B.C. no longer requires medical confirmation to update gender on ID

B.C. no longer requires medical confirmation to update gender on ID
Image courtesy of B.C. government.
An example of a B.C.'s driver's license with an X gender marker.

People looking to update the gender on their identification issued by the Province of British Columbia no longer need confirmation from a medical professional.

Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, says this change is to allow trans and non-binary people to change their ID more easily.

“Each person knows their own gender best. We need to hear from people about who they are, and that is all the confirmation as government that we need to treat people with respect and dignity and that is why we are taking this action,” Lore said.

“Those wanting to correct their gender on ID can complete an application for change of gender designation, which includes a self-declaration section.”

She says youth under the age of 19 will still need to provide proof of parentage or guardianship.

This change applies to people looking to change their gender on B.C. Services Card, B.C. driver’s license, B.C. ID and B.C. birth certificates.

Lore said in 2018, B.C. was the first province to offer lower body gender-affirming surgery, and the province has completed 641 breast and chest gender-affirming surgeries in 2020 and 2021.

READ MORE: Gender-affirming lower surgeries available in B.C. next year, province announces

She says today’s announcement builds on the change allowing for an X gender marker on ID.

In B.C., there are three gender options for ID, F for female, M for male, or X for non-binary.

Before this, confirmation from a doctor or psychologist was needed to have gender updated on government ID.

Adrienne Smith from the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre says this change will make it easier for people to have ID that reflects their gender.

“This change removes a barrier and it shows that government has been listening to our community. It also frees up important healthcare resources by moving physicians away from filling out forms and into providing health care,” Smith said.

“Having physicians involved in the process of updating identity is a relic from the past when governments did not believe what trans people were saying and we needed a physician to confirm who we said we are. Finally there is a process which is going to be easy.”

Lore said in B.C. it is estimated that 46,000 people identify as trans or gender diverse.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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