Apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate if you want your affirmed gender (sometimes called an ‘acquired gender’) to be legally recognised in the UK.
Having a certificate means you can:
- update your birth or adoption certificate, if it was registered in the UK
- get married or form a civil partnership in your affirmed gender
- update your marriage or civil partnership certificate, if it was registered in the UK
- have your affirmed gender on your death certificate when you die
It will not change your legal status as the father or mother of a child.
You do not need a certificate to:
- update your driving licence
- update your passport
- update your medical records, employments records or your bank account
You can only apply to be recognised as male or female. Non-binary genders are not legally recognised in the UK.
If you’re intersex or have a variation in sexual characteristics
You may not need a Gender Recognition Certificate to correct your birth certificate. Contact the General Register Office to find out what you need to do.
What to think about before applying
Benefits and pensions
Your entitlement to some benefits and pensions may change based on your affirmed gender.
If you’re married or in a civil partnership, your partner’s entitlement to your pension if you die may also change.
To find out what might change, speak to:
- the office that manages your benefits, if you get these
- any private pension providers you have
- the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Gender Recognition Team, for questions about your State Pension
Changing your name
You cannot update the name on your certificate after it’s been issued.
If you want a new name on your certificate, you’ll need to change your name before you apply.
If you do change your name afterwards, the certificate will still be valid.
If you’re currently married or in a civil partnership
When you apply for a certificate, if you want to stay married or in a civil partnership then your partner will need to sign a document to agree to that.
You can still apply even if your partner refuses to sign the document or you want to end your marriage or civil partnership. If your application is successful you’ll get an ‘interim certificate’.
You can only use your interim certificate to end your marriage or civil partnership.
You’ll have 6 months to apply for an annulment, divorce or dissolution from when you get your interim certificate.
You can get a full certificate once you’re no longer married or in a civil partnership.
It costs £5 to apply. You might be able to get help paying the fee if you get benefits or are on a low income.
If your application is unsuccessful, you cannot get a refund.
You’ll usually need to pay additional costs when preparing your application, depending on what documents you need to provide.
What happens if you apply
The Gender Recognition Panel will look at your application. This panel is made up of people with legal or medical qualifications.
The panel will decide whether the application meets all the legal requirements.
The panel will usually look at your application within 22 weeks of applying. They may ask you for more information before they can make a decision.
If you need help with your application
You can contact the Gender Recognition Panel admin team.
If you need more help, you can:
If you have comments or questions about the law on gender recognition, contact the Cabinet Office.
Get help in Welsh
Contact the Welsh Language Helpline to apply in Welsh or get support with your application.