District of Columbia name change for transgender people

Disclaimer: This is legal talk, not legal advice. Laws vary by state, and some of the information discussed on this page may not be applicable in your case. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and provide it without warranty. Laws change and this information may contain errors and omissions. It is up to you to confirm any information herein by doing your own research.

The District of Columbia Superior Court Family Court - Domestic Relations Branch accepts filings for name changes and other documents.

I called the Civil Division in October 2004 and was given the following instructions:

1. You will need to apply with the Civil Division.

To file a case, get case information or review a case file, call (202) 879-1133 or see a clerk in JM-170 of the Moultrie Courthouse.

2. You need to fill out a two-page application. You can download a copy here:

http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/docs/civil/dcsc31.pdf (requires reader)

3. You must apply in person at the courthouse:

Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Avenue, NW, Room JM-170, Washington, DC  20001   
Phone: (202) 879-1133
Fax: (202) 508-1644

Hours of Operation: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday
Intake Procedures: Telephone, Walk-In
Eligibility: DC Residents
Fees: Flat Fee
Handicap Accessibility: Outside Ramps, Elevators or None Needed

Deborah Taylor-Godwin, Division Director
Phone: (202) 879-1680
Presiding Judge: Joan Zeldon
Deputy Presiding Judge: Stephanie Duncan-Peters

4. You will need to pay a fee:

In October 2004 the fee was $60.

5. Dress nicely when you go. You will appear before a judge that day

The judge will review your application and may ask questions about it, especially if you have had legal or financial issues. This is to ensure you are not changing your name to avoid legal or financial obligations.

6. You will be asked to publish an announcement of your intent to change your name.

The entire process will take about 3 to four weeks after your court date.

Other resources


District of Columbia law

SCR 205 DC Code 16-2501 and 2503

Precedent for transsexuals

[no specific case noted]