Community Conversation > Legal Matters

Legal name change in IL or Houston, TX? Stumbling blocks?

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AlexisRene:
 Hi! Just looking for tips & thoughts from those who reside in either the State of Illinois or the Houston TX area who successfully changed their name & gender marker. I tried searching the forum for previous threads so people do not have to repeat their experiences. But did not find specifically what I was looking for.

 Am currently a resident of IL & moving to the Houston TX area(for work) in 3 weeks or so. With the info here at Susans, IL requires a court date 7 weeks after the petition has been filed. Am trying to avoid having to skip out of a brand new job, fly to IL & go back during the work week for a legal name change(yes, employer is aware of trans status, current legal name etc.).

 So was thinking of waiting until TX to change names? Tho it does appear more difficult to get the gender marker changed there & unsure of the filing fee's etc. Also unsure if you have to be a resident of TX or if they will just refer someone back to their home state?

 Links here at Susans.

https://www.susans.org/wiki/Changing_legal_name_in_the_US#Illinois
https://www.susans.org/wiki/Changing_legal_name_in_the_US#Texas

 I have a couple of calls into legal help here in IL & waiting for a return call. But thought is may be wise to ask some of you here that have been through the process. Thanks much for any info!

AlexisRene:
Can scratch TX off of the list... Sorry, should have read that paragraph closer.

Out-of-state resident name change has for the most part, fallen by the wayside in favor of restricting the ability to change ones legal name via local government, to residents of that state. The requirements to be considered a resident vary from production of an original utility bill, to at most, having had legal domicile for a period of time up to 2 years.

https://www.susans.org/wiki/Changing_legal_name_in_the_US

AllieSF:
The little I know about name and gender changes, especially the gender change, in Texas is that you probably want to do them in Illinois, unless they are tougher than Texas.  You can check out the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, California (Google their website) because they have some great information for most States.  Also check for any LGBT support groups in both States because they can offer some specific State requirements and recommended procedures to avoid issues during the process.  Good luck.

AshleyP:
Gender marker changes are relatively easy in Austin, TX compared to the rest of the state. It's worth the drive (~160 miles). Texas Law Library has forms approved for use in the Austin courts. Elsewhere, it depends on the local judge, if they will even do it at all.

All the best,
--AshleyP

<edit> Actually, it's the Travis County Law Library.

AlexisRene:
 Thank you both for the responses. One of the IL law offices called this morning to set up an appt for a legal counselor to call me on Wed morning. Am not sure if there is a fast track (& low cost) way to do it within IL or not. But will ask more questions then.

 Otherwise, may very well be looking at Austin as do not want to be absent from new job. Or minimize that as much as possible. 

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