Changing passports

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Changing passports may entail changing the name and/or the gender marker.

United States

The exact process in which to change the name or gender marker on your U.S. passport, depends on when it was issued. If your passport was issued over 15 years ago you must apply for a new passport.[1][2]

Current policy[3] regarding gender difference from one's identity documents and the applied passport state that an applicant may request a passport in his or her preferred gender upon submission of certification from a licensed physician stating that "the applicant has undergone appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition".

If transition is in progress as opposed to completed, the gender marker may be changed with a statement by a physician stating that the applicant is in the process of gender transition. You will be issued a "Limited Validity Passport" and will have to renew it or submit a physician statement of completed transition.

Important: Such licensed physicians include Medical Doctors (M.D.) and Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.). The physicians may specialize in various medical fields, including, but not limited to, internists, endocrinologists, gynecologists, urologists, surgeons, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and family practitioners. Statements from persons who are not licensed physicians, such as psychologists, nurse practitioners, health practitioners, chiropractors, and pharmacists, are not acceptable.

While not official policy as of September, 2018, there is indication the State Department under President Trump intends to revert passport policy back to the surgically focused pre-2010 policy. This would undermine other attempts to remove undue burden, especially with trans persons who have few other ways to obtain documentation in their gender identity[4].

The statement must include the following information (See 7 FAM 1300 Appendix M Exhibit 1):
(a) Physician’s full name;
(b) Medical license or certificate number;
(c) Issuing state, country, or other jurisdiction of medical license/certificate;
(d) Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number assigned to the doctor or comparable foreign registration number, if applicable;

(i) If the U.S.-based licensed physician does not provide a DEA number, you must request that this be provided in a new statement. If the statement with the DEA number is not provided after an appropriate period of time (generally 90 days), the application must be denied.
(ii) Licensed physicians in foreign countries might not have a DEA number, but might have a comparable foreign registration number. For all foreign licensed physician gender change requests, domestic passport agencies/centers must scan copies of the application and attach all submitted documents to Passport Services’ Adjudication Policy Division (CA/PPT/S/A/AP). CA/PPT/S/A/AP works with the Overseas Citizens Services’ Office of Legal Affairs (CA/OCS/L) to verify the bona fides of the foreign physician with the applicable post abroad.
(iii)Posts must verify their own foreign-based licensed physicians or, if the statement is from a physician in another country, contact the post which covers that country for verification.

(e) Address and telephone number of the physician;
(f) Language stating that he/she has treated the applicant or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the applicant and that he/she has a doctor/patient relationship with the applicant;
(g) Language stating the applicant has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender of either male or female; and
(h) Language stating “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.”


An example:

Licensed Physician’s Letterhead
(Physician’s Address and Telephone Number)

I, (physician’s full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), (issuing U.S. State/Foreign Country of medical license/certificate), (DEA Registration number or comparable foreign designation), am the physician of (name of patient), with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whom I have treated (or with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated).

(Name of patient) has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).
Or
(Name of patient) is in the process of gender transition to the new gender (specify new gender male or female).

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.
Signature of Physician
Typed Name of Physician
Date


Applying for a new passport

To apply for a new passport, you must present in person at a passport agency (commonly at a DMV branch):

  • Form DS-11, "Application for a U.S. Passport", [5]
  • Two recent passport-quality photographs (2" x 2")
  • A valid state issued ID
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate
  • A certified copy of your name change court decree (if your present ID does not match your legal name)
  • An affidavit from a physician that transition is either in progress or completed (when changing gender marker)
  • An application fee ($110 for 16+ persons, $80 for persons 15 and under, a separate fee of $25 goes towards the agency processing the application; the agency fee may be needed to be paid in cash while the DoS requires a certified check or money order)

Modifying and renewing a passport issued less than two years ago

When renewing a passport less than one year old (or two for "ongoing gender transition") or one that is limited validity, you must mail off:

Modifying and renewing a passport issued more than two years ago

When renewing a passport more than one year old (or two for "ongoing gender transition"), you must mail off:

  • Form DS-82, "Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail", or via Online form
  • Your current passport
  • Two recent passport-quality photographs (2" x 2")
  • A certified copy of your name change court decree (when changing name)
  • An affidavit from a physician that transition is either in progress or completed (when changing gender marker)
  • An application fee ($110). The $25 Execution Fee is not required with the Form DS-82.

South Africa

South Africa requires the applicant be on hormone therapy. Likely required is a physician statement regarding the person transitioning. More details are at ones local Department of Home Affairs office.[6]


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