Virginia Code § 32.1-269(E) says that:
Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the sex of an individual has been changed by medical procedure and upon request of such person, the State Registrar shall amend such person’s certificate of birth to show the change of sex and, if a certified copy of a court order changing the person’s name is submitted, to show a new name.
What does this mean? First, if you are a transgender individual born in Virginia and you want to amend your birth certificate in order to correct your name and gender, you will need a court order to do so. While Virginia courts provide forms to allow individuals to petition for a name change, there is not yet a form to petition the court for an order recognizing a change of gender. Consequently, most people who want to amend their Virginia birth certificate to correct their name and gender will need to hire an experienced attorney to draft a petition for them and help them through the process.
In addition, as you can see from the statute section above, Virginia law also requires court orders to indicate that the sex of an individual has been changed “by medical procedure.” In other words, if you want to petition the court for an order to correct your gender on your birth certificate, you will need an affidavit from a medical professional.
Finally, any petition to change a person’s name on their birth certificate must also satisfy the requirements of Virginia Code § 8.01-217, which says in part that
Every application shall be under oath and shall include the place of residence of the applicant, the names of both parents, including the maiden name of his mother, the date and place of birth of the applicant, the applicant’s felony conviction record, if any, whether the applicant is a person for whom registration with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry is required…whether the applicant is presently incarcerated or a probationer with any court, and if the applicant has previously changed his name, his former name or names.
In most cases, as long as your petition is well-drafted and includes all of the necessary documentation, a court will not require a hearing before entering an order to correct your name and gender on your birth certificate. Our firm is experienced in assisting transgender individuals to amend their birth certificates to reflect their correct name and gender. Please contact our office with any further inquiries about our birth certificate amendment services.