If you want to change your gender status legally in the UK, you can apply to a Gender Recognition Panel (GRP) for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Once a GRC is made, your birth certificate will be re-issued confirming your true gender and new chosen name if relevant.
To grant a GRC, the panel must be satisfied that you:
You do not need to have had gender reassignment surgery.
You need to show that you have lived for two years in the gender you wish your birth certificate to reflect (not currently including non-binary identities). In practice the panel will usually require three or four items of evidence, which might include things like your passport, rent book, wage slips or benefit book if they show that you have been living in your true gender for two years.
You must also provide the panel with two medical reports to confirm you have or have had gender dysphoria. You will normally be expected to provide one from a registered medical practitioner or psychologist practising in the field of gender dysphoria and one from your regular GP.
Your application to the GRP must include a statutory declaration as to whether you are married or in a civil partnership.
Since the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, marriage is available to both same-sex and different-sex couples. However, if you are married and you transition, your spouse must give consent before a full certificate can be issued. If your spouse withholds consent then your marriage must be ended, either by divorce or annulment, before you can be issued with a full certificate. If your spouse gives consent, then your marriage can continue (converting from a same-sex marriage to a different-sex marriage, or vice versa) and you can be granted a full certificate.
Unlike marriage, UK civil partnership is not currently available to both same-sex and different-sex couples: UK law only permits same-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership. If you are in a civil partnership and going through a transition, this means that you must either bring your civil partnership to an end or convert it to a marriage before you can be issued with a full certificate.
In order to apply for a GRC you must:
Once your application has been received, it will be assigned a member of the team who may contact you for any further information or documentation needed.
Your application with then be passed to a GRP which will comprise a legal or a legal and medical panel member, depending on the type of application you are making. Applications are generally considered on the papers and the Panel may request further information or evidence from you at this stage. Once the Panel has made a decision this will be sent to you, with your GRC if you have been successful. If your application has been unsuccessful reasons will be provided by the GRP.
If you are granted a full GRC, and have a UK birth entry, the panel will send a full copy of the GRC to the relevant register office as soon as it is issued. A new entry will then be made in the Gender Recognition Register which will be used by the registrar to produce a new birth certificate for you. A free short birth certificate will then be sent to you by post together with information about how to purchase new full certificates (also showing your parents’ names).
You will also need to inform the relevant authorities and certain government departments about your change of gender – including the HMRC and any organisation that pays you a pension, benefits or tax credits.
The current law on changing gender in the UK is now widely regarded as being outdated, and we support the campaign to create a more sensible process which does not treat a wish to change legal gender as a medical or psychological disorder. We also think the spousal veto should be removed so that each individual is free to adopt their own gender identity without their spouse being able to prevent them from doing so. Find out more about this from our Blog.
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