If you have any questions or need legal help, please contact the ACLU of Mississippi LGBTQ Justice Project.

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Last Updated December 12, 2022

Step 1: File for a Name Change

Start here.

Step 1

Fee: $148*

*Contact your local Chancery Court for exact filing fee. A certified Birth Certificate costs $17 for first copy and $6 for other copies.

Items Needed:

  • Certified Copy of Mississippi Birth Certificate (application and instructions here)

To Do:

  • Draft documents with help from the ACLU of Mississippi (fillable PDF here.)
  • File cover sheet, petition, and birth certificate and pay fee
  • Bring draft order and attend hearing at appointed time and place
  • Receive court order

See Step 1a. for more in-depth filing instructions. 

Step 1a. How to File Your Adult Name Change Case in Mississippi

Learn more about how to file your name change.

Step 1a.

If you are low-income, you will need to fill out an Affidavit for Commencement of Suit without Prepayment of Fees to proceed “in forma pauperis” which means the filing fees and court costs are waived.

Required Documents

  • A Cover Sheet for Civil Case Filing Form
  • Affidavit for Commencement of Suit without Prepayment of Fees (optional, only if low income)
  • An Order to Change Name
  • Government-issued photo ID and certified copy of birth certificate

Instructions and draft documents available here.

How to get your name change case finalized with the Chancery Clerk’s Office in the county where you reside:

  1. You must sign the drafted Petition to Change Name and (if low income) Affidavit for Commencement of Suit without Prepayment of Fees in front of a notary public. Most chancery clerk offices have a notary public.
  2. Make a copy of your birth certificate and write “Exhibit A” at the bottom of it.
  3. Take the completed Civil Cover Sheet, Petition, Exhibit A (copy of your birth certificate), (optional) Affidavit for Commencement of Suit without Prepayment of Fees, the filing fee, and a government-issued photo ID to the Chancery Court in the county where you reside. The amount of the filing fee will depend on the county where you are filing. Call the Chancery Clerk’s office in advance to find out the amount and accepted methods of payment.
  4. Give the documents to the Chancery Clerk and ask them to file your Petition. Ask for two copies of the file-stamped Petition to Change Name so you will have a case number and verification of the date of the filing. Consider taking a photo of the case number in case you lose the paper copy.
  5. Ask the Chancery Clerk how to schedule your name change hearing. You might be directed to another office to do this. You will not be able to have your hearing on a weekend, legal holiday, or when the courthouse is closed. Judges travel among courthouses in several counties, so you might have to schedule your hearing in a different county, depending on when you want to have the hearing and where the judge assigned your case will be at that time.
  6. On the date of your hearing, BE ON TIME to the courthouse where the hearing is scheduled. Bring the Order to Change Name and your copy of the Petition with the Exhibits in case the judge needs to see them. When your case is called, respectfully address the judge as “Your Honor” and state that you are requesting a name change. Present the judge with your Order. If you have followed all the above instructions and the judge does not sign your Order to Change Name, ask them why your name change cannot be granted. After you leave the courtroom, you can call the ACLU of Mississippi at 601-354-3408 to explain your situation. We may be able to help you resolve the issue or problem.
  7. If the judge signs your Order, go to the Chancery Clerk IN THE COUNTY WHERE YOU FILED THE PETITION (since the hearing might have been in a different county), and ask the clerk to file the Order. Ask for four certified copies of the Order. Some counties may charge a fee for this. Many agencies will require a certified copy.

Remember, until the judge signs the Order to Change Name, you will have to use your current name on legally binding documents.

Step 2: Apply for a new Social Security Card

Next, apply for a new Social Security Card.

Step 2

Fee: Free

Items Needed

  • SS-5, Application for Social Security Card (application here)
  • Original Certified Court Order
  • Proof of Citizenship

To Do: 

  • Take the signed application and documents to any Social Security office. Find your nearest office here. 

Social Security allows you to self-select your sex on your Social Security Number record.

Step 3: Apply for a new Driver's License

Then, apply for a new Driver's License.

Step 3

Fee: $24-$47

$25 for a four-year license, $47 for an eight-year license.

Items Needed: 

  • Application for MS Driver’s License or ID (application here)
  • Court Order
  • Certified Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Two proofs of residency

To Do: 

  • Submit your application and documents to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Find your nearest DMV here

If you can't access a state ID with the gender marker that fits you, a US passport allows you to self-select male (M), female, (F), or unspecificed or another gener identity (X). Contact us to talk about how we can help you to get a passport!

Step 4: Register to Vote

Don't forget to register to vote!

Step 4

Fee: Free

Note: You can apply to register to vote or update existing voter registration on your MS Driver License Application

To Do: 

  • Register to vote at the local circuit clerk’s office in your county of residence, or update your voter registration. More information and instructions here. 

Step 5. Notify Others

Finally, you may want to notify others of your name change.

Step 5

You may want to send out a form email alerting everyone of your name change. The general tone will certainly be different depending on who you are notifying. For example, a professional email may be sent to your colleagues, while a funny GIF can be shared on social media.

Notification Checklist: 

  • Employer
  • Banks
  • Credit Cards
  • Professional Organizations
  • Loans
  • Investments
  • Utility Companies
  • Retirement Plans
  • Doctors
  • Insurance Companies
  • Memberships
  • Clubs