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Gender recognition

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 created a process to enable trans people to change their sex recorded on their UK birth certificates.  At least two years after they have socially transitioned and changed their gender on other official documents, a trans person can apply to the UK Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate. 

Standard gender recognition application process

To apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate under the standard application process, a trans person needs to demonstrate that:

  • They are at least 18 years old;
  • They have lived fully for the last two years in their acquired gender and that they intend to live permanently in their acquired gender for the rest of their life;
  • They have, or have had, gender dysphoria.  They are required to provide two medical reports (one from their GP and one from their Gender Specialist) confirming the diagnosis and detailing any transition-related medical treatment (such as psychological counselling, hormones and/or surgical procedures) that they have received.  It is not necessary for the person to have undergone any hormones or surgery but if they haven’t then one of the reports should indicate whether they are waiting for any procedures or give a reason for the person deciding not to take hormones or not to undergo particular surgical procedures.

Overseas gender recognition application process

To apply for UK Gender Recognition under the overseas application process, a trans person needs to demonstrate that they are at least 18 years old and that they are already legally recognised as their acquired gender in a country or territory that is on the Gender Recognition Panel’s approved list.

More information

Full information about the application procedures, detailed guidance on the legal effects of Gender Recognition, and application forms are available from the Gender Recognition Panel website.

If you are struggling with the gender recognition application process, you can contact us for assistance.

We are currently campaigning for the process of getting legal gender recognition to be made easier. You can find out more about our Equal Recognition Campaign at www.equalrecognition.scot

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Scottish Trans is part of the Equality Network