There are currently around 1.4 million transgender individuals living in the United States. So, many states are changing their regulations and allowing individuals to change the gender on their birth certificates.
It’s vital to have an accurate birth certificate in the U.S., to accurately prove both your identity and your citizenship. Up until the last few years, transgender people were not allowed to the change the gender on their birth certificates, which of course, rendered their birth certificate inaccurate.
Fortunately, many states have updated their regulations, and some have even added a non-binary or gender neutral option.
However, since each state has their own rules, you’ll need to know the rules for your birth state before you try to change your birth certificate to accurately reflect your gender identity.
So, we’ve put together this convenient guide with everything you need to know to update the gender on your birth certificate. We’ll also show you how to order a birth certificate online, instead of going to the Vital Records Office in-person.
Which states allow you to change the gender on your birth certificate?
If you are in the process of transitioning, or you have already, almost every state currently allows you to change the gender listed on your birth certificate. It depends on your birth state’s current regulations, but you will either be issued a new birth certificate or an amended birth certificate.
In addition, some states also have a third option for intersex and non-binary individuals, offering a gender-neutral “x” option on birth certificates and other forms of ID. These states include:
However, some states still do not allow gender changes on birth certificates for any reason. These states are:
The process for applying for a gender correction on your birth certificate varies by state. You must apply for any changes in the state you were born in, so you’ll need to determine what the steps are to change your gender marker in your birth state.
Different states also have different qualifications. For example, some states will only allow you to change your birth certificate if you have had Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS). Others are more lax and offer less stringent qualifications.
Approximately half of states require you to provide proof of your SRS before you can make any gender changes to your birth certificate. In these states, you must show a court order as proof of your SRS.
SRS not required
If you live in a more flexible state, proof of an SRS is not required. So, you’ll be able to update your birth certificate with the correct gender earlier in your transition.
However, the regulations vary by state, so you may still need to provide evidence, like a medical certification, that you are transitioning
If you need to correct the gender on your birth certificate, read on for more information on these processes in each state.
Can I Also Change the Name on My Transgender Birth Certificate?
Yes, in most states you can also change the name on your birth certificate to your current name. However, it may require some additional documentation, and, some states require a court order. This is simply to help reduce the risk of fraud. This is the case with nearly every form of government-issued ID. You must provide evidence that you have legally changed your name, either through marriage, divorce, adoption, or through the courts.
To legally change your name through the court system, you must fill out a petition stating why your name needs to be changed. You can get the forms from your local court clerk. Then, you must submit the completed forms to the court clerk, along with payment for the processing fees. Finally, a judge will review your petition and determine whether or not the name change is acceptable. If it is accepted, then your change will officially be changed. However, some states have additional steps you must take. For example, in some places you may be required to take out a notice of the name change in the local paper beforehand.
Transgender Birth Certificates, ID Laws and Policies Per State
Here, we’ve provided a complete list of states that allow gender changes on your U.S. birth certificate. We’ve also indicated whether or not you will need evidence of your transition, such a court order or medical certificate, and whether you will receive a new or amended birth certificate.
However, in every state you will need to a certified copy of your birth certificate, if you don’t already have one, to include with your birth certificate amendment form when applying for a change.
Remember, you must apply with your birth state.
(Last updated: June 1st, 2020)
|Transgender birth certificates laws|
|State||Allowed||Additional documents||Type of certificate|
|Alabama||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Alaska||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Arizona||Yes||Not Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Arkansas||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|California||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Colorado||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Connecticut||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|Delaware||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|D.C.||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Florida||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Georgia||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Hawaii||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Idaho||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Illinois||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Indiana||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Iowa||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Kansas||Yes||Not available||Not available|
|Kentucky||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Louisiana||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Maine||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Maryland||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Massachusetts||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Michigan||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Minnesota||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Mississippi||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Missouri||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Montana||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|Nebraska||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Nevada||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|New Hampshire||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|New Jersey||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|New Mexico||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|New York||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|North Carolina||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|North Dakota||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Ohio||No||Not available||Not available|
|Oklahoma||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Oregon||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Rhode Island||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|South Carolina||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|South Dakota||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|Tennessee||No||Not available||Not available|
|Texas||Yes||Required||New birth certificate|
|Utah||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|Vermont||Yes||Not required||New birth certificate|
|Virginia||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Washington||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
|West Virginia||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Wisconsin||Yes||Required||Amended birth certificate|
|Wyoming||Yes||Not required||Amended birth certificate|
Documents Needed to Apply for a Gender Change on a Birth Certificate
We understand that updating your documents to accurately reflect your gender is a validating, important event. It allows you to be officially identified as the gender that you are.
So, we want to make sure that you have everything you need to apply for your birth certificate amendment. If the table above states that you need additional documentation to apply for a change, you can visit the National Center for Transgender Equality website and see exactly which documents your birth state requires.
After the gender change process is complete and your birth certificate has been amended or re-issued, you can order a certified copy of your accurate birth certificate. The application will ask if you want a short-form or long-form birth certificate.
Be sure to order the long-form, as it will have your gender information on it, and it is legally valid to use to prove your identity. So, that is the type you will need when applying to update your other ID’s, such as your driver’s license or passport.