of State website here.

Simply check the box for the gender marker that you want.

You will need: 

  • an ID that matches your current appearance 
  • a passport photo that matches your current appearance
  • proof of citizenship, and 
  • a copy of your court order if you’ve legally changed your name. 

Apply in-person at your nearest passport acceptance facility. Find more information and a fee schedule on the Department of State website.

You can locate your nearest passport acceptance facility here.

On June 30, 2021, the current administration announced changes for U.S. Passports and other documents issued by the Department of State.

You are now able to self-certify your gender on your passport. That means, when you apply, you simply check the box for the gender marker you want on your passport and your passport will be printed with the gender marker you selected. You do not have to submit any other forms or provide any other proof. You can read more on the Department of State’s website here

They are also planning to offer a new gender marker, likely an X, in recognition of nonbinary, intersex, and other gender expansive people. However, they have not announced a specific date when an X gender marker will be available.

NOTE: The Department of State has almost completely re-opened. You can find more information about their work during COVID-19 on their website.

Once you’ve changed your name and gender marker, you should be able to renew your passport as normal once it expires, without extra proof like a court order. If you decide to change your name or gender marker again, you’ll need to follow the instructions above to update your passport again, instead of renewing it. Find more information about passport renewal on the Department of State’s website

Forms Required

Immigrants may ask to have their gender marker changed on USCIS-issued documents such as Employment Authorization Documents, Refugee Travel Documents, Permanent Resident Cards, and Certificates of Citizenship or Naturalization. You should use the standard form for requesting the desired document. 

Checklist Steps

The policy is available in the new USCIS Policy Manual in Volume 11, chapter two, section A.4 and Volume 1, chapter 5, section B.2

The policy expressly says that USCIS does not need proof of sex reassignment surgery and that USCIS workers should not ask for any evidence related to surgery.

USCIS will take any one of the following as proof of gender marker change:

  • A court order granting change of sex or gender;
  • A government-issued document that has the gender you’re asking for on your immigration documents. 
    • Acceptable government-issued documents include an updated birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, or other official document showing identity issued by the U.S. Government, a state or local government in the United States, or a foreign government; or
  • A letter from a licensed health care professional saying that the gender you’re asking for is your gender. 
    • Some agencies, like the Department of State for passports, will only accept a letter from a doctor. However, USCIS will take letters from a variety of healthcare professionals including, licensed counselors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, psychologists, social workers, and therapists.
    • You can find a sample letter in the Appendix to Chapter 5 of the USCIS Policy Manual here.  

However, some immigration workers don’t know about gender marker changes. This means you might get asked inappropriate, invasive, or rude questions, or you might be asked for more evidence of gender marker change than you need to give. It is also expensive to replace immigration documents.

Therefore, you should contact an attorney before trying to change immigration documents on your own.

You can also ask for a name change on your USCIS documents. USCIS will take any one of the following as proof of name change:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Court order

You can also legally change your name when you naturalize to become a U.S. Citizen. You can ask for a name change when you apply to naturalize, and then when you take your citizenship oath with a judge, the judge can legally change your name at the same time.

If you’re going to naturalize soon, you might not need to get a court order for name or gender marker change. You would be able to change your name during your naturalization and could change your gender marker using a letter from a licensed health care professional instead. You can then use your updated Certificate of Naturalization to apply to have your other Texas and U.S. IDs updated. It’s up to you how to move forward, and you can ask an attorney for more help.

Forms Required

In almost any other situation, you should be able to change your name or gender marker by using either a certified copy of your court order or an updated ID. But, you will need to contact each organization or agency to find out exactly what they require. This checklist has information about changing your marker and name with the following:

  • Voter Registration
  • Banks, Creditors, and Financial Institutions
  • Deeds for Real Property
  • Car Title
  • Wills and Estate Planning Documents
  • Professional Licenses
  • Employment Documents and Records
  • Education Records
  • Health Insurance
  • Military Records

Checklist Steps

To change your voter registration, see the Vote Texas website. If you only changed your name and you live in the same county, you can change your information online at Voter Name and Address Changes.

If you’ve already changed your Texas driver’s license or state ID, you may have updated your voter registration simultaneously. You can check your registration information at Am I Registered? 

