Identity documents are essential for everyday tasks
Missourians use identity documents like a driver’s license or state ID for all sorts of essential everyday tasks like applying for a job, renting an apartment, registering for school, boarding an airplane, checking into a hotel, voting, and more. Transgender Missourians who are unable to update their identification documents face unnecessary and burdensome hurdles to basic activities that are necessary to move through the world.
IDs are particularly crucial when it comes to employment and housing, where the lack of updated identification can serve as a barrier to economic stability. When a transgender person’s ID is called into question, whether on suspicion of lying or intent to harass, it amounts to an invasion of privacy, opens the door to discrimination, and increases stigma.
Missouri law authorizes people to legally change their name and gender marker on official documents, which allows transgender Missourians an opportunity for their documents to match their gender identity. Missouri still does not acknowledge an “X” gender marker, so PROMO is aware that this process is not an equal-opportunity for all transgender and non-binary Missourians. On this page, we attempt to provide clarity for a confusing process:
Missouri Name Change Laws
To obtain a legal name change in Missouri, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. The applicant must publish notice of the name change at least once a week for three weeks in a newspaper within 20 days of the court order. The publication requirement may be waived for victims of domestic violence or child abuse. (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 527.290).
Missouri Drivers License Policy & Procedures
In order to update the gender on a Missouri ID, the applicant must provide ONE of the following:
- A completed Gender Designation Change Request Form 5532; http://dor.mo.gov/forms/5532.pdf
- Medical documentation showing completion of gender affirmation surgery;
- A U.S. Passport which reflects the gender designation requested by the applicant;
- An amended U.S. birth certificate which reflects the gender designation requested by the applicant; or
- A court order declaring the gender designation requested by the applicant (may be part of a court ordered name change).
If the applicant requesting the gender designation change does not have one of the required documents above, the license office should contact the central office at (573) 526-2555 before turning the applicant away. The central office may allow alternate documents to be submitted for review from the applicant to determine eligibility.
In order to update the name on a Missouri ID, the applicant must present a document demonstrating the current name, such as a Certified Court Order, a U.S Passport, a Social Security Card or a Medicare Card. The Missouri Department of Revenue has information on name change here: http://dor.mo.gov/drivers/idrequirements.php#namechange
Missouri Birth Certificate Laws
According to Missouri statute, the Department of Health will issue an amended birth certificate “upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure and that such individual’s name has been changed.” Mo. Rev. Stat. § 193.215-9.
To apply for an amended birth certificate the applicant should submit the certified copy of the court order, a written request for the birth certificate (stating where the new certificate is to be sent), and the applicable fees to Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Note that some individuals have been able to get a court order for gender change on a Missouri birth certificate without proof of surgery, as exhibited in this court order for gender change. Template forms for requesting a court order for gender change are available on the Transas City website here: http://transascity.org/missouri-transition-information/
For referrals to attorneys who may be able to help with paperwork and/or court appearances for identity documents, contact us at PROMO@PROMOonline.org.