Family Law Insights

How to Modify Your Driver’s License in Georgia

Posted on: May 2nd, 2016

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If you’re interested in having your Georgia driver’s license or state ID changed to better reflect how you identify, the state allows you to modify both your name (Official Georgia Code Section § 19-12-1 through § 19-12-4) and sex designation (Official Georgia Code § 31-10-23(e)). While it’s not as simple as walking into a Department of Driver Services office and making a few changes, Georgia law makes it fairly easy for folks to make sure their identity is accurately reflected in state documents.

To change a name on a driver’s license, you will first need to file a petition for a legal name change in the Superior Court of the county where you live. This is typically about a two-month process that requires you to file a petition and affidavit stating that you are not seeking to change you name in an attempt to defraud others, then publishing a legal notice of your name change in the county legal organ (usually a newspaper). Once the notice has run for four weeks and the judge signs an order granting the name change, you will simply need to take a certified copy of the judge’s order to the DDS office to have your license updated.

A separate legal action is required to amend one’s sex designation, but again Georgia law makes the process relatively simple. You will need to file a petition to amend your birth certificate in the Superior Court for the county in which you live, but you are required to include a certified letter from your doctor attesting that you have undergone irreversible sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

With this petition and letter from a physician, a judge can sign an order amending the sex designation on your birth certificate as early as a month after you file the petition, although it may take a little longer depending on the county in which you reside. A certified copy of the judge’s order amending your birth certificate can be used at the Office of Vital Records, Department of Driver Services facilities, and any other government agency where your sex designation needs to be updated.

NOTES:

  • Transgender applicants do NOT have to have undergone any type of surgery or treatment to apply for a name change.
  • A name change and a sex designation change are two separate actions, and require separate court petitions to be filed.

 

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John DiNatale joined Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC as Of Counsel in January 2018. His practice focuses on family law with expertise in divorce, child support, child custody, modifications, contempt, and prenup…
LEGAL INSIGHTS
How to Modify Your Driver’s License in Georgia If you’re interested in having your Georgia driver’s license or state ID changed to better reflect how you identify, the state allows you to modify both your name (Official Georgia…
Legally Changing Your ‘Sex’ on a Georgia Birth Certificate Despite its (rightly earned) conservative reputation, Georgia has a surprisingly liberal policy for changing sex designation on birth certificates and other vital records. According to section § 31-10-23(e) of the…
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