(Updated 21 August, 2013)
The site owner has personally gone through the process of changing her name and gender markers in Kansas. Here is some information on the processes.
Name Changes in Kansas
You will need to petition to the court for a name change, either yourself or through an attorney. The Kansas Judicial Council has a collection of sample forms and documents for going through your name change. Please read the “Instructions for Name Change” document first.
Also, please check first if you have any sort of reduced-cost legal plan at work or via your spouse – most plans cover name changes at 80% or more coverage. The right lawyer can really make this a painless process, and actually save you money over doing it yourself. My name change took all of 6 days from start to finish, did not require publication, and did not require a court appearance. If you do it yourself, it can take 60-90 days.
After your name change is ordered by the Court, you will need to go to the Court Clerk’s office to buy original certified copies of your name change order. These typically cost a few dollars per copy. Many places will accept photocopies of these copies, but most government agencies will require an original certified copy of the order.
Kansas State Tax Information
Please note that your Social Security name change must be completed before you fill out your next year’s Kansas state taxes. Otherwise, a “no match” may occur during processing your Kansas taxes, when the name on your tax form does not match the name on your Social Security record. It goes without saying that submitting a Federal tax form and State tax form in the same tax year which have different names on them will almost certainly lead to an audit and a lot of hassle. Note that you may also want to fill out and submit a Kansas Department of Revenue Name or Address Change form, which can be found at this link.
Gender Marker Changes in Kansas
There are three primary official Kansas documents which most of us may have to change our gender markers on: a driver’s license, a state identification card, and a concealed carry permit. Here is the general process.
- You first need to follow the instructions on this memo from Ted E. Smith, Kansas Department of Revenue Staff Attorney, dated 10 May, 2011. Please read this form carefully, especially the requirements for the language of what they want to see from a physician (if you are not relying upon a court order). In my experience some physicians have their assistant type up the letter and it often is not emphatic enough as to asserting that you have had the appropriate medical treatment for gender transition. If you have a concealed carry permit, get two original copies of all documents (or more if you have a passport and Social Security record which need changing). Mail the appropriate information to the address on that letter.
- You MUST wait until Kansas sends you an approval letter before you go up to the DMV office to get your new driver’s license or state identification card. If you go to the DMV without the letter, even if the Department of Revenue informs you by phone that your change is “approved,” you will only waste your time. The DMV will not start processing without the approval letter to scan. If the letter takes more than 2 weeks to arrive, do not be shy about phoning them to inquire – at least 3 transwomen I know (including myself) had their letters “misplaced” and some had to send the information again. Please read the approval letter carefully to ensure your name and gender are accurately represented.
- Note that if you have a concealed carry permit, you MUST complete your driver’s license or state identification card change FIRST. That is, you must at least have the new temporary paper license in-hand. This is because the Kansas Attorney General’s office relies upon the Department of Revenue’s records for your concealed carry permit. As soon as you receive your temporary driver’s license or state identification card, you need to phone or write the Attorney General’s Concealed Carry Licensing Unit to tell them you have changed your name and/or gender. They MAY require you to send in the same information regarding your gender change and/or name change which you sent in for the driver’s license or state identification card change.
- After the Kansas Attorney General’s Concealed Carry Licensing Unit sends you a concealed carry permit re-issuance letter, please read the letter carefully to ensure your name and gender are accurately represented. Mine had a typo on it which delayed me another week as they had to re-send it. ONLY after everything is in order may you return to the DMV for your new concealed carry permit.
At the time I went through this process for my gender change for my concealed carry permit, I was told by the Attorney General’s office that I was the “pioneer” for doing this, as they had never previously had a transgender person change their gender marker on their concealed carry permit. Hopefully, the information above, if not 100% correct, will at least give you a heads-up for some of the potential pitfalls.
An Important Note on Voting
Thanks to the relatively recent voter ID law in Kansas, it is very likely that when you acquire your new driver’s license or state identification card, your County Election Commission will flag you as being without sufficient evidence of citizenship if you have the DMV try to update your voting records for you. I know this because this happened to me right after I received my new driver’s license, and as a result I was almost denied the right to vote in an election which was being held just 4 days after I received the “prove you’re a citizen” letter in the mail. If you value your right to vote (and who doesn’t?) then promptly contact your County Election Commission after either your name or your gender changes.
Kansas Birth Certificate Gender Marker Information
As far as I know, the information on this page is up-to-date and does not address gender changes on a birth certificate due to gender transition. I phoned the Kansas Department of Health in early 2013 and they confirmed for me that due to the Kansas anti-Same-Sex Marriage Constitutional Amendment, they were refusing to change gender markers on birth certificates, even when presented with a court order.