1. Overview

Apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate if you want your acquired gender to be legally recognised in the UK.

There are 3 different ways (‘routes’) to get a certificate - which one you use depends on your situation.

Read the full guidance before you apply.

Standard route

Apply by the standard route if all the following are true:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria (discomfort with your birth gender) - this is also called gender identity disorder or transsexualism
  • you’ve lived in your acquired gender in the UK for at least 2 years
  • you intend to live in your acquired gender for the rest of your life

You must apply by the standard route if you live in Northern Ireland.

Alternative route

Apply by the alternative route if all the following are true:

  • you’re 18 or over
  • you’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria or had surgery to change your sexual characteristics
  • you live in England, Wales or Scotland most of the time
  • you intend to live in your acquired gender for the rest of your life
  • you’re in (or have been in) a protected marriage or protected civil partnership
  • you’ve lived in your acquired gender for at least 6 years before 10 December 2014 (16 December 2014 for Scottish marriages and civil partnerships)

A marriage or civil partnership is protected if it’s one of the following:

  • registered under the law of England and Wales
  • a marriage solemnised in Scotland
  • a civil partnership registered in Scotland
  • a marriage registered under the law of a country or territory outside the UK
  • a marriage on UK consular premises or in an armed forces base, if you elected England, Wales or Scotland as the relevant part of the UK

Overseas route

Apply by the overseas route if your acquired gender has been legally accepted in an ‘approved country or territory’ and you have documents to prove it.

Help you can get

You can get information, advice and support from a number of voluntary organisations - you can find a list on page 21 of the full guidance.

You can also contact Citizens Advice or find a legal adviser.