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Thread: Birth certificate vs drivers license?

  1. #1
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    Birth certificate vs drivers license?

    Hi everyone. So I am rolling along with hrt. I’m nearing the time that I’ll be in my own place with a new job. I believe by Christmas I’ll be full time. With that in mind I’m looking toward some of the legal issues to be handled.
    I was born in Texas. With my new job I’ll either be a Maryland or New York resident. When I transition at work i would like to switch all of my HR paperwork and everything. I have a handle on getting a new drivers license in md and ny. Either will be relatively simple. (Even before grs) But my birth certificate is in Texas where you can not change your documents with out grs.
    So initially I plan to go full time, get a new license in the state I currently live in. And then a year or two later after my final surgery go change my birth certificate in Texas. My question is.... will it be difficult to get Texas to recognize me as the person that birth certificate belongs to with a new social security card and drivers license? I’ve found a lot of info on state specific rules but non on being born in one state and living in another. Has anyone dealt with this? Thanks

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member grace7777's Avatar
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    After I had my name and gender changed legally, the first thing I did after leaving the Court House was to go the Social Security Office and change my name and gender with them. Within the next few weeks I changed my drivers license to reflect my new legal name and gender. To me those are the two most important things to change. I changed my legal name and gender over 2 years ago, but have yet to change my birth certificate. Right now I do not see the urgency to do it either.

    I am though looking to get a Passport to reflect the new me. From what I have seen the Passport can be used in place of the birth certificate.

    The passport is in my opinion the best form of identification you can have.

    Grace
    Last edited by grace7777; 05-18-2019 at 01:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    With all the legal paperwork involved in your name and gender marker changes, and the medical do, you should be set.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    Ashley,

    You are only eight months into HRT so, you have a ways to go yet. To change your name and gender marker you need a court order. That is the first step. To get the court order you will probably need a letter from your doctor that mentions irreversible medical changes. This is the case in Texas. There are other requirements but they are just jumping through hoops.

    When you get the court order, before leaving the court house, get several certified copies. They do not cost much. Keep a copy in your purse at all times, just in case. You will need the court order to change name and gender with SS Administration and any Driver License. With the court order it is an easy process, even in Texas. It is your Social Security and Driver License numbers that identify you most of the time. If anyone ever has a question just show them the court order.

    I doubt that I will ever change my Texas birth certificate. It is just not worth the hassle. It is never needed except for getting a passport. Grace is correct about the weight a passport has because a certified copy of your birth certificate is one of the things submitted when applying for a P.P.

    Getting a passport can be tricky depending on your particular situation. I had a valid passport and attempted to just change my name and gender marker but was denied several times. As it turns out, to change the gender marker requires applying for a first time passport and paying all the fees even if you have a current PP. However, instead of the birth certificate, I sent my current passport. Obviously my name and gender didn't matter but the number did. My passport had just been renewed so the picture was current and matched the passport picture that was included with the application. My passport was up for renewal just months before my name and gender marker change but I had already transitioned so the picture was current even though the picture didn't match the old name and marker.

    So, do you have a current passport? Use it to get a new one and you will never need a birth certificate. If you want an amended Birth Certificate you will need:

    Form VS-170: Application to Amend a Certificate of Birth
    Certified copy of the court order for change of sex and/or name (The order must specify 'sex change', they will not accept 'gender change')
    Applicable fees ($47 for a new record)

    More than likely the Department of Vital Records will require a court order issued in Texas. There are precious few judges in Texas that will issue a change of gender marker court order. There are none in Houston, the 4th largest city in the U.S. I had to go to San Antonio. Even so, the court order specifically states change of gender marker, not change of sex, which will be necessary to amend a Birth Certificate. Unfortunately, there are probably even fewer judges that will grant a "change of sex." Most certainly acquiring that kind of court order will require documentation from your surgeon and mental health provider. I know of no one who has gotten this kind of court order in TX and, my guess is, it would be impossible without an attorney.

    The best attorney in TX that might be able to pull this off is Phyllis Frye. She is 100% successful with marker changes. I do not know about sex changes. Phyllis is trans and is the first transgender (transsexual) judge in the U.S. She is a municipal judge here in Houston. She can not issue gender or sex change court orders, though.

    It is unfortunate that you were born in Texas. I know many transwomen but not a single one who went as far as getting their birth certificate changed. Work toward the Passport and you will be OK.

    Many people think that, once you start HRT, things fall into place and transition occurs. This is BS, at least if you are born in TX. Transition is not easy. At best you are 2 1/2 years out from GRS.

    Contact me if you have any questions.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Jeri Ann; 05-17-2019 at 08:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Jeri Ann,
    Is it possible they would never change a birth cerficate anyway , OK so I'm asking from a UK perspective , maybe a UK member could help out .

    The point I'm making is the gender is registered at birth as a true record at that time , what happens after doesn't change the information at the time of issuing it .
    The real me ,no going back.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    Teresa,

    I understand what you are saying but that is not the case for many trans (transsexual) people. The assigned "sex" at birth is determined by the presence of male or female genitalia. It may or may not match a persons gender identification. From my earliest recollection I identified as female. I think it is safe for me to say that, "I was born that way." I know of a lot of people like me. I think it is entirely appropriate to amend and correct the mis-identification that occurs at birth to reflect the "true record at that time."

    This is a concept that is hard to grasp for people who were not born with the condition and are looking at it from an "outside" perspective. You are correct. It may be impossible to change the "sex" on a birth certificate. Contributing to the difficulty is the political climate here. Our Governor, Lieutenant Governor, as well as our President and Vice President hold to the premise that that determination at birth is immutable.

    Again, transition can be extremely difficult for some and moving forward requires leaning into a persistently unfavorable wind.

