Legal Name Changes
The Colorado statutes governing name changes can be found at C.R.S. § 13-15-101 et. seq. Colorado uses form pleadings. The official pleadings issued by the Colorado Judicial Branch are available here.
For more information about how to change your name, what to do after your name change, and to get help drafting pleadings you can visit the Colorado Name Change Project.
The Colorado Courts have special procedures for children, people 70 and older, and people who have been convicted of a felony. Form more information, please see the Colorado Judicial Branch.
If you are not able to afford the filing fee for your name change, you can ask the court about a filing fee waiver. More information and form pleadings are available here.
Usually, publication of your name change in a newspaper is required before it can be finalized. C.R.S. § 13-15-102 explains when the court can waive this publication requirement, but you will need to ask the judge for the waiver. One basis for a waiver of publication is if you are changing your name to conform with your gender identity.
Gender Marker Change for Colorado ID
The DMV allows Coloradans to amend the gender marker on their ID or driver’s license with form DR-2308. Adults can self-attest to their gender identity without certification from any other party, such as a health care provider.
Minors must have the their parent or guardian’s attestation and certification from a licensed medical or mental health care provider from any state and they will attest that you have undergone surgical, hormonal, or other treatment for gender transition or that you have an intersex condition. Medical sex reassignment surgery is not necessary to change your gender marker on your ID or birth certificate in Colorado. Note that this form may only be completed by a licensed medical or mental health care provider. You can change your gender marker to male, female, or X.
Note: changing your gender marker with the DMV on your ID does not change your gender marker on your birth certificate. You do not have to amend your birth certificate before you can amend the gender on your ID or driver’s license.
Gender Marker Change for Colorado Birth Certificate
The Colorado Department of Health and the Environment (CDPHE) oversees birth certificates and other vital records. Information about how to amend the name and gender marker on your birth certificate is available here. You will need the Birth Certificate Correction form and the Sex Designation form.
Note that sex designation can be changed by self-attestation for adults. Minors can change their sex designation on their birth certificate with a certified statement from a licensed medical or mental health care provider from any state, attesting that, in their professional opinion, the sex designation on your Colorado birth certificate does not accurately reflect your gender identity and your sex designation should be changed accordingly. You can change your sex designation to male, female, or X. For minors, their parent or guardian must sign the Birth Certificate Correction form.
Gender Marker Change for US Passport
If it is easier to change your gender marker on a US passport than to amend your birth certificate, you may want to get a passport that reflects your correct gender. For instance, some states require a court order making a finding that you have undergone a surgical procedure related to gender transition to amend your birth certificate. In that situation, it may be easier to get a passport with the correct gender marker on it. A passport is an all-in-one identity and lawful presence document. That means if you have an unexpired passport, you can show that to employers as proof of your identity and eligibility to work in the United States and not have to show an ID and birth certificate. It also works for travel and all other transactions where you need to demonstrate your age, identity, or citizenship. Passports are valid for ten years for most people, whereas no state ID or driver’s license may be issued for more than eight years.
For more information, check with the US Department of State.
Name and Gender Marker Change for USCIS Documents
USCIS has outlined their policy here for changing gender markers on immigration and citizenship documents in their possession. They have provided a sample of a health care certification letter available here. Changing your name on your immigration or citizenship document requires a court order and an application for that document to be amended, along with the appropriate fee.
Other helpful resources:
This communication is made available by Colorado Legal Services (CLS) as a public service and is issued to inform, not to advise. No person should attempt to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of an attorney. The opinions expressed in this communication are those of the authors and not those of CLS or its funding sources.