The LGBTQ Resource Center is closed until further notice. Staff are working remotely and available to assist students, please reach out directly for any assistance. Please see our calendar for updates about events and programs moved online. For student resources and support during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the SSRI Resources page or the UArizona COVID-19 page.
Name and Gender Change
Name and Gender Change at the University of Arizona:
If you are a current employee or a former employee of the University of Arizona within the past calendar year: Changes to your name, social security number, citizenship and ethnicity are processed by your department. Fill out a Personal Action form and submit a copy of your social security card to the department you are/were employed by. Corrections to date of birth and gender changes may be processed with the Change of Personal Information form.
If you are an international student: Changes to your name, date of birth, gender, social security number, citizenship and ethnicity are processed through the International Student Programs and Services Office at 915 N Tyndall Ave. Phone: 520-621-4627.
Changes made in person:
Fill out a Change of Personal Information Form and bring your documentation (with some form of picture identification) to the Administration Building, Room 210. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Monday - Friday (excluding holidays and closures).
Changes made by mail or fax:
Mail a copy of your documentation and a copy of photo identification (such as a driver’s license) along with the Change of Personal Information form (including your signature) to: Office of Registration and Transcripts, Administration Building, PO Box 210066, Tucson AZ 85721-0066. Fax the same information to: 520-621-8944. All documentation must be legible if sent by fax.
Acceptable Documentation for Changes to your Personal Information:
Name Changes (Currently enrolled students only) choose one of the following:
- Marriage License/Certificate
- Adoption Papers
- Court Order
- Passport/Permanent Visa
- Divorce Decree
- Social Security Card
- No Documentation Required
Name and Gender Change in Arizona:
Name and Gender Change information from the Southern Arizona Gender Alliance. For more detailed information, or forms in another format, visit their website.
Step One: Doctor’s Letter
The first thing you need to do is find a doctor who will sign a letter, on their office letterhead, saying two things: a) that you are “irrevocably committed” to changing your gender; and b) that you have received “appropriate clinical treatment.” This letter must come from a licensed physician; a letter from a psychologist, licensed social worker or other therapist will not work and should not be attempted.
If you don’t have a doctor to write your letter, check the resource list on SAGA’s website or ask for recommendations on the SAGA Facebook group. You can download the needed wording here. Print it out and give it to your doctor.
Step Two: Obtaining a Change of Name Order
Download and complete the appropriate name change petition by inserting the appropriate information in place of any red text (and change it to black too, of course).
If you are over 18 or an emancipated minor, use the Adult Name Change Petition. If you have a felony conviction in your past, or for any other reason cannot truthfully make the declarations in the petition, contact SAGA for help.
If you are a parent seeking to change your child’s name, use the Name Change for a Minor form. You will also need to download, complete and get the other parent’s signature on the Parent’s Consent to Minor’s Name Change form. If the other parent refuses, or you can’t locate them, contact SAGA for assistance.
Once you’ve completed and signed the necessary form(s), attach a copy of the doctor’s letter to the petition, and make two copies of the complete package. (You want to keep the original of the doctor’s letter for use in the next steps.) Then take the original petition (the one with your actual signature), and both copies of the complete package and head for the Pima County Superior Court at 100 W. Congress in downtown Tucson. Go to the counter in the Clerk’s Office marked “civil,” not “criminal,” and present your forms. The clerk will keep the original petition, and will stamp both copies for you as proof of filing. (Keep these copies in a safe place, since you may need them in the future.)
The current filing fee for a name change petition is $244. You can pay with cash, check or credit card. However, you don’t have to wait until you have the entire filing fee ready. If you can’t pay the filing fee all at once, download and complete this form (PDF/MS Word) requesting a payment plan or waiver of the filing fee, and present them to the filing clerk along with your name change petition. A judge will review the forms and decide whether to waive the filing fee entirely or set up a payment schedule for you.
The Pima County Superior Court has developed a very efficient procedure for processing name change requests. If you file your petition by 9:30 a.m., you should be able to leave with a certified copy of your name change order by noon. However, if you request a payment schedule or waiver of the filing fee, it will take a few days for the judge to rule on your request, so you will have to come back another day to get your name change order.
Once you’ve filed your name change petition and arranged to pay the filing fee, wait in the lobby on the first floor until a court employee comes out and calls the names of those requesting name changes that day. The employee will then direct you to the correct courtroom, where each person will be called to the bench, questioned privately by the judge and the order signed. If you are seeking a name change for your child, take the child with you. However, you may have to wait in the hallway with your child until your name is called.
Pima County judges are very familiar with the need for trans people to change our names and with the forms SAGA has developed over the years. So, you needn’t feel afraid or embarrassed about working with the Clerk’s Office or the judge to get what you need. Just be honest and upfront, and you shouldn’t have any problems. If, for whatever reason, the judge indicates that they are going to deny your petition, ask the judge to continue your petition for at least a week and contact SAGA to help you resolve the problem.
