The Gender Recognition Act 2004 created a process to enable transgender individuals to get their UK birth certificates and legal gender changed.  The Act requires applicants to have transitioned two years before a certificate is issued.  It makes no requirement for gender reassignment surgery to have taken place, although such surgery will be accepted as part of the supporting evidence for a case where it has occurred.  To obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) the transgender individual applies