Transgender Californians now have easier time changing birth certificates

SACRAMENTO, California – A new streamlined process for obtaining a court-ordered legal change in California for transgender people who wish to change their gender or name on their birth certificate, will begin today.

The first part of Assembly Bill 1121, by Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), which required the court to grant a name change petition without a hearing if there are no objections, was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last October.

“This bill created a new administrative option for transgender people seeking to amend the gender and/or name on a California birth certificate, eliminating the unnecessary interim step of getting a court order before the State Registrar can change a birth certificate,” Atkins said.

“This part of the new law will also remove the expensive and burdensome newspaper publication requirement for transgender people seeking legal name changes and would provide that a name change that is uncontested must be granted without a hearing.”

Another bill by Speaker Atkins, AB 1577 the Respect After Death Act, would require death certificates to reflect the decedent’s gender identity. This bill passed out of the Assembly with bipartisan support and waits consideration in the Senate.

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