How to change your gender status on formal documents in Queensland
Last updated 3 February 2021
Last updated 3 February 2021
This resource is for trans and gender diverse young people and their families in Queensland.
This fact sheet answers some common questions trans and gender diverse young people, and their families, have about self-identification on formal documents.
Choices around self-identification should be respected. By reading this resource you will get a better understanding of the options in Queensland.
In most formal documents, yes. However different documents have different requirements and different gender identity options.
Unfortunately some trans and gender diverse people may have limited ability to change their gender status on some formal documents.
The steps for applying to change your gender status on formal documents differs depending on whether the document you would like to change is issued by:
1. a state or territory government organisation
2. a federal government organisation
See how you can change key documents below.
Birth certificates are issued and regulated at a state and territory level. This means that the approach to changing your birth certificate to match your gender identity will be different depending on which state or territory your certificate was issued in. In Queensland, this is managed by the Queensland Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
However, there is a general requirement that a clinical treatment of some kind must have occurred in order to change the legal sex on your birth certificate. Unfortunately, in some states and territories (including Qld), this still means that trans and gender diverse people are required to undergo gender affirming surgery.
In Queensland, you can only apply to note your ‘sex change’ on your birth certificate. Your new birth certificate will not state that your gender has changed, it will only show your gender after “sexual reassignment” surgery and state that your birth has been re-registered.
a) for the purpose of assisting a person to be considered to be a member of the opposite sex; or
b) to correct or eliminate ambiguities relating to the sex of the person
You can apply by post or in person by:
See ‘Where to Get Help and Information’ for more details.
You can change your gender on federal formal documents or records by applying to the agency that looks after the document or record that you want to change.
There are Australian Government Guidelines on recognising gender (see the link further below under ‘Where to Get Help and Information’). This means that:
Under the Australian Government Guidelines, you need to provide one of the following with your request for a change of your recorded gender:
You do not need to have had surgery and/or hormone therapy for the recognition of a change of gender in federal government records. This means that even though you may not have any related medical procedures, you can still apply to correct the gender information recorded on your personal record. See the Australian Government Guidelines.
|Document||Department||What you need to do|
|Your Medicare card||Services Australia||Attend a Medicare Service Centre in person and provide one of the above documents outlined in the Australian Government Guidelines|
|Your Centrelink file||Services Australia||Attend a Centrelink Service Centre in person and provide one of the above documents outlined in the Australian Government Guidelines|
|Your passport||Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade||
For both a new passport and/or to change your gender on an existing passport, you need to start the application process online and then print it for lodgement.
For this application, you must also provide one of the documents outlined in the Australian Government Guidelines.
If you are in the process of transitioning, you can provide a statement from a registered medical practitioner or psychologist that you have had or are receiving appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. This should be provided on DFAT’s ‘Declaration: sex/gender of passport applicant form’.
No. The different departments may have different application forms and therefore varied outcomes around changing your gender identification.
Services Australia can update your gender as male or female on their personal records system. If you identify as non-binary, they can only add a note on your personal record about this. You can also tell them you prefer not to use a courtesy title such as Miss, Mr or Ms.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides for the recognition of your gender as M (male), F (female), or X (indeterminate/intersex/unspecified) on your passport. However, the Department notes that those travelling with a passport showing ‘X’ may encounter difficulties when crossing borders due to its infrequent use. In more conservative countries or areas you may become the focus of unwanted attention.
The steps involved with changing your driver’s licence will vary depending on the state or territory that you live in.
In Qld, you will need to visit a Qld Transport and Main Roads customer service centre and provide:
‘This is to certify that (new name), (new sex), formerly known as (previous name), (previous sex), has been undergoing treatment on a gender re-assignment program and should now be regarded as permanently (new sex)’
Visit the Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender.
The Department of Justice and General-Attorney provides guidance on what constitutes a statutory declaration in Qld.
The Department of Foreign Affairs offers travel advice for LGBTI travellers on its Smart Traveller website.
For more information on changing your gender on your driver’s licence.
Parents of Gender Diverse Children provides peer support nationally to parents and those parenting trans and gender diverse children. To access their resources or make an enquiry, visit their website.
The Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland offers a wide range of services to people with gender issues, their partners, family members and friends in Queensland. This includes assistance with changing gender status. To find out more, contact the centre via their website or call (02) 9569 2366.
The LGBTI Legal Service offers free and confidential legal advice to Queensland residents who identify as members of the diverse LGBTIQ+ community. To see if they can help with your type of legal issue, telephone Client Services on (07) 3124 7160 or visit their website.
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This resource was last updated on 3 February 2021. This is legal information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should always contact a lawyer for advice specific to your situation. Please view our disclaimer for more information.