  7. #7
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    Jeri Anne, I just went through this whole process in California a very liberal and supporting State for anyone on the LGBT spectrums and I have some comments on your comments!

    - Why keep a copy of the court order in your handbag? You should really only need that when changing your name and gender markers, and that is usually done by mail, fax, email with attachments or in person, all specific targets and reasons for the certified or copy of the certified court order. Does Texas require that for some specific reason, or is that a personal security belt and suspender?

    - Changing birth certificates, I agree, is not even a secondary need unless that is the only accepted ID for a first time passport. I had to have documents with my new name on them to change my passport, which I had renewed 2 years ago with my male gender. I went to my local Post Office and had my submittal documents reviewed and then accepted for mailing to the official passport office. I recommend that Ashley find a post office that has passport services and go talk with them. She can also read the passport instructions on their government website. I Googled how to change it and found that site in that manner. This mis from the official US Government site for passports. I recommend that you call them to see if you can send them your current birth certificate with other supporting documentation (name and gender changing court order will be very important) at the number listed in this info bax from their site:

    "Call USAGov at 1-844-USA-GOV1 (1-844-872-4681) to ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We'll get you the answer or tell you where to find it. We are open between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays."

    - My process was the court order first following California's requirements and backup data to change name and gender ID markers. California does not really require much. I picked the court order up and went directly to the local Social Security office and changed my name and gender marker on my Social Security records (fast and easy once I got the one of the windows). To change my driver's license name and gender with the US Government "Real ID" stamp (needed by June or July of next year, 2020, to be able to use the license to board domestic air flights) I needed some type of Social Security accepted document (card, quarterly statement or something similar) with my new name and gender on it. So, I had to wait a couple of weeks until my new Social Security card arrived. I also had to go back later because they never changed the data for all the other areas the the Social Security number ties into, like our Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where we pay our income taxes and Medicare our wonderful health insurance program for us seniors. They had forgotten to do that the first time. With that and all other required documentation I went to my local DMV and did that in person. Then starts the really hard work of changing all other accounts where your name and sometimes gender need to be changed like financial accounts, insurances, utilities, reward cards (Starbucks, etc.), etc.. I think that I am up to over 40 of those and new ones seem to pop up, like my Frequent Flyer account with an airline when trying to book a flight and get credit on my existing account in my old name and gender for my upcoming flight miles. The hard work is really just dealing with each one of those and following their instructions to make it happen.

    I was born in Michigan and they will change my birth certificate and, among the documents needed for that, they require a certified letter from a doctor affirming that I had "gender confirming" surgery, which to my dismay was not defined. I am in the process of working that one out because there may be some different ways to accomplish that. However, at this moment I see no strong need to change my birth certificate except for my own personal desire to do so.

    So, in your case and similar to Jeri's recommendations, get that court order first, then Social Security card, then driver's license, then everything else. If there is no way to get your new first time passport without un updated birth certificate, good luck with that. Maybe you won't have to or want to travel internationally anyway, thus, not needed. Definitely go to the different entities websites, local offices or call them to get more and detailed information. A lot of sites have the needed forms to fill pout downloadable from their sites. Make sure that you go to their official sites because there are many companies out there that that look official but just provide assistance services to do what you can do by yourself and they charge you for that.

    Another source is the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco. See this link for more info. https://transgenderlawcenter.org/resources/id

    I just found this on their site:

    "If you are applying for a passport for the first time, you must also include proof of U.S. citizenship (generally a
    birth certificate). If you have changed your birth certificate, in most cases you do not need to submit any gender
    change paperwork such as a surgeon’s letter or court order. Instead, you should fill out the standard application
    form and include a copy of your changed birth certificate. If you are applying for a U.S. Passport for the first time
    and you have not changed your birth certificate, you must submit an affidavit from your attending physician or
    surgeon stating that you have had “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.”"


    Worth investigating further!
    Last edited by AllieSF; 05-17-2019 at 09:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member grace7777's Avatar
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    Jeri Ann, like Allie, I am wondering why you need to carry a copy of the court order in your purse. If I have to show ID I just show them my drivers license, and have never been asked for anything more.

    In my case I can access a pdf of the court order on my phone.
    Last edited by grace7777; 05-18-2019 at 01:33 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Devi SM's Avatar
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    Yesterday I got a meet with my gender therapist and gave e me all info (easy process) to change my gender marker and name etc.
    Question: while we don't do it. Are we considered croosdressers when dressed as women?
    If I go to the beach in topless it would be considered indecent behavior?

    These questions are notmprobably fornthis thread ut I think are related with the legal need to change. Now the birth certificate is a different thing I don't see a need to do it, more I was born in another very homophobic country.
    See my daily posts and pics on tumblr, just look for @sexyvane,
    At Instagram @nessatrans,

    Facebook, Vanessa Grandy from riverside, california.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    OK, y'all need to understand that I was born and raised and still reside in Texas. Things are different here than in other places. It was my attorney, Phyllis Frye that suggests to keep a copy of the court order with me just in case. I have only had to use it once. Phyllis is the one who got the "cross dressing law" repealed here in Houston in 1980. It actually was a law against wearing a costume but law enforcement delighted in arresting transgender people on a regular bases. The legislature is still trying to pass "restroom laws" as well as other anti transgender laws.

    Changing gender marker here is a covert activity. It almost always requires going to another city. There are only one or two judges in San Antonio and one or two in Austin that will issue a gender marker change court order. I had to swear to secrecy about exactly where mine was done. Keep in mind that I am talking about a legal gender marker change, not a "sex" change court order that is required in Texas to change a birth certificate.

    Ashley is only eight months into HRT and will not begin her RLE until Christmas. That is when her clock starts to meet the requirements that will be needed for the court order. As some of you know, there is are even more requirements for GRS which is a requirement for amending a birth certificate.

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