People who identify as transgender are able to change their birth name among friends and family, but it can be harder to change a birth name on official documents. If you are transgender, you may be uncomfortable with using your driver’s license to identify yourself. Handing over a document with a name and gender that you no longer associate with may feel as though you are misrepresenting your true self. By changing the name and gender on your driver’s license, you can use your license without fear of being misgendered or “dead-named.”

Illinois laws about driver’s license changes

In order to change your name on any legal document in the state of Illinois, you must first get a court order from a judge. You’ll need to submit a petition that meets specific verification requirements. You’ll also need to publish a notice of your petition in a local newspaper for three consecutive weeks. Filling out these forms and submitting them properly may require the help of an experienced attorney. In addition, the process is more complicated for minors who want to change their name.

Once you have legally changed your name, you can bring a copy of the court order to a state facility to update your driver’s license. If you are legally changing your gender as well, you’ll need to fill out a Gender Designation Change Form. Make sure to bring acceptable forms of identification, too. There is a fee for updating your driver’s license.

Recent law change regarding gender markers

Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a bill that will eventually allow people who live in Illinois to select a gender neutral option (X) on all state documents that require a gender marker. Unfortunately, this option may not appear for driver’s licenses until 2024, according to the Secretary of State.