Ohio Legal Name Change Process

Acquiring Legal Name Changes Contents:

1. Changing your legal name in the state of Ohio

2. Changing the gender marker of your Ohio driver’s license

 3. Ohio Birth Certificates

The process for getting a legal name change in the state of Ohio consists of a few steps that need to be completed in the following order:

1. Completing and submitting an application to your county probate court for changing your name. You have to be a permanent resident of that county for at least a year to submit the application. *NOTE: For example, if you are a KSU student and resident of Portage County, you would submit it to the Portage County Probate Court. HOWEVER, if you are only a temporary resident of Portage County but have your permanent address in Cincinnati (Hamilton County), then you go to the Hamilton County Probate Court.

2. Advertising your application in a local newspaper at least 30 days before the hearing on your application. (The court will explain this in detail once you submit your application). 3. A hearing where, after some questions to ensure that you have complied with the process, the judge officially orders your original name changed to your new name.


The process for changing the gender marker on your Ohio driver’s license consists of a few steps that require significant documentation:

1. Call the main office of the Ohio BMV (located in Columbus) to request the "Declaration of Gender Change" form. The main office number is: 1-614-752-7500. (This form is not yet available online, and will not be until it is officially assigned a form identification number by the Ohio BMV.)

2. The "Declaration of Gender Change" form will be mailed to the requester.

3. The individual requesting the gender marker change will need to have their physician, psychologist or therapist complete and sign the "Declaration of Gender Change" form. (Licensed Physicians, Psychologists and Therapists are the only one's allowed to sign this form. To be qualified, the medical professional must attest that the transition is being conducted in accordance with the guidelines set forth in the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s (WPATH) Standards of Care, formally known as the Henry Benjamin Standards of Care).

4. Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to: Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Attn: License Control P.O. Box 16784 Columbus, Ohio 43216-6784 Phone: 1-614-752-7500 Fax: 1-614-752-7987 **NOTE: Don't forget to make a copy of the paperwork for your records. Turn-around and processing time is 7-10 business days.

5. The Ohio BMV will notify the applicant in writing that their information has been changed.

6. The individual take that written notification (original, not a copy) to their local BMV office to get their new license issued. The old license must be surrendered. (BMV fees DO APPLY to the issuance of your new Ohio Driver's License or state-issued ID card.) **NOTE: There are a few additional points of information on the "Declaration of Gender Change" form that we feel are important to point out:

  • If gender identification is marked as transitional, a new form must be submitted for each driver’s license/ID renewal until gender identification is complete. If the form is not submitted at renewal, the gender marker will revert back to the original gender.
  • Each individual is limited to changing their gender back to the original gender on their driver’s license or ID card one (1) time. Here are links to more information on the Ohio driver’s license gender marker process, history, and frequently asked questions:


Ohio Birth Certificate

Currently, Ohio (along with some other states) does not allow people who were born in the state of Ohio to change their gender marker on their Ohio birth certificate. If you were born in any other state, you can change the gender marker on your birth certificate. The process for this is different in each state.