NOTE: Jury wheels in Texas are made up of two lists—a list of registered voters and a list of U.S. citizens, 18 or older, who have a valid Texas driver’s license or non-driver’s ID. Unless you are exempt from jury service, your old name may remain on the jury wheel, and you may receive a summons under your old name until you update both your driver’s license (or state ID) and voter registration.  The jury wheel is only updated once per year, so you may receive a summons under your old name if you’re called before the wheel gets updated. 

Most financial accounts do not track your gender, but you should still change your name on bank accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc.

You should not need to change your name directly with the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). The credit reporting agencies will continue to list your old name as long as they continue to receive reports from your creditors under your old name. Therefore, it is most important that you update your name with every creditor individually. Even after changing your name with every creditor, your old name may still show on your credit report for several years.

For student loans, it is usually easiest when you change your name and gender marker either before you start applying to college or university, or after you’ve graduated from higher education. If you change your name before applying, then the college or university will have your chosen name from the beginning and your loans and financial aid can be issued under that name. If you wait until after you’ve graduated or finished, then you should only have to update your name and gender marker with your loan providers.

If you change your name and gender marker while enrolled in higher education, it may take additional work. You will have to update your information with your educational institution, with FAFSA, and with your loan providers. It can be confusing to manage and coordinate so many different pieces of information, and if any information is inconsistent it may result in delays or problems receiving your student loans or financial aid. Be prepared to advocate for yourself and update all your information as quickly as possible. 

Selective Service requirements can also affect your ability to receive financial aid—see Updating Military Records: Name and Gender Marker Changes.

If you owned land or a home before your name change, the title will be under your old name. It is hard to change a deed in Texas, although you may not need to change yours. You should keep a copy of your court order in case you need to prove that you are the person listed in the deed. However, if your deed stays under your old name you may continue to receive property tax bills under your old name.

To change your deed, you would likely need to have a new deed prepared “transferring” the property from yourself under your old name, to yourself under your new name. You should contact an experienced real estate attorney for more information. If you ever sold your property, whatever real estate or title companies you work with should be able to help you update the title, if it needs to be updated for the sale.

The Texas Motor Vehicle Title Manual can be found on the Department of Motor Vehicles website's Publications & Manuals section, under TAC, Tax-Assessor Collectors, Motor Vehicle Title Manual. 

Under 16.12 Change of Name, you should apply for corrected title and include both your original title and a certified copy of your court order for name change. Use Form 130-U, which comes with detailed instructions labeled VTR-130-UIF. Both can be found in the Forms section of the DMV website.

If there is still a lien on your car, you may have to work with your lienholder to get a certified copy of your original title.

If you have your own will, you should contact an attorney to discuss whether you need to update it. Your will may need to include both your old name and your new name, just in case any of your property is still listed under your old name. 

If you are named in another person’s will, this may or may not affect your ability to inherit. A court will likely have to decide on a case-by-case basis what to do. You should still be able to use your court order to prove that you’re the person listed in the will. However, other potential heirs may try to argue that, because your name doesn’t match, you shouldn’t be able to inherit. That way they can get a larger share. You should ask anyone has named you in their will to discuss with their attorney whether they should have their will updated.

Any licensed professionals (attorneys, medical providers, pharmacists, insurance agents, cosmetologists, etc.) should contact your licensing board or organization for information on updating your license. 

Updating employment documents and records will depend on your employer. Larger employers may already have name and gender marker change policies in place. The HR Department is a good place to start, if your employer has one and you feel comfortable speaking to them. Otherwise, talk to your direct manager or supervisor. If you experience discrimination in employment because of your gender identity you should contact an attorney.

Updating educational records is a decision made on a school-by-school basis. Refusing to use your chosen name and pronouns or to update your educational records may violate federal laws like Title IX and FERPA. If you experience discrimination in education or a school refuses to update your records, you should contact an attorney. 

If you get Medicare or Medicaid, then the gender marker listed on your insurance may be changed when you update Social Security. Otherwise, you can contact your Medicare or Medicaid provider, or other private insurance provider, about updating your name and gender marker. 

Your health insurance should provide the same coverage regardless of your gender marker. However, sometimes insurance companies won’t pay for care when they think your gender marker doesn’t match with the services you received. You should work with your provider or contact your plan to try to fix the denial. You can also ask an attorney for advice or more help. See the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Trans Health Project for more information about health insurance.

Read Updating Military Records: Name and Gender Marker Changes for guidance on updating military and Selective Service records, with a focus on name and gender marker changes. 

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