Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How do I change the gender marker on my Michigan driver's license?

  The law covering the gender marker on driver's licenses is very vague and the rules are still evolving.  Every time we elect a new Secretary of State, ze interprets the law differently and changes the rules.  And due to the frequent rules changes I hear that implementation of the rules may vary depending on which clerk in which office you go to.

  When I transitioned a number of years ago all I had to do was sign a paper that my gender was changed, but now I understand that some sort of certification from your doctor of surgery is required.  Similar to that required for changing your marker on your birth certificate.  See http://www.transgendermichigan.org/questions/birth.html

  If you are able to change your birth certificate first, they will change your license easily.  And I have heard of some who have changed their federal passport first (which may have an easier criteria) first and used that to change the license.

  Please comment and let me know your experience with changing your gender marker.

Related postings:

How do I change the gender marker on my Michigan Birth Certificate?

Jumping Through Hoops: Changing Your Name in Michigan


  1. Shortly after my legal name change was finalized, I had my doctor write me a letter based on the template included here:


    That has proved to be good enough for just about everybody. No problems at all getting my gender marker changed with Social Security, the passport agency, my medical records, health insurance, etc...

    But although they were very friendly and respectful at the Secretary of State office in Ann Arbor, and I had no issues with the name change part, the clerk said they can't change the gender marker until I come back with an updated birth certificate.

    And the strict requirements for getting the birth certificate updated appear to be codified into law, rather than just a policy matter:


    I haven't found any documentation on the secretary of state site that lists the birth certificate change to be a prerequisite for the drivers license change, so I suspect it's just an internal policy, and I don't know how strict that policy is in practice.

    I'm waiting on my passport to arrive, and I plan to make a return trip to the secretary of state with that in hand, and trying to convince them to change it based on that. If not, well, I'll at least have the passport card that I can use as photo id in most circumstances. I'll report back with any news on that front.

    Anyone else have any research or experience to share here?

    1. Where in Ann Arbor did you go? I was just turned down for a "common usage/law" name change in Livonia, and I'm wondering if a clerk in a more "liberal" area might've done it. I have a year's worth of paystubs and insurance information showing the new name, in addition to the letter that my doctor wrote me after I had been on hormones for six months. I've read that this can be enough, in some places.

  2. It was the Secretary of State office on Maple Rd. in Ann Arbor. As far as the name change part, that was easy for me since I had a court order in hand.

  3. Autumn, did you have any luck with the passport?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Transgender people can now change gender marker on Michigan ID without surgery




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