Things You'll Need
Various costs. Fee waivers are available from California courts for those in need. Consult your local court for more information.
Go online to http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/other/namechangeform.htm. This site will have all the court documents you need discussed below.
Complete a Petition for Change of Name (Form NC-100) or a Change of Name and Gender (Form NC-200) if you are changing both name and gender. Also fill out an Attachment to Petition (Form NC-110). Make two copies (either NC-100 or NC-200 and NC-110) of each.
Complete an Order to Show Cause for Change of Name form (Form NC-120) or, if changing gender as well, fill out Order to Show Cause for Change of Name and Gender (Form NC-220). Make two copies of this document.
Check to see if you need to fill out any additional forms required by some local courts, such as a Criminal Background Information Form. Information on local forms can be found at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/glossary.htm#localforms
Complete a Civil Case Cover Sheet (Form CSM-010). If you are requesting a change of name and gender you must also have your doctor provide an affidavit certifying to the court that your have undergone a gender change. The doctor should use Form NC-210 or he can write his own statement.
Submit all your completed forms to the court clerk in the county where you reside.
Publish your Order to
Show Cause in a local newspaper (it must be a paper of "general circulation"; ask your local court which papers meet this standard). The order must be published once-a-week for four consecutive weeks.
Attend your court date, which will be sent to you in the form of a letter by the court. Be sure to bring proof of publication in the local newspaper of your Order to Show Cause. Also, print out either a copy of the Decree Changing Name (Form NC-130) or a Decree Changing Name and Gender (Form NC-230) -- depending on your request. The judge must sign this document.
Obtain a certified copy of the decree changing your name from the court clerk. This document is required for changing your birth certificate.
Get a VS-23 form (for name change) or VS-24 (for name and gender) from any local California registrar of births office. Fill it out and submit that document with a photocopy of your original birth certificate and a $20 check to the mailing address on the form. For correcting errors fill out the VS-24 form. Also include a notarized sworn statement regarding the claimed errors and omissions; hospital documentation (if the mistake was the hospital's fault); a photocopy of the parent's birth certificate (if the change involves the parent); and a copy of the current birth certificate.
Be patience. Your new birth certificate will be sent to you.