New York birth certificate change for transgender women

Disclaimer: This is legal talk, not legal advice. Laws vary by state, and some of the information discussed on this page may not be applicable in your case. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information and provide it without warranty. Laws change and this information may contain errors and omissions. It is up to you to confirm any information herein by doing your own research.

Some women have had troubles in New York, so plan carefully!

In April 2006 a reader sent the following:

Recently I've had GRS and was able to fix my birth certificate (for legal name and sex) in New York State. I was born in Buffalo, New York and this information does not apply to those born in New York City!

The steps I had to take to change my birth certificate are as follows:

Nowhere on the NYS DOH website[1] is there information on how to change the birth certificate for any reason. I had to email[2] the DOH for information.

The response I received [attached as .txt file "Email Response.txt"] indicated the necessary pieces of information that I had to provide, but it didn't include the necessary application form. I replied to the email and eventually had them mail it to me since it is apparently not available online. I scanned the application and will attach it to this email as an image file. Note: Do not assume they are official, they may change. Also attached is the cover letter from the Department of Health.

The turnaround is about three months. No fees were necessary, I received the certified copy of my name change but no supporting GRS documentation.

I hope this information can help with native New Yorkers! It was a nightmare to get all the information but it's done.

I apologise for the large attachment sizes, but I wanted quality in them!

1: www.health.state.ny.us
2: dohweb@health.state.ny.us

Emailed response

If you were born in New York City, the New York State Department of Health cannot assist you, your birth certificate is on file and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Health. In that case contact the New York City Department of Health. They have a web site at http://www.nyc.gov/health

If you were born elsewhere in New York State, submit the following documents to the New York State Department of Health:

1. To change a name on a birth certificate filed in New York State outside of New York City, a court order is required. The order must bear the court seal and be certified by the clerk of the court. Include certified proof of publication if required in your jurisdiction. Please be sure the order includes the following information needed to identify the individual named on the birth certificate: original name, date and place of birth.

2. Statement(s) signed by the surgeon(s) specifying date, place and type of procedure. Note in cases of female to male gender reassignment the statement(s) must demonstrate proof of bilateral mastectomy and total hysterectomy.

3. Surgical report(s) made in the operating room describing in detail all procedures performed on the applicant. Note in cases of female to male gender reassignment the statement(s) must demonstrate proof of bilateral mastectomy and total hysterectomy.

4. Psychological report documenting true transsexualism, inappropriate sexual identification or that you satisfy the Harry Benjamin Society transsexual criteria.

5. Other medical reports concerning hormonal, chromosomal or endocrinological information provided by a physician.

6. Completed correction application signed by the individual named on the birth certificate. We will mail an application form to you.

As soon as all documentation is provided, it is submitted for legal and medical review. Processing takes approximately three months. One certified copy will be provided following the amendment, any additional copies are $30 each.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Please note: Forms are provided for informational purposes only. Please confirm with the Department of Health that you are using the most up-to-date forms.

New York State law

Precedent for transsexuals

[no specific case noted]