Indiana Name & Gender Marker Change FAQ

Do I need a legal name change?

Yes, if you want your government-issued IDs (BMV ID or driver’s license, social security card, passport, birth certificate) to have the name you go by, you need to get a legal name change, which is where you ask a judge to legally change your name.


Who can change their name?

Most Indiana residents can change their name. The only people not allowed a legal name change are people incarcerated in jail or prison and certain registered sex or violent offenders. 


I’m under 17 years old, can I change my name?

YES! If you are under 17, your parent or guardian must ask for the name and gender change for you. 


What if one of my parents is not supportive of my name change?

Your parents or guardians don’t have to agree with each other for you to get your name changed. There are a lot of rules about if a parent must agree to the name change. If you have questions about your situation, please contact us at or 317-829-3180.


Do I need a legal gender change?

Maybe. You only court ordered gender change to update an Indiana birth certificate. You need a doctor’s letter to update your passport, social security card and driver’s license or BMV ID.  


Who can change their gender?

Anyone! There are no restrictions on who can change their gender.


Do I need to have surgery or be on hormones to legally change my name or gender?

NO! The law just says that you have to be changing your name and gender in good faith and not for fraudulent purposes. For more information on this, see our Form and Hearing Guide.


Do I have to publish my name change is a newspaper?

Usually in a name change, you are required to publish notice of your name change in a newspaper and the court records are public. However, court rules allow you to ask that the publication requirement be waived, and the records be sealed (not available to the public) for your safety. This is called an Access to Court Records (ACR) request.


Do I need a lawyer to change my name?

The name and gender marker process are pretty simple, but some Judges are not respectful to trans folks or won’t grant requests to keep your case private. Please contact the LGBT project at or 317-829-3180 for information about your local county. Regardless of where you live, if you want help filling out the legal paperwork or you want to ask that we represent you, please contact us.


How do I start the process of a name and gender change?

Contact the LGBT project at or 317-829-3180. We can write the paperwork for you or represent you in court if having a lawyer would be helpful. You can also fill out this packet and represent yourself in court.


Detailed information about the steps of a name and gender change can be found here (hyperlink) and forms are available at:

Adult Name and Gender Change 

Minor Name and Gender Change

Adult with a felony conviction

Name-only change

Gender-only change



What happens after my name and gender marker are changed?

When your name and gender are legally changed, you can update (or get) ids with your correct name and gender. A guide about how to update your identity documents can be found here.



LGBT Law Project

Table of Contents