Change of sex: sex and gender diverse

General: sex and gender diverse

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Addressing sexual orientation and sex and/or gender identity discrimination 2011) defines the phrase ‘sex and gender diverse’ (SGD) as referring to the whole spectrum of sex and/or gender identity. For the purposes of issuing passports, this includes ‘trans’ and ‘intersex’ persons. ‘Trans’ is a general term for a person whose preferred gender is different to their sex at birth. The term ‘intersex’ refers to a person who has genetic, hormonal or physical characteristics that are not exclusively male or female. A person who is intersex may identify as male, female or as being of indeterminate sex. An RBDM, DIAC or a medical practitioner registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority) must determine an applicant’s sex.

A passport may be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants in M (male), F (female) or X (indeterminate/unspecified/intersex).

Applications from persons who identify as sex and gender diverse and seeking a sex in their passport different to their birth sex will generally fall into two categories:

All states and territories have legislation allowing sex and gender diverse persons who have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and are not married, to apply to amend the sex on their birth certificate. RBDMs are legislatively empowered to amend a person’s birth record and may provide documentation recognising a person in a sex different to their sex at birth when evidence can be supplied that sex reassignment surgery has been completed. In relation to Australian citizens not born in Australia, DIAC is legislatively empowered to amend citizenship records in relation to a person’s sex.

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants who present an amended birth certificate, gender recognition certificate, or recognised details certificate showing that an RBDM has accepted the reassigned sex. For applicants born overseas, a gender recognition certificate, recognised details certificate, revised citizenship certificate or other evidence from DIAC may be presented.

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to sex and gender diverse applicants who are unable to, or choose not to, obtain an amended cardinal document in their new sex and can provide a statement from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) certifying that they have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for gender transition to a new gender or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth.

Applicants must meet all other normal passport requirements, including identity documents supporting their identity in the wider community.

Applicants who have an amended cardinal document

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and have registered their change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

A full validity passport in a new sex may be issued to applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and have registered their change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

In addition to meeting all other passport requirements, to be issued a full validity passport in the new sex, applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery and have registered their change of sex with an appropriate authority must provide:

Applicants seeking a passport in a non-registered sex

Applicants who have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for gender transition to a new gender and have not registered a change of sex

Sex reassignment surgery is no longer a prerequisite to issue a passport in a person’s preferred gender.

    (Cardinal documents do not need to be amended for sex and gender diverse applicants to be issued a passport in their preferred gender.)

A statement from a medical practitioner certifying that the person has had, or is receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to a new gender, or that they are intersex and do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth, is acceptable.

A full validity passport in the new sex may be issued to applicants who have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for gender transition to a new gender and have not registered their change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

To be issued a full validity passport in the new sex, applicants must provide at interview evidence from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) certifying that they have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment (including sex reassignment surgery) for transition to a new gender and specifying the new gender.

‘Appropriate clinical treatment’ is determined by the registered medical practitioner and does not have to be defined.

Note: Evidence will only be accepted from practitioners registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority). Registered medical practitioners may specialise in various medical fields including, but not limited to, surgeons, urologists, gynaecologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners. Certifications from persons not registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority) such as, but not limited to, psychologists, nurse practitioners, health practitioners and natural practitioners are not acceptable.

The evidence must be a signed original statement, on office letterhead, from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) that performed the sex reassignment surgery or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the applicant. The statement must include the following information:

See Sample text for letter for registered medical practitioner certifying the applicant’s gender change

Married applicants

Married applicants who have undergone sex reassignment surgery are not able to obtain an amended birth certificate from an RBDM, as they were married prior to sex reassignment surgery and remain married.

These applicants may provide the letter from the medical practitioner or, alternatively a statement from the relevant RBDM/Gender Reassignment Board. The statement must certify that the applicant has met all requirements for their reassigned sex of male or female to be recognised, except that they remain married.

Note: This only applies to Australian-born applicants, as DIAC will amend its records for married persons who have undergone sex reassignment surgery.

Child applicants

Child applicants who are able to meet sex and gender policy requirements (generally this will have required consent of parents) for the issue of a passport in a sex different to that appearing on their cardinal document may be issued with a passport valid for 5 years in the new sex.

Note: Normal parental consent requirements to be issued a travel document apply.

Intersex (or indeterminate sex) applicants who do not accept the sex assigned to them at birth

A full validity passport in the new sex may be issued to intersex applicants who live in a gender different to the sex appearing on their passport and are unable to or choose not to register a change of sex with RBDM or DIAC.

In addition to meeting all other passport requirements, to be issued a full validity passport in the new sex, intersex applicants must provide evidence from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) certifying that they are intersex and the gender they identify with. Applicants must also provide identity documents supporting their identity or ‘social footprint’.

Note: Evidence will only be accepted from practitioners registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority). Registered medical practitioners may specialise in various medical fields including, but not limited to, surgeons, urologists, gynaecologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners. Certifications from persons not registered with the Medical Board of Australia (or equivalent overseas authority) such as, but not limited to, psychologists, nurse practitioners, health practitioners and natural practitioners are not acceptable.

The evidence must be a signed original statement, on office letterhead, from a medical practitioner (registered with the Medical Board of Australia or equivalent overseas authority) who has treated the applicant for his/her transitioning or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the applicant. The statement must include the following information:

See Sample text of letter for registered medical practitioner certifying that an applicant is intersex

Applicants reverting to their original gender

Rare cases will occur where a person reverts to their original gender, after being issued a passport in a gender different to the gender on their first issued cardinal document. Appropriate documentation that the person has transitioned or is transitioning back to the original gender is required.

APO Information request letter to applicants regarding gender

APO Information request letter to applicants regarding gender

APO information request letter for applicants who have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition

Sample text for letter for registered medical practitioner certifying the applicant’s gender change

APO Information request letter regarding people who are intersex

APO Information request letter regarding people who are intersex

APO Information request letter for applicants who are intersex

Sample text of letter for registered medical practitioner certifying that an applicant is intersex

Waiver of fee for replacing a passport following change of name due to transitioning to the client’s preferred gender

Requests for a gratis replacement passport following a change of name as part of the transitioning process will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Any gratis replacement passport issued would have the same expiry date as the passport being replaced.

If the person has not previously had an Australian passport, the full fee is applicable when applying for a passport.

Applicants who did not receive a fee waiver at the time of application for a replacement passport may apply for a refund of the passport application fee.

All sex and gender diverse applicants who wish their passport to include a new name must provide a RBDM change of name/revised birth certificate to support the change of name. Applicants must also provide a letter from their medical practitioner confirming that they have had, or are receiving, appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition or that they are intersex.