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Why is this important? The information we provide differs between countries. To get information for your country, please select from the dropdown.

I've changed gender - can it be recognised by law?

If you are a transgender person, you can apply for a certificate called a gender recognition certificate. This will allow you to be legally recognised in your acquired gender.

In order to qualify for a gender recognition certificate, you must meet certain conditions. You need to complete an application form, provide medical evidence, and evidence that you have lived in your acquired gender for at least two years. There is also a fee, although this may be waived or reduced in some circumstances.

Once you have a gender recognition certificate, you can get a new birth certificate reflecting your acquired gender. Someone looking at this will not be able to tell that you have legally acquired a different gender.

You are allowed to marry someone in your acquired gender or to form a civil partnership.

In England and Wales from 10 December 2014 (16 December in Scotland), you can apply for a gender recognition certificate while married if your spouse agrees. In Scotland, even if your spouse doesn’t want to remain in the marriage, it is possible for you to apply for a full gender recognition certificate without having to end your marriage first. If you are in a civil partnership, you cannot apply for a full gender recognition certificate unless you convert your civil partnership to a marriage.

In Northern Ireland, to receive a full gender recognition certificate, a transgender person must be unmarried and not in a UK civil partnership. If you are already married or in a civil partnership when you apply for a gender recognition certificate, you'll have to end the marriage or civil partnership.

There are many implications of getting a gender recognition certificate and there are many things you should consider before taking this step.

You can find more information and an application form for a gender recognition certificate on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.

Other Frequently asked questions about family matters: