[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A graphic for the Free LGBT Legal Clinic asks "Need to speak with a lawyer about LGBT-specific legal issues? We are here to help. Attorneys are available for various areas of law"]
Jacob Thielen (O'Keefe, Miller, & Thielen, P.C.) will run the clinic on 1/26/2020. Jacob's practice areas are:
Family Law (Adoption, fostering, marriage, divorce, custody)
Name/Gender Marker Changes
If you are interested in scheduling a free consultation, click here to reserve your spot and view the practice areas of the attorneys for the upcoming clinics. For more timely referrals to for-pay LGBT-welcoming lawyers, you may call the Infoline number at (610) 347-9988 x103.
Free half-hour consultations with attorneys about a variety of LGBT legal needs, including employment and housing discrimination, family law questions (marriage, divorce, custody, adoption, and fostering), and wills and estates. All volunteer attorneys are equipped to assist anyone seeking help in completing name and gender marker changes. For more information, contact Reilly at [email protected]
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center offers a FREE NOTARY SERVICE as an extension of our Legal Clinic service to LGBT+ individuals who have consulted with our attorneys and may require official document notarization.
Q: How do I get a legal name change in PA? And how do I change the name and/or gender marker on my license or state-issued ID?
A: Scroll down to see a full explanation of the legal name change process and how to change your name and/or gender marker on your license or state-issued ID.
Q: How long is the consultation?
A: Each session is approximately 30 minutes.
Q: How do I know what attorney will be working the clinic?
A: The SignUp Genius reservation system will what the attorney’s practice areas are for each session. Please note that all attorneys are capable of assisting with name change and gender markers.
Q: How secure is my session?
A: Very! We are taking several precautions to ensure your security and confidentiality in various steps of the process. Firstly, the SignUp Genius is a locked form, and only the Supportive Services Coordinator (Reilly) can view the responses. Other individuals will only see that time slots are reserved, but will not see any of your information. Secondly, the zoom utilized for the sessions is accessed via a unique one-time link, shared only in private communications with individuals who have already RSVP’d via the SignUp Genius reservation system. Lastly, the zoom session itself has various security features in place to ensure that the only people present in the zoom during your session are you and the attorney.
Overview of the Legal Name Change Process
To legally change your name in Pennsylvania, you must receive a court order which grants you the ability to change your legal name. This overview will highlight the major steps of this process. We urge you to attend our free legal clinic which can provide more detailed information and guidance!
The steps to receive a court order are as follows:
- Obtain the correct name change forms form your local Court of Common Pleas. Go HERE and locate your county. Once redirected to the county website you should be able to find the correct Name Change Petition to fill out. You will also need to fill out a Cover Sheet and print a blank Order for Publication sheet.
- Get fingerprinted for a criminal background check. This is to make sure you are not changing your name to escape punishment from crimes committed. To get a fingerprint card in Lehigh County, call (610) 782-3014 and request that a fingerprint card be mailed to you. Take the card to the State Police Station or Municipal Police Department for fingerprinting. Then submit the card to the Clerk of Judicial Records.
- File an action. For Lehigh County, you can do so electronically HERE. Once filed, you will be given more instructions on where to send in physical copies of your forms. A hearing will be set.
- Write a notice of publication to be published at least thirty (30) days before your scheduled hearing date. You can publish the notice in both the local law journal and newspaper.
- Attend your hearing and receive your court order. Make sure to arrive early.
More information for name changes in Lehigh County can be found HERE
License or Identification Card Name Change Process
To change your name on a Driver’s license or State Issued Identification (Photo ID) card you must first go through the process of legally changing your name (see above for details). You will need to present your name change court order or a raised seal certified copy of your name change court order to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
With the court order OR a certified copy of the court order for your name change, you must then complete the appropriate DMV form depending on what type of ID you are updating. For example, if you are interested in changing your name on a non-commercial driver’s license, you will fill out Form DL-80.
Complete the correct DMV form and bring it and your name change court order document or certified copy of the name change court order to a PennDOT Driver License Center.
Please Note: A name change for a driver's license or photo ID must be completed in person at a Driver License Center. Additionally, name changes cannot be made for Non-U.S. Citizens unless the primary source ID document most recently issued by the Department of Homeland Security reflects that name.
More Information about name changes on your license can be found HERE
License or Identification Card Gender Marker Change Process
The Pennsylvania DMV offers three options for gender markers on Pennsylvania Licenses/Identification (ID) cards. These gender markers are as follows:
- Female (F)
- Male (M)
- Non-binary/Other (X)
To change your gender marker on a Pennsylvania Non-Commercial Driver’s License, you must fill out Form DL-32. Once the form is completed, the form must be brought to any PennDOT Driver License Center to complete the process in-person. Form DL-32 does not require the signoff of a medical or social service provider.
Please Note: The same form is needed to change your gender marker for those who hold a REAL ID. Additionally, fees may apply depending on the type of identification and material changes need to make a duplicate ID.
More information about gender markers can be found HERE
Update since COVID-19:
The powerpoint slides to our webinar, LGBTQ Employment Discrimination and Tenant Rights During COVID-19 on April 14th, 2020 can be found here.
The recording for the LGBT Legal Webinar Living Wills and Estate Planning for the LGBT community during COVID-19 on April 28, 2020 is now available by emailing Reilly at [email protected]. Supplemental resources from the PA Bar Association can be found on wills and living wills.
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