NameAid is a program provided by the Gender Alliance of the South Sound to help people of low income pay for their legal name change.
The name we go by has an effect on how people relate to us, and in some cases, can even affect our ability to assimilate well in society. Many trans people say a name change sends an important message to the world, a message solidified and made official by a court order. The formal update is critical to getting other IDs and papers to reflect one's new name. Fortunately for Washington residents the process is straight forward and unlike some states does not require hiring a lawyer.
In June 2011 the GASS board of directors decided to create a fund to help trans people achieve the important step of official recognition of a new name. GASS will reimburse court and clerk charges to those trans persons changing their names who qualify for a reduced fee through WA State GR34 rules. Court fees are waived at the discretion of the court based on income and whether a person is receiving government living expenses.
Name change costs are in excess of $150 for most counties. Even with a reduction the fee is still usually more than $80. GASS will reimburse trans persons who submit a receipt for a reduced payment for name change from a District Court in Mason, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Kitsap, Thursto, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, King and Clark Counties.
Name Aid to limited to three uses in a lifetime and one must wait one year before applying again.
This link explains the criteria qualification for reduced court fees: http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa=court_rules.display&group=ga&set=GR&ruleid=gagr34
Forms are found at: http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.contribute&formID=87
Mail a regular copy of your court ordered name change and your receipt to GASS at P.O. Box 496, Gig Harbor, WA 98335. Or you may email a Word doc, pdf file or scanned image of your documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. After the next board meeting the GASS treasurer will send you a reimbursement check.
Please email the address above with any questions you may have.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR NAME:
Where to File
The filing fee is $157.00 CASH OR CREDIT CARD (VISA or MASTERCARD), payable at the time of filing the Petition and Order. The breakdown of the fee is as follows:
$15.00 - Certification Fee
$62.00 - Auditor's recording fee
$ 7.00 - Administrative Fee
$10.00 - DRC Fee
Documentation of a court order is required to change a name on a driver's license. A form and letter filled out by a medical care provider is required to change the gender marker. Once the DMV is satisfied they mail a letter of confirmation to the applicant to be taken to any DMV office for updating their license where there is a $10 fee.
In order to change your gender marker you must fill out an Affidavit for Correction http://kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/vitalstats/changes.aspx
You can also provide a certified copy of your Name Change Order to amend your birth certificate to reflect the name change. Mail the letter, a copy of your old birth certificate, and the $20 fee to
Provide a correct mailing address and your new birth certificate will be mailed to you in 2 to 3 weeks. Note: This applies only to those born in Washington. If you were born in another state, check with the Department of Health of your birth state. Some states do not offer gender marker changes.
Social Security Card
To correct or change your gender on Social Security's records, you must:
Complete the Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5); and show documents proving:
If you are applying for a passport for the first time, or have an expired passport, you must apply in person as you would normally do. If your license and birth certificate reflect your current gender then you will not need a physician's letter, otherwise you will need a signed statement on office letterhead by a physician who has treated you stating that you have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.