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 08/03/2023

Administering body Surgical intervention required Fee X option available Gender optional on birth certificate Links
ACT Access Canberra No1 $117 - Registration and certificate Yes No Site / Application
NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Yes $135 Yes No Site / Application
NT Births, Deaths and Marriages No $49 - Registration Yes No Site / Application
QLD Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces Yes2 $122 + $52.60 certificate No No Site / Application
SA Consumer and Business Services No $115 Yes No Site / Application
TAS Births, Deaths and Marriages No $205.70 registration + $58.25 certificate Yes Yes Site / Application
WA Gender Reassignment Board & The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 3 No $40 application + $53 certificate No No GRB Application♱ / Registry site
VIC Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria No $131.50 Yes4 No Site / Application♱

Online application is available

1. While having undergone surgical affirmation is not required, a statutory declaration from a doctor or psychologist supporting the change is required.

2. You are still required to have a statutory declaration signed by two doctors confirming surgery.

3. In Western Australia you are required to lodge a change of gender/sex to the Gender Reassignment Board, and once successful to apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for an updated certificate.

4. The gender field is write-in for this form, rather than a tick box.

Legislative/Legal history

2023 - 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2014 - 2013 - 2011

30 Jan 2023 - QLD

  • Legislation has been introduced to change Queensland's birth certificate laws.
  • This would allow trans and gender diverse people in Queensland to change the sex/gender on their birth certificate without requiring surgery.
  • "Under the draft laws, a person wanting to formally register a change of sex would need a supporting statement from someone who has known them for at least 12 months. No surgery would be required. " - SBS

    1 May 2020 - VIC

    "Trans and gender-diverse Victorians now have the freedom to choose the gender shown on their birth certificates without reassignment surgery." - SBS

    2020 - ACT

  • People 12-17 in the ACT can apply to change their given names and/or sex, without parental consent for 16-17 year olds.
  • Eligibility if you were born in the ACT or were born in another state/territory and have lived in the ACT for 3+ months.
  • "You can only apply to change your given names. This means your first and middle names, but not your surname. The change must be made to better reflect your gender identity and not because you just don’t like your current name." - Access Canberra

    27 August 2019 - VIC

    Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2019

  • Bill to allow TGD people to change sex on birth certificate passes in Victoria
  • Requires statutory declaration
  • Bill allows for male, female or a descriptor of their choice
  • "The bill requires the person making the application to make a statutory declaration when nominating the sex to be recorded, and must include a statement from an adult who has known them for 12 months or more who believes the application is being made in good faith and supports the change." - The Guardian

    10 April 2019 - TAS

    Justice and Related Legislation (Marriage Amendments) Bill 2018

  • Tasmania to be first Australian jurisdiction to make gender markers optional on birth certificates
  • Allows people aged 16 or over to change registered gender without parental approval
  • ""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

    December 2016 - 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

    2011 - National

  • DFAT introduces new guldeines making affirming passports available with a letter of support from a doctor.
  • "People will be able to choose what gender they want to be listed as on new Australian passports, even if they have not undergone a sex change." - ABC News

    1986 - National

  • Transgender woman Estelle Asmodelle won the right to amend her birth certificate to her affirmed gender.
  • This was achieved after a long lobbying campaign, and may be the first example of a trans person in Australia changing their birth certificate.