Trans and gender diverse (TGD) persons in Victoria will be able to change the recorded sex on their birth certificates without having to undergo a sex affirmation surgery as of May 1, 2020.

In August 2019, the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament had introduced changes to the law through The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2019 (VIC). The changes come into effect on May 1, 2020.

What was the law previously?

If a person wanted to make changes to the sex recorded in the birth certificates they had to fulfill two essential criteria:

  1. They were born in Victoria or they had to show proof of having lived in Victoria for at least 12 months.
  2. They had undergone sex affirmation surgery.

How will the law change?

From May 1, 2020, it becomes easier for trans and gender diverse individuals to change their birth certificates. The new rules say:

  • Persons do not have to undergo sex affirmation surgery.
  • Persons can nominate a sex descriptor of their choice, including male, female, or any other gender diverse or non-binary descriptor.
  • A descriptor that is “obscene or offensive” is liable to be rejected.
  • Children can apply to change the sex recorded on their birth certificate, with parental support and other documents of support from a doctor, registered psychologist or another prescribed person.

The new certificate will not have your previous name or any history of the record of the change to sex.

“Overturning the current requirement for an individual to undergo sex affirmation surgery before changing their birth certificate recognises that some trans and gender diverse people are unable to, or choose not to, undergo a serious, expensive and invasive medical procedure,” the office of Attorney-General Jill Hennessy had stated in a press release last year.

“We’re proud to have been part of achieving this change, and thank the many across our community who fought hard for change and progress,” Transgender Victoria had said when the law was changed in August 2019.

Want to know more?

Check the Birth Certificate Reform Fact Sheet prepared by Transgender Victoria.



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