NameAid is a program provided by the Gender Alliance of the South Sound to help people of low income pay for their legal name change.

The name we go by has an effect on how people relate to us, and in some cases, can even affect our ability to assimilate well in society. Many trans people say a name change sends an important message to the world, a message solidified and made official by a court order. The formal update is critical to getting other IDs and papers to reflect one's new name. Fortunately for Washington residents the process is straight forward and unlike some states does not require hiring a lawyer.

In June 2011 the GASS board of directors decided to create a fund to help trans people achieve the important step of official recognition of a new name. GASS will reimburse court and clerk charges to those trans persons changing their names who qualify for a reduced fee through WA State GR34 rules. Court fees are waived at the discretion of the court based on income and whether a person is receiving government living expenses.

Name change costs are in excess of $150 for most counties. Even with a reduction the fee is still usually more than $80. GASS will reimburse trans persons who submit a receipt for a reduced payment for name change from a District Court in Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Kitsap, Thursto, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, King and Clark Counties.

Name Aid to limited to three uses in a lifetime and one must wait one year before applying again.

This link explains the criteria qualification for reduced court fees:

Forms are found at:

Mail a regular copy of your court ordered name change and your receipt to GASS c/o Rainbow Center, 2215 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, WA 98402. Or you may email a Word doc, pdf file or scanned image of your documents to [email protected]. After the next board meeting the GASS treasurer will send you a reimbursement check.

Please email the address above with any questions you may have.

In Washington State any person over eighteen years of age can choose and use any name he or she wishes as long as the purpose of the change in the name is not to defraud another.

Where to File
Any person desiring to change his/her name or that of his/her child may apply to the District Court in which he/she resides. Photo ID must be presented and a copy of your birth certificate may be required.

To petition the Court you must complete the Petition for Change of Name and Order Changing Name. The clerk will provide these forms. You must provide picture identification and birth certificate for yourself.

The filing fee is $157.00 CASH OR CREDIT CARD (VISA or MASTERCARD), payable at the time of filing the Petition and Order. The breakdown of the fee is as follows:

    $63.00 - Filing Fee
    $15.00 - Certification Fee
    $62.00 - Auditor's recording fee
    $ 7.00 - Administrative Fee
    $10.00 - DRC Fee

Pierce County:
Thurston County:
Mason County:
Grays Harbor County:
Kitsap County:
Lewis County:

Courts usually provide two certified copies of the Order Changing Name.

Driver's License
To change the gender marker designation or update your name change on your Washington State Drivers License go to:

Documentation of a court order is required to change a name on a driver's license. A form and letter filled out by a medical care provider is required to change the gender marker. Once the DMV is satisfied they mail a letter of confirmation to the applicant to be taken to any DMV office for updating their license where there is a $10 fee.

Birth Certificate
Washington State will amend birth certificates to reflect name changes and gender changes. Washington State has no laws or codes regarding birth certificate changes, so there are no official requirements for Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) in order to change your birth certificate. Because of this, it is up to the workers at the Department of Health to make the determination of whether SRS is required.

In order to change your gender marker you must fill out an Affidavit for Correction

You can also provide a certified copy of your Name Change Order to amend your birth certificate to reflect the name change. Mail the letter, a copy of your old birth certificate, and the $20 fee to
Washington Department of Health
Center for Health Statistics
P. O. Box 9709
Olympia, WA
(360) 236-4300

Provide a correct mailing address and your new birth certificate will be mailed to you in 2 to 3 weeks. Note: This applies only to those born in Washington. If you were born in another state, check with the Department of Health of your birth state. Some states do not offer gender marker changes.

Social Security Card
You will need your Social Security card updated to reflect your new name in order to change any employment and financial information. You will need evidence showing your old and new names.

To correct or change your gender on Social Security's records, you must: Complete the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5); and show documents proving:
Gender (such as your birth certificate, or a letter from your surgeon or attending physician stating that the surgeon/physician has completed your sexual reassignment surgery and that you have transitioned to the new gender. All documents must contain enough biographical data, e.g., name, date of birth, to clearly identify you).

An applicant's name can be changed on a US passport with proof of a court ordered change. You may obtain a passport with an updated gender if you have had clinical treatment determined by your doctor to be appropriate in your case to facilitate gender transition. It does not matter whether or not you have previously obtained a passport listing another gender. If you are just beginning transition and need to travel abroad, you can obtain a two-year provisional passport. (The State Department calls it "limited validity" though it has all the force of a regular passport but is only good for two years.)

If you are applying for a passport for the first time, or have an expired passport, you must apply in person as you would normally do. If your license and birth certificate reflect your current gender then you will not need a physician's letter, otherwise you will need a signed statement on office letterhead by a physician who has treated you stating that you have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.