On July 14, the Monday after I had my name and gender change court hearing, I headed to the Social Security Office to update my records there, based on the advice from the Transgender Law Center. I didn't have an appointment so had to wait for over 45 minutes, but once to the window everything was taken care of quickly. I presented a certified copy of my court order, and was asked no questions. I was given a receipt and was on my way in less than ten minutes, and received my new Social Security card in the mail about a week later.
Meanwhile I had e-mailed my doctor's office to try to get the necessary gender change form filled out for the DMV. boyziggy had urged me to make an appointment there ahead of time, but I wanted to wait until after the court hearing to make sure there were no issues. In retrospect I should have just made the appointment and canceled it later if necessary, as I experienced delays with the doctor's office. The main person I had worked with was a nurse practitioner and ineligible to fill out the form, and had recently left the practice. The doctor she got to write my letter for the court order was listed as not accepting new patients, nor was my previous doctor, so I didn't know what to do.
After two days with no response to my e-mail, I finally called the office, and was helped promptly and professionally. I wish I'd just phoned in the first place, but I do hate talking on the phone. In any case, I explained my situation and said there was some urgency as I needed to schedule a flight for mid-September and was hoping to get my IDs updated before then so there wouldn't be an issue with the TSA. The office set me up with an appointment with another doctor in the practice for the next business day.
Now that the doctor's appointment was set I felt I could make a DMV appointment. As Ziggy predicted, the earliest San Francisco appointment available wasn't for over a month. I ended up scheduling an appointment in my old neighborhood in El Cerrito for today.
On July 21 I went to the doctor's appointment. The doctor asked a few questions and filled out my form, at first marking "transitional" for my gender transition but then whiting that out and changing it to "complete" as he was basically convinced by my court order that I'm male. He said he hoped the DMV would accept a form with white-out. I was nervous about it, but didn't have a backup copy handy so figured it would just have to do. At this point I was willing to accept a "transitional" status that would be good for two years if necessary just to get this flight booked and trip taken with minimal potential issues. But I didn't feel great about this doctor (he referred to me with female pronouns on my way out, among other things) so I'll be looking for another one to be my new primary care provider.
Today, August 1, I was still nervous about the paperwork so decided to put a little more effort into "looking like a man" (not that it would help, in retrospect). I wore the same outfit I'd worn to the Social Security office for the same reason: Dark collared button-down short-sleeved shirt and a T-shirt style undershirt (instead of my usual T-shirt over an A-shirt tank), jeans and brown casual shoes. I also wore my trilby hat and magical gender-changing backpack.
I arrived at the office nearly an hour early and was immediately glad that I'd made an appointment as the place was packed; there was a two-hour wait for those who didn't have appointments. After some initial confusion I acquired and filled out a form to request a new state ID. I had a driver's license but had driven exactly once since moving to California, in 1993, and did not intend to drive again. Plus I wasn't even sure I was legally allowed to drive since I had a full-blown tonic-clonic ("grand mal") seizure in 2010, and never got medical clearance (though I never had another seizure either; it was a reaction to medication I stopped taking immediately afterwards).
I got called up fifteen minutes before my scheduled appointment time, which was good because it took a half an hour to process my paperwork. The clerk was very kind and friendly and patient despite having to find a manager multiple times to enter a password for her. She had to update my driver's license first before putting through the application for a state ID, and also informed me that as suspected, my driving privileges had indeed been suspended since 2010. I held my breath whenever she was looking at the doctor's form, but apparently everything was in order. I had my photo taken twice (don't know why they couldn't use the same one for the license and the state ID). I also got both my current license and my certified court order back, which was a relief, especially the former as my credit cards are still in my birth name, and cashiers sometimes ask for photo ID; the court order only would have cost me $25 if I needed another copy.
When I got my second photo taken I asked if it would really take 60 days to get a new ID. The clerk said it would probably be only two weeks. I suspect it might be longer since I have a more complex case, so I'm going to the passport office on Monday to try to get an expedited passport as a backup. I don't want to be at the airport without correct ID.
So yay, another hurdle cleared on the way to full legal manhood.