Georgia 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.

Please see the note in red below about a judge known to refuse name changes.

A reader writes in August 2003:

Basically you must have a court ordered name change to change your drivers license. They will not change the sex marker until you've completed SRS. Occasionally girls get lucky and get that "F" but that's the exception, not the rule.

The procedure for changing your name is spelled out in the official code of GA which may be found here;

http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2003_04/gacode/19-12-1.html
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2003_04/gacode/19-12-2.html
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2003_04/gacode/19-12-3.html
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2003_04/gacode/19-12-4.html

Once you have your court order have the clerk make you several certified copies. You may need to mail them to credit card companies or other out of state institutions that have a record of your name. They are expensive, try to get enough , but not too many.

The DMV, Social Security and your bank will usually make a photocopy for their records and return your certified copy to you.

A reader writes in December 2003:

I just came across your information for name changes and I would like to add my recent experience.

I was living in Cobb County Georgia a few months ago and attempted to get a name change. I followed all of the instructions properly for the state with the assistance of a lawyer there; however on the day of the trial the Judge decided to turn down the decision. He stated the reason was that you needed SRS in order to get the name change. He was however mixing the health code and name change code. My lawyer argued for me of course... but in the end he claimed to be an authority on the subject since he had spoken with a presbyterian minister and that it was his discretion to deny me the name change.

I would like to provide his name here so that your readers who are living in Georgia can be aware. Judge Ken O. Nix of Cobb County was the judge and I learned that he has turned down at least 4 other women seeking name changes. My recommendation to anyone living in the county is to move to Fulton County before getting the name change if at all possible. If you cannot try to get the name change while you are still passable in guy mode (I wasnt). I hope this is helpful.

A reader writes in February 2008:

I found out the webpage for cobb county judges have their judges calendar available for download.

http://sca.cobbcountyga.gov/downloads/calendar.pdf
its a link on the left navigation near the bottom of:
http://sca.cobbcountyga.gov/

I read that Nix was not someone to get, and according to the schedule, they are still a judge. at least now i know how to dodge them.

Another reader writes in April 2004:

Just today, I finished having my name legally changed in Cobb County, GA, and wanted to share what little useful information I could about the process.

As a previous reader pointed out, at least one judge (Nix) in this county is under the impression that you must have SRS in order to get the name change. As I discovered, there are actually at least two -- Judge White (sorry, only remember last names, but that should be sufficient) is also under the same misguided impression as Judge Nix, and will not change your name unless you have alrady had SRS. In my case, he refused to even speak with me and -- through the clerk -- informed me that I should reschedule with another judge some other week. Although he fell short of actually denying the name change, which would've caused me to have to begin the process anew, it was still a waste of a morning, as well as being very emotionally upsetting. And I had to wait another whole week.

The next week I went back and had Judge Ingram, who not only approved the name change, he was pleasant about it and gave me no trouble whatsoever.

So, my advice to any who might be someday needing a name change in Cobb Country is that when you go to schedule a court date with the clerk, to pick a suitable date and watch as she flips through her "calendar book" since the judge's name is at the top of the page. If that day either Judge Nix or White is presiding, you will want to "suddenly remember" that that's a bad day and try the next week (and the one after that, etc.) until you get a week without either or those two judges. If you don't happen to notice while she's searching the book, don't panic as they tell you right then and there who the judge is going to be. Whatever you do, don't waste your time with either of those two judges!

Also, something that almost tripped me up is that when you go to schedule your court date, the clerk there will let you pick any day you want -- EVEN IF IT HASN'T MET THE 30-DAY REQUIREMENT FOR THE NAME CHANGE PROCESS. Also, you should make sure that it is at least 4 FULL WEEKS from when your petition firt runs in the paper. I don't know what'll happen if you violate either of these two rules, but why risk it?

If what I learned (and am sharing here) can help save even one other person from the emotional upheaval that I had to endure last week, it's worth it.

Other resources

 

Georgia state law


 

Precedent for transsexuals

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