In the past, publication of name change was typically required in California when seeking a formal change of name. California law was recently changed making publication no longer required when a person who lives in California seeks to have his or her name changed due to a change in their gender. In this particular instances, it is no longer required to publish notice of the proposed change in a newspaper.
Exceptions to Required Publication of Name Change
Publication of name change in an approved legal newspaper is required under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1277(a) which states that, with a few exceptions, the petitioner must publish notice in a local newspaper once a week for four weeks outlining their current and proposed name. Some advocacy groups argued that this public notice and publication of name change subjected transgender persons to discrimination, embarrassment, and even violence. This change is scheduled to go into effect July 01, 2014 In addition, California has streamlined the process of changing a person’s gender on a California birth certificate. Effective January 1, 2014, California Health & Safety Code section 103426 allows a birth certificate to be changed by filing an affidavit with the California Office of Vital Records. The affidavit must be a sworn statement by a doctor that the person has received clinically proper treatment regarding their gender transition. If the person desires to also change their name, a court process is still required.
If you are considering preparing and filing for a California name change, you can file the paperwork yourself without the use of an attorney. For help in filling out the necessary forms, contact A People’s Choice for affordable non-attorney help. While we will not give you legal advice, we can provide guidance and make the process inexpensive, easy and hassle-free.