ID and name change
To change your name, complete an application with BC Vital Statistics Agency. They will issue you a Legal Change of Name Certificate, which you will need in order to change your name on your identification cards. All of the instructions and the application package can be found on their website.
BC identification documents
In BC, a common gender policy between the BC Services Card program, ICBC driver licensing and BCID programs, the Medical Services Plan, and the Vital Statistics Agency was announced in 2014. An amendment to the Vital Statistics Act has been passed by the BC Legislature and given Royal Assent. Gender reassignment surgery is no longer required to change gender/sex designation on BC identifications: BC birth certificates, BC Services Cards, BC Driver’s Licenses and BCID. This is a significant human rights victory for trans communities in BC.
BC birth certificates, BC services cards, BC driver’s licenses and BCID
All of the information and forms needed to change your name and/or gender on BC identification documents can be found on the BC Government Website.
Birth certificates for people born outside BC
If you were not born in BC and wish to update your birth certificate, you will need to contact the government agency responsible for issuing birth certificates wherever you were born. Gender reassignment surgery is no longer required to change gender/sex designation on identifications from Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia.
Social insurance card
To change your personal information on your Social Insurance Card, take your documents to the nearest Service Canada Office.
For a name change, bring your Birth Certificate and your Legal Change of Name Certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Agency. For gender/sex designation change, the sex/gender designation on your Birth Certificate needs to be updated first.
The Service Canada website will help you identify the documentation you need to bring to the Service Canada location. It also has instructions on how to apply by mail.
To change your name on your passport, follow the instructions on the Passport Canada website.
Proof of gender-affirming surgery may be required (from one or two doctors) in order to change gender/sex designation on a Canadian Passport.
The Canadian Passport Order states:
- Where the sex indicated in an application for a passport is not the same as that set out in that applicant’s birth certificate, the applicant may be requested to provide an explanation.
- Where an application for a passport indicates that a change of sex of the applicant has taken place, the applicant may be requested to submit a certificate from a medical practitioner to substantiate the statement.
This usually means people who want to change the sex marker on their Canadian Passport need to provide proof that they had gender-affirming surgery.
However because many Canadian jurisdictions (including BC) allow gender changes without proof of surgery, people who change the sex marker on their birth certificates first can apply to have passport gender markers changed without having to submit proof of surgery. People from jurisdictions that do not yet allow gender changes without proof of surgery cannot change the sex marker on their passport without proof of surgery. If you change the name or sex marker on your passport you will not be able to renew it- you must apply for a new passport.
Other federal documents may be changed without proof of surgery. See below.
Canadian citizenship certificate
Instructions for changing your name on your certificate can be found on this Citizenship and Immigration website.
Visit this Citizenship and Immigration Canada site for instructions on changing your gender marker on your certificate.
Permanent resident card
Visit this Citizenship and Immigration Canada site for instructions on changing your name on your Permanent Resident Card.
Instructions for changing your gender marker on your Permanent Resident Card can be found on this Citizenship and Immigration website.
Record of landing or confirmation of permanent residence
These documents are not identity documents. Therefore, they can only be amended to correct errors made by Canadian immigration officials in recording the information you provided when you applied to come to Canada.
Valid temporary resident documents
If you change the information on the passport that your temporary resident documents are attached to, you should apply for a new document. Your application must match your current passport. Documents can only be amended if they are valid (have not expired).
The following documents can be amended:
- Visitor Record
- Work Permit
- Study Permit
- Permit to Come Into or Remain in Canada
- Temporary Resident Permit
Changing gender/sex designation on federal documents
IRCC does not require proof of any sex reassignment surgery in order to amend the sex designation on documents. However, an applicant can, in order to support their request to change their sex designation, submit proof of sex reassignment surgery (partial or full) from a medical practitioner in good standing with the regulatory body under which they practice.
Applicants must submit one of the following documents:
- a legal order issued by a Canadian provincial/territorial vital statistics organization with the updated sex designation;
- a court order;
- an amended birth certificate indicating a change of sex designation;
- a statutory declaration and an accompanying letter from a physician or psychologist attesting to your gender identity; or proof of partial or full sex reassignment surgery.
You can also submit these documents to support your request, but they do not qualify as official documentary evidence:
- Driver’s license
- Health card
Your application guide has full instructions about which documents you need to provide.
If you can’t change the sex designation on your documents:
- You can use a document with the wrong sex designation, and
- Write a note and explain why you can’t update this document with the updated sex.
For more information see: How do I change my sex designation in my application or document?
For more information, please visit these sites:
THiP will update this webpage as new information regarding changing name and gender/sex designation on identification documents becomes available.
For support resources that assist in ID Change:
Transgender ID Change Clinic (QMUNITY)
QMUNITY’s Transgender ID Change Clinic provides basic notarial services for low-income transgender individuals who are applying for a legal name change and/or to change gender markers on their identification. Notarial services include witnessing statutory declarations and certifying true copies.
Time and Location: see Qmunity’s website: http://qmunity.ca/
For info: TransID@qmunity.ca (for further information and appointments outside of clinic times).
Gender Self-Determination Project (PACE)
PACE Society is excited to announce the launch of the Gender Self Determination Project. This project will assist trans* and non-binary persons in the Greater Vancouver Area with legally changing their names and gender markers on government identification.
PACE Society encourages trans* and non-binary persons living in Vancouver, Canada to contact our support services coordinator, Kenzie (604-786-5437 | email@example.com), to learn more about this new program. All calls are confidential.
Please note that PACE Society is a peer-driven Sex Worker organization, and that trans* persons who identify as Sex Workers will be prioritized.