Once your order is signed, the judge will direct you to return to the Clerk’s Office on the first floor, where you will be given a certified copy of the court’s order at no cost. You should only need one certified copy to change all of your documents, since it will be photocopied and returned to you by each agency you present it to. If you need another copy, you can get a photocopy from the clerk’s office for 50 cents a page; a certified copy will cost you $27. (You may have to pay for another certified copy if you wait more than a couple months to change all your documents.)
You will notice that the SAGA name change forms ask the court for an “order correcting documents.” Although this order may have little or no actual legal effect, it can often be useful in convincing other government agencies, as well as banks and other private businesses, to change your gender marker in their records. However, as the order states, it cannot be used to change the gender marker on your Arizona birth certificate.
Step Three: Changing Your Social Security Records
Once you have a certified copy of your name change order, head immediately to a local Social Security Office. The office closest to downtown is at 88 W. 38 St.; the other office is at 3808 N. 1st Ave. Sign in or use whatever other procedure they have to get in line to be served. You will need a completed copy of Social Security Form SS-5. You may be able to get a copy and complete it while you wait. However, it’s probably best to download it here, and complete it in advance. (Instructions are included with the form.) In the box where it asks for your sex, mark the gender to which you are transitioning.
When you are called to the window, give the clerk the certified copy of your name change order, the original of your doctor’s letter, the completed Form SS-5 and your current driver’s license or ID card. (You have to update your Social Security records before you can get your new driver’s license or ID, so just use your old one for now.) The clerk will photocopy the name change order and doctor’s letter and return them to you and may ask you a few questions. Once your request has been processed, the clerk will give you confirmation (probably, a stamped copy of your SS-5 form). A Social Security card with your new name will be mailed to you in a few days. (Although your gender marker doesn’t appear on your Social Security card, it’s still useful to change it in their records for other reasons.)
NCTE has an excellent summary of the effect of the gender marker on your Social Security records and guidance on other ways you can change it than with a doctor’s letter.
Step Four: Changing your Arizona Driver’s License or ID Card
Wait two days after changing your Social Security records, then visit your local Motor Vehicle Division Office. (You can find your nearest office by clicking here. A third party license office may not be able to handle a name change request, so we recommend you go to an actual MVD office.)
Once there, tell the intake clerk you wish to change the name on your license. They will give you a number and a form to complete. Complete the form indicating that you want to change both your name and your gender marker. When your number is called, hand the clerk the completed form, a certified copy of your name change order, the original doctor’s letter and your current driver’s license or ID card. It is likely that the clerk will be unfamiliar with the process for changing your gender marker and will take your documents to a supervisor. Don’t panic. If they come back and say they can’t do that, refer them to their own Policy 3.1.1 on gender marker changes (see the top of page 5). (You can download that policy here. Printing a copy to take with you isn’t a bad idea.)
The fee for a new license with your new name and gender, as well as a new photo, is $12.
Once the clerk has processed your request, the clerk will direct you to another station to get a new picture (Smile!). After a few minutes, you will walk out with a new license affirming the real you. Congratulations.
Step Five: Changing Your Passport
In most circumstances, a passport isn’t required for day to day life. However, for transgender people, having a passport that properly reflects who we are has significant advantages. Now that proof of surgery is no longer required to change the gender marker on your passport, a passport reflecting your true gender can be obtained even if you can’t change the gender marker on your birth certificate. Since passports are generally considered the most reliable form of identification available, you should be able to present your passport instead in any situation where someone wants to see your birth certificate. That could help to eliminate any questions about your “real” gender in a variety of situations.
If you already have a passport and just want to change your name, and you qualify to use Form DS-82, you can apply for a new passport by mail using that form. You can check the requirements for using that form and download it here or complete it online here. If you don’t qualify to use Form DS-82, you must use Form DS-11 and apply in person, just as you must if you are also seeking a gender change.
If you want to change both your name and your gender on your passport, you must use Form DS-11 and apply at a passport facility in person. (You can find the closest passport facility by searching here.) The requirements for applying for a new or renewed passport using Form DS-11 are explained in the instructions that come with the form, which you can download here. Or you can complete it online here and print it out. To change your gender, you will need to submit the same doctor’s letter that you used to change your Social Security records and your Arizona driver’s license or ID card.
NOTE: If the links to download either of the passport forms don’t work, go here and search for the forms by name or copy the links above and paste them into your browser’s address bar.
NOTE FOR NON-U.S. CITIZENS: SAGA understands that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has a similar procedure for changing names and gender markers on immigration documents. If you need help with this process, please contact SAGA and we will do our best to help you locate the proper resources.