The processes for changing your name or your gender marker on your birth certificate are different, and they have different requirements. You can learn more about both processes below.
If you live in New England, you may be able to get free legal representation through the GLAD Pop-Up ID Project. From GLAD: "Transgender people living in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont) seeking to update their legal name and gender on federal and state documents can receive free legal representation through this rapid-response program."
Do I have to amend my birth certificate to do things like change my name or gender marker on my ID's or passport?
No. You do not have to amend your birth certificate to do these things. Amending your birth certificate may be a good step to take if you feel it is important for you - but it is not required. You will still be able to change your name and/or gender marker on your Maine driver's license or ID, on your passport, and with government agencies, even if you don't ever amend your birth certificate.
Changing your name
Changing your name on your birth certificate often goes hand-in-hand with legally changing your name. Many Probate Courts are used to processing these changes together, and will have the forms for this process ready to go with the forms for your legal name change. If you are doing this at the same time, just let them know that you would like to amend your birth certificate when you change your name.
Note: It isn't required that you change the name on your birth certificate when you legally change your name – there is an extra fee to do this, and you don't have to do it if you don't want to, or can't afford it.
Changing your gender marker
To change your gender marker on your birth certificate, you will need to send a few documents to the Vital Records Office.
The requirements for changing your gender marker on your birth certificate are much stricter than the requirements for changing your name. Before you can change your gender marker, you must:
- Change your legal name
- Have had a “surgical procedure” to change your sex
To prove that you have done both of these things, you will need to send these documents to the Vital Records office at the Maine Center for Disease Control:
- A “notarized affidavit” (a statement from your doctor or surgeon, that they affirm is true, and sign in front of a notary public) from the doctor/surgeon who did your surgery.
- A completed and notarized (signed in front of a notary public) VS-7 form. You can fill out and print this form here. Here are instructions from the State of Maine about how to fill out a VS-7 form. These instructions aren’t specific to trans people, but they might still be helpful.
- Proof of your legal name change, like a VS-14 form from the Probate Court, or the certificate of change of name you got from the court after you changed your name.
- A $60 check, made payable to “Treasurer, State of Maine.”
You should mail all of these things to:
11 State House Station
220 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04333-0011