So now you’ve got a court order saying your name has changed, congratulations! (if you haven’t visit here for how to do this part if you live in PA) This is the first big hurdle to changing everything else. But I must warn you: you have just begun the process of changing your name.
There is a long list ahead, but don’t fret just trudge along one at a time and in no times you’ll look back excitedly at your results, I’m half way through!
-Drivers License (this needs to be done first, you can’t change most documents without this changed)
-Social Security Card (this is the second step, while it isn’t needed for all documents it is needed for most)
-Health Insurance Card (you need to do this to change medical records, doctors office, etc.)
-Car Towing Company (i.e. AAA)
-Degree (ie college diploma)
-Paypal (This one is super easy! and you get to upload your documents)
-Credit Bureaus (click here on a link to a page that explains how to do this)
-Legal Documents (wills, power of attorney, living trusts, contracts)
-Landlord or Deed to House
-Sperm Bank (if you froze sperm)
12/30 completed! Wooh! since some of them don’t apply to me I am half way through the process. Every place is an exciting new challenge (that’s what I tell myself). In addition to the court order a note from your doctor saying “you have transitioned” is super helpful. This is essential at changing your gender marker with the Social Security Administration and also files about you that companies have. I would suggest sending it to everyone you never know when it might be applicable. While SSA needs one with the wording “have” most other companies will probably be flexible with other wording. Make sure to always send both documents even if they don’t ask for them. I had some businesses not process mine because I didn’t attach the necessary documents that weren’t even asked for.
This process is going to take a long time. I have been actively working on it for months. Just take your time and be patient. You will soon realizing that you have to also call back this places to ensure they got the documents you mailed to them. They often will then realize you did in fact send everything to them and begin processing your claim. Be vigilant, be patient.
The first step is to change your drivers license, just go down to the DMV for that with your appropriate form printed out and a blank check. Once you have that you can go to the SSA, and once you have that you can change all your bank accounts and, well everything. And for some instant gratification you get that same day. I would suggest getting this immediately after getting the court order, gotta keep up the momentum somehow.
Here is a link to the Mazzonni Center which explains these in more detail as well as the passport process.
In the coming months you will slowly conquer the name change process and be a master at paperwork and jumping through hoops. And remember knowing how to do this is a good thing in the states, you’ll learn all the buttons to push and all the forms to find. And if you’re having trouble figuring out what to do phone a friend… err their hot-line.