This table was originally published as part of an article for Crikey, and has been hosted here in an effort to provide a simple and regularly updated look at the legislative landscape of gender and birth certificates.

For tips, update requests or concerns, get in touch at @lizduckchong on Twitter

Last updated 10/04/2019


State/
Territory
Administering body Surgical intervention required Fee X option available Gender optional on birth certificate Links
ACT Access Canberra No $47 - Registration; $110 - Registration and certificate Yes No Site / Application
NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Yes $127 Yes No Site / Application
NT Births, Deaths and Marriages No $46 - Registration Yes No Site / Application
QLD Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces Yes $112.50 + $48.20 certificate No No Site / Application
SA Consumer and Business Services No $99.50 Yes No Site / Application
TAS Births, Deaths and Marriages Yes $79 registration + $53.98 certificate No Yes Site / Application by contacting BDM only
WA Gender Reassignment Board No1 $49 No No Site / Application
VIC Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria Yes $107.90 No No Site / Application

1. Official documentation misleadingly still states that you must have undergone reassignment surgery, despite this having been successfully challeneged and overturned by the High Court in 2011


Legislative/Legal history

2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2014 - 2013 - 2011

5 April 2019 - TAS

  • Tasmania to be first Australian jurisdiction to make gender markers optional on birth certificates
  • ""For transgender and gender diverse Tasmanians they can actually get, without stupid barriers, identity documents that actually match who they are as people in the world," [Martine Delaney[] said." - ABC News

    29 November 2018 - NT

  • Surgical intervention optional for birth certificate changes
  • X markers possible
  • "The laws, which are likely to be passed through parliament on Thursday, will allow people to identify as non-binary on their birth certificate, acknowledge intersex on birth certificates and allow transgender people to change the sex listed on their birth certificate without them having undergone any gender reassignment surgery. Instead, they will be asked to have undergone "appropriate medical treatment", which will likely be psychological support." - ABC News

    9 December 2017 - National

    Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 (December 2017)

  • Same sex marriage legal in Australia
  • Requirement that all states remove forced divorce laws within 12 months
  • "When the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 passed in December last year, with it came a repeal of the state and territory exemption in the Sex Discrimination Act — essentially, the legislation that allows states to uphold compulsory divorce for transgender Australians wanting to change their birth certificate. Ostensibly, this seems like great news for trans Australians as it means it will officially become unlawful to refuse a change of sex on one’s birth certificate based on their marital status. There’s a catch, though: states and territories have been given 12 months to update their laws concerning compulsory divorce." - Crikey

    23 May 2017 - SA

    Births, Deaths and Marriages (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill 2016

  • People aged over 18 will no longer need to apply to the court to change sex or gender identity.
  • Surgical intervention optional for birth certificate changes
  • X markers possible
  • "Under the current Act, people wishing to change the registered gender on their birth certificate have to show proof of surgery and/or hormone treatment and make an application to a Magistrate. The changes will mean they need only a declaration from a medical professional confirming that they are receiving or have received “appropriate clinical treatment”, which might include counselling. The Bill means new birth certificates will also show only the altered record of sex or gender identity, and not the fact that this has been changed." - In Daily

    2 April 2014 - NSW

  • High Court declares "not all human beings can be classified by sex as either male or female"
  • "When the case was heard in the High Court last month, counsel for the Registrar had argued that the acceptance of more than two categories of sex would cause unacceptable confusion. But the judges rejected this argument. "For the most part, the sex of the individuals concerned is irrelevant to legal relations,'' their judgment says. - The Sydney Morning Herald

    20 March 2014 - ACT

    Births, Deaths and Marriages Amendment Act 2014

  • Surgical intervention optional for birth certificate changes
  • X markers possible
  • "...the new laws will allow someone to identify as male, female or ''X'', without surgery. All they need is for a doctor or psychologist to certify they have received ''appropriate clinical treatment'' - which is deliberately not defined, leaving it to the doctor or psychologist." - Canberra Times

    March 2013 - ACT

    Publication of Beyond the Binary: legal recognition of sex and gender diversity in the ACT - link

    6 October 2011- WA

  • WA High Court rules surgery not required to change one's birth certificate
  • "The Court of Appeal ruled the two transsexual men could not have their genders re-assigned because they did not have the genital and reproductive characteristics of a male and had kept nearly all of the normal external genitals and internal reproductive organs of a female. The ruling effectively meant the pair would have to undergo the dangerous penis constructive surgery, which is not available in Australia, in order to obtain the certificate. But today the five judges of the High Court unanimously upheld their appeal against the decisions of the WA Court of Appeal." - Perth Now