Florida to Amend Birth Certificate Gender Marker Change Requirements
Thanks to a collaborative effort by Equality Florida, Southern Legal Counsel, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Florida Department of Health agreed to amend their outdated and inconsistent policy for amending the sex designation on a Florida birth certificate.
The practice of requiring proof of "sexual reassignment surgery" has ceased, and the Department of Health now accepts letters from medical providers asserting that the individual has undergone "appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.” This is consistent with the policies of the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, and the US Passport Agency.
“Being able to easily and efficiently change any or all of your personal identification documents should be the right of every transgender Floridian who wants to take those important steps,” said Gina Duncan, Director of Transgender Equality. “Equality Florida is proud to be a collaborative partner with state and national organizations that are working every day to improve rights and protections for the transgender community in the Sunshine State.”
The information found at floridanamechange.org and at TransAction Florida’s Transgender Resource Guide, provide a step by step process for changing one’s personal identification documents, with efficiency and without stress. This is an important step forward for the transgender community in Florida.
“While the new practice has not yet been codified or formally reduced to writing, the General Counsel for the Department of Health, Nichole Geary, has assured us that no one will be denied an accurate birth certificate due to not having had sexual reassignment surgery," said Simone Chriss, Staff Attorney with Southern Legal Counsel.
“Changing one’s legal identification documents should be an affordable and stress free process. Required documentation should also be consistent with changing your driver’s license or changing your birth certificate,” added Duncan.
For a link to the sample letter that the Department of Health will accept as proof of gender transition, which is created based on the language agreed upon by the Department of Health, click here.
Equality Florida launched its transgender inclusion initiative, TransAction Florida, in 2014. TransAction’s focus on public policy initiatives, statewide advocacy and a broad based education capability, have increased visibility, and awareness of the needs of the transgender community in Florida.