Amending Your Identifying Documents to Reflect Your Gender Identity


California’s Gender Recognition Act of 2017 (SB 179) was signed into law on October 15, 2017.  In effect now, this new legislation simplifies the process for transgender people to obtain or alter their identifying documents to reflect their gender identity.  The processes below are only applicable to those that live in California or were born in California. Driver’s License To update your gender marker on a California Driver License or Identification Card, applicants are required to fill out a “Gender Category Request” form (DL 329S) that can be found on the California DMV website.  On that form, applicants can self-select “male”, “female”, or “nonbinary.”  The final step is to bring the form to the DMV and, according to the DMV’s website, an appointment is recommended. More information regarding the process can be found on the California DMV website (, under the “Driver License” section, under “Change my gender on my driver license/idcard.” Birth Certificate A new birth certificate can be obtained after sex change through the California Department of Public Health using the “Affidavit to Amend a Record (VS 24) Form.  On that form, applicants will indicate the gender change by specifying the item on the birth certificate to be amended and indicating their gender identity as “female,” “male,” or “nonbinary.” It is sufficient for the applicant to provide:

  • (1)(a) An affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that the request is to match the sex specified on your birth certificate to your sex identity, not for any fraudulent purpose and (1)(b) A notarized sworn statement that the applicant is entitled by law to receive a copy; or
  • (2) A certified copy of a court order recognizing the gender change.
With the new legislation, no medical provider attestation is required and only one signature is need in Item 12 of the VS 24 form. More information regarding the process and any related fees can be found on the California Department of Health’s website ( under the “Vital Records” section, under “Obtaining a New Birth Certificate After Sex Change.” Court Petition A court can also recognize a change of gender through a petition identifying the person’s gender identity as “female,” “male,” or “nonbinary.”  Under the new legislation, the applicant is only required to attest under penalty of perjury that the gender change is not for a fraudulent purpose.  No physician’s declaration is necessary.  Absent any timely objections, the court will grant the petition without a hearing. The applicant must fill out and file the following:
  • (1) Petition for Recognition of Change of Gender (NC-300);
  • (2) Order Recognizing Change of Gender (NC-330); and
  • (3) Civil Case Cover Sheet (CM-010).
  Note: It is important to have the forms reviewed prior to submitting them to the court. More information regarding the process can be located at the California Court’s website ( under the “Self-Help” section, under “Gender Change.” Written by partner Monica Goel Questions? Contact Monica Goel at or 562-923-0971  

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