How To Change the Gender Marker on Your California Drivers License

Changing the gender marker on your driver's license is one of the most exciting steps in your transition! Even though it’s very exciting, it can also be very confusing. Luckily, the process for having your gender changed on your California driver's license is much easier than it is in some other states.

We’ll explain the steps you need to take in order to change the gender marker and go over what to do if you also want to change your name. Let’s get started!

Changing the Gender Marker on a California Drivers License

Step 1: Get a California Drivers License Application

In order to change your gender you’ll need to fill out a driver's license application. The quickest way to do this is by filling out the form online. You can also do it in person at your local DMV.

Step 2: Self-Select Gender on the Application

On the California drivers license application, you can select one of three options for gender:

  • Female (F)
  • Male (M)
  • Nonbinary (X)

Fortunately, you don’t need to undergo any sort of specific medical treatment in order to change your gender identity. You don’t even have to have a physician or psychologist fill out a form like in the past.

Step 3: Gather Together the Required Documents

Everyone has to provide the required documents that verify who they are and where they live. Keep in mind if you’d like a REAL ID license there is additional documentation that must be provided.

Step 4: Complete the Gender Category Request Form

The Gender Category Request Form (DL 329) is required essentially as a safety net for the California DMV. It specifies that the person is changing their gender to reflect what they identify with, not for an unlawful or fraudulent purpose.

Step 5: Schedule a DMV Appointment

The final step is to visit your local DMV office in person. You’ll need to bring your current driver's license, any required documents, and a way to pay for the licensing fee.

That’s it! Within four weeks you should have your new driver's license with the updated gender.

Changing Your Name on a California Drivers License (Before, During or After Changing Gender Marker)

Step 1: Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

California will only recognize a name change if they can verify it with the Social Security Administration (SSA). So, the first thing you’ll need to do is contact the SSA to change your name in their records.

Step 2: Fill Out a California Drivers License Application

You’ll also need to fill out a driver's license application to change your name. Fill out the name fields exactly as it appears with the SSA.

Step 3: Collect the Required Documents

Just as with changing the gender marker, you’ll have to provide the required documents for a name change. One difference is that you’ll have to provide documentation that shows your new name. And if you’ve already changed your name in the past you’ll most likely need to provide proof of those prior changes as well.

Step 4: Schedule a DMV Appointment

Gather together all of the documents and bring them down to your local DMV office. There, a DMV attendant will verify all of the information, take your fingerprints, collect the licensing fee and issue you a temporary driver's license with your new name. You should receive your permanent license in the mail in 3-4 weeks.

It may seem like a bit of a hassle, but the process used to be a lot more complicated prior to 2019 when changes to the procedures were put in place. Now, there are a lot fewer forms, no need for a physician, and no hearing in court. The process has been simplified so that everyone in California can easily express their own identity.

Don't live in California? Find out how to change the gender on your driver's license in your state!