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Name and Gender Change

Name Change and gender change Lawyers

Los Angeles Transgender Name and Gender Change Attorneys

There are many reasons why people choose to change their names: to formalize a change in status, to honor a relationship, to bring one's name into congruence with one's identity, to signify the beginning of a new phase of life, to establish a connection to a chosen religion or to reclaim one's heritage.

The law allows a person to change his or her name for any reason, except to hide from creditors or law enforcement. Completing the name change process in California is not as simple as signing a form and appearing before a judge. Navigating the system with experienced legal counsel can make the process easier.

The law firm of Bennett & Erdman provides name change and gender change services to meet the needs of the LGBT community in Southern California. With nearly 30 years of experience in this field, we believe we are uniquely qualified to assist you with all of your LGBT law matters.

Our attorneys are active in local and national LGBT organizations, including Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and the Human Rights Campaign. Partner Jeffrey Erdman has served on the California State Bar Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination and as a member of the California Judicial Council's Access and Fairness Advisory Committee.

The California Name Change Process

Following is the process of achieving a California name change::

  • File a petition with the court to request a name change hearing, filing forms CM-010, NC-100, NC-110, NC-120, NC-130
  • Some courts require a criminal history assessment form
  • Publish the petition in the newspaper
  • Attend the court hearing, bringing with you all required paperwork

We will help you complete all of the required paperwork and will appear with you in court. Once the court has approved your name change, there are many other places you will need to contact in order to change all public records bearing your name, including your Social Security card, driver's license, birth certificate, passport and other immigration documents, your military or selective service record, your school records, and your financial reports with credit bureaus.

Name and Gender Change

Changing one's gender on important documents is a more complicated process. We have worked with the Transgender Law Center and now provide this service for individuals. Our firm is one of only a few law firms in the Los Angeles area that assist transitioning persons with the process of legal gender change, with or without an accompanying legal name change. (Some people have done a name change before they begin the transitioning process.)

Following is the process of achieving a California gender change:

  • Get an affidavit from your surgeon or doctor (on letterhead or the NC-210)
  • File a petition with the court to request a gender change (perhaps a name change) along with forms CM-010, NC-200, NC-110, NC-120, NC-210/NC-310, NC-220, NC-230
  • Some courts require a criminal history assessment form
  • Publish the petition in the newspaper
  • Attend the court hearing, bringing with you all required paperwork

The affidavit from your doctor must document that you have surgery that changes sex characteristics as a part of your transition. The affidavit can come from your surgeon or from a doctor who has performed a physical exam of you. It can be a typed and signed letter or it may be written and signed on the NC-210/NC-310 form itself.

While the process sounds easy, there are many pitfalls and the paperwork can be daunting. Our firm can prepare the paperwork and go with you to court. We are here to answer any questions you may have.

For more information about name change and gender change, see the Transgender Law Center website. You will find copies of all required forms.

Bennett & Erdman — Lawyers for Your Life
To discuss a legal name change or gender change with a Los Angeles gender change lawyer, call us at 1-877-820-6534. Or you can contact us online and a member of our firm will respond quickly.

*Certification by the California Board of Legal Specialization.