State Requirements for Changing Gender on a Birth Certificate

Changing the gender designation on a birth certificate may be an important step for a transgender person so that personal legal documents accurately reflect the gender they identify with. However, state Vital Statistics' rules for switching gender markers on birth certificates (and whether that is even possible) varies from state to state. In order to change the gender on a birth certificate, an application to change the gender is made with the state Vital Statistics office (or the equivalent therof). In addition, the following rules (or a combination thereof) may apply, depending on the state you were born in:

  • Gender Reassignment Surgery
  • Affidavit from a Physician verifying Gender Reassignment Surgery
  • A Court Order
  • Affidavits Regarding Gender Identity

States That Do Not Allow Gender Changes on Birth Certificates (yet)

The following states do not allow any requests for gender changes on birth certificates. However, legislation and/or lawsuits have been introduced or filed in these states, so this may change soon:

  • Kansas
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee

Gender Reassignment Surgery

The following states require gender reassignment surgery to have taken place before the gender on a birth certificate can be changed. Those states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Affidavit from a Physician that Gender Assignment Surgery Has Taken Place

Some states require a notarized affidavit from a physician indicating that a person has undergone a sex change operation, or has a chromosomal count that establishes the sex of the person as different than what is listed on the original birth certificate.

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota

A Court Order

Some states require you to submit a Petition to the court, along with documentation of gender reassignment surgery, along with a filing fee. Once the judge has reviewed the petition and supporting documentation, the judge will sign an Order. This signed Order is what is required to change the gender on a birth certificate in these states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Indiana
  • Lousiana
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia

States that Require BOTH a Court Order and a Statement/Affidavit from a Physician

  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

States that Require Either a Court Order OR a Statement/Affidavit from a Physician

  • Minnesota
  • West Virginia

States That Require Affidavits Only

  • Idaho
  • Nevada

Individuals in Idaho need to complete an Application to Change the Indicator of Sex on An Idaho Birth Certificate to Reflect Gender Identity, which includes an Affidavit section that needs to be signed in front of a notary public.

Individuals in Nevada only need two affidavits: 1) their own affidavit stating the gender they identify with and that gender should match accordingly on their birth certificate, and 2) an affidavit from anyone who has personal knowledge of that individualÕs gender identity and can confirm the information in their personal affidavit. The affidavits can confirm medical intervention (gender reassignment surgery or hormone therapy) but is not required.

States that Only Require Birth Certificate Gender Change Applications

The following states only require applications to be filed with the state Vital Statistics office, and do not require gender reassignment surgery, court orders, physician affidavits, or any other affidavits:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

States That Allow Gender Marker "X"

In addition to choosing "male" or "female",the following cities/states allow an individual to choose the option "X" on their new birth certificate:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • New Jersey
  • New York City

Gender marker "X" generally refers to a gender that is not exclusively male or female, including, but not limited to: intersex, agender, amalgagender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, female-to-male, genderfluid, genderqueer, male-to-female, neutrois, nonbinary, pangender, third sex, transgender, transsexual, Two Spirit, and unspecified.

Note: Some states also require proof your name has been changed in order to change the gender on your birth certificate. You should check with your state's Vital Statistics office, as changing your name is an entirely separate process.