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How To Change Your Name and Gender Marker in Oklahoma

If you're an Oklahoman and want to change your name legally, you're in luck. Many people in your state change their name every year due to marriage, divorce, or other reasons, such as a gender transition. Changing your gender marker is an entirely different matter, however.

This article covers how to legally change your name in Oklahoma, regardless of the reason for your name change. It also discusses how to file the appropriate paperwork with other government agencies. Finally, the article addresses changes to your gender marker on crucial identity documents.

Legally Change Your Name in Oklahoma

Most name changes occur when you get married, go through a divorce, or petition a court to change your name. The process you'll need to follow to legally change your name in Oklahoma will depend on the reason for your name change.


Marriage is the most common time to change your name. It's also the easiest. Like most states, Oklahoma recognizes a valid marriage certificate as proof of a name change.

Fill in both your and your soon-to-be spouse's current legal names and the names you'll take after marriage on your Oklahoma marriage license application. Either party to a marriage can change their last name this way in Oklahoma. Once you tie the knot, endorse the marriage certificate using your newly married name.

Your marriage certificate proves your name change. Obtain a few certified copies of your marriage certificate. You'll need these to update your official documents and records.


If you're getting divorced in Oklahoma, you can change your name back to your former name. Oklahoma courts will restore your name from before marriage during the normal divorce process. This routine request applies to both parties. The restoration of your pre-marriage name will be included in the final divorce decree.

Petition for a Change of Name

You must petition a district court to change your name outside of marriage, divorce, or another legal proceeding. For example, a person might want to change their name as part of a gender transition process.

This is a special proceeding and, while it's usually not contested, involves more legal steps. Be prepared to:

  • File a petition in state court in the county where you live;
  • List your date and place of birth, birth certificate number, and other personal information;
  • Give your desired name and reasons for changing your name;
  • Publish notice of your petition for a name change in a local newspaper; and
  • Attend a court hearing where a judge can decide your case

Oklahoma courts will ordinarily grant name change petitions. The main exception is if a judge believes a name change is being sought for illegal or fraudulent purposes. This can be a crime under state law.

The court will also deny a petition when material allegations made in the petition are false. A name change can't be used to get out of debts, lawsuits, court-ordered support payments, and similar legal obligations.

If the court grants your petition, it will issue an order changing your name. That's the legal proof you'll need to update your Social Security card, driver's license, and other ID documents.

File the Appropriate Paperwork With Government Agencies

Use your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order to update your official documents and identification. Contact your local Social Security office first. You'll need to fill out an application for a new Social Security card and provide documentation of your legal name change along with a photo ID.

If you're changing your gender marker, you can do that simultaneously. Simply indicate your updated gender marker on your application. You can even select "X" as a gender-neutral option if you identify as non-binary. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will then update its records.

Next, you'll want to change the name on your Oklahoma driver's license or state ID. You'll need to notify the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety of your name change within ten days. Name changes must be done in person at your local licensing office, and you'll need to provide proof of your legal name change.

Change Your Gender Marker

Currently, Oklahoma doesn't permit changes to your gender marker on identification documents like your Oklahoma birth certificate or driver's license. There's no state statute allowing gender marker changes. There's also no official process for changing your gender marker in Oklahoma, though the issue is frequently debated among lawmakers.

2023 executive order signed by Governor Kevin Stitt instructed the state's government agencies to define “sex" as a person's “biological sex either male or female, at birth." This affects the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender people, and the expression of their gender identity.

Get the Legal Help You Need in Oklahoma

Oklahoma laws may vary from those in states like Oregon, Kansas, Tennessee, or Texas. But changing your name is typically a straightforward process. But if you run into problems, an experienced local attorney can help. An attorney can walk you through the name change process, whether you reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or elsewhere in the state of Oklahoma.

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