The Fiore Law Firm, LLC
November 21, 2016
LEGAL NAME CHANGES AND GENDER MARKER CHANGES IN NEW JERSEY
The Fiore Law Firm's offer of free legal consultations to the transgender community in New Jersey on identification document changes has been featured in MarketWatch, tweets by Cosmo and Upworthy and others.
Celeste Fiore helped transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary people navigate the legal name change process in New Jersey well before the latest presidential election. But when the election results came in, Celeste knew that these folks would feel understandably threatened by the new administration.
It was by pure chance that Celeste (as @CelesteOpsimath) immediately jumped on #translawhelp and offered to help people navigate their New Jersey name and gender marker changes...she was incapacitated due to oral surgery and was unable to speak. But Celeste could tweet and let people know that there was help available.
In New Jersey, the legal name change process is costly (about $700-$800) without a filing fee waiver. But, with a certified copy of the Final Judgment of name change, people can change their names on driver's licenses, state IDs, birth certificates, passports, social security records, and any number of other private documents. The process can be daunting (requiring both a court appearance and two separate publications---that may be posted online and will be forever searchable). Celeste can advise you on the process and, if resources allow, represent you free of legal fees. The process (and forms) can be found here if you are an adult and chose to do this yourself.
As to gender markers, you can change this on your New Jersey Driver's license or state ID by having your doctor fill out this form and take it to the DMV---there's no requirement that you have any sort of surgery to do so!
New Jersey birth certificates (for people born in New Jersey) are a different story...the State requires that you have a "surgery" because our statutes require you to have SRS (sexual reassignment surgery) which may be too costly, unnecessary for your transition, or not recommended by your doctor due to health reasons.
BUT, you can change your gender marker on your FEDERAL identification documents such as your passport and Social Security Records. For more information, click here (and support the National Center for Transgender Equality). It's a great resources. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Firm!
I hear you and I'm with you!
[This blog is legal information and does not constitute legal advice. Clicking on any links or contacting the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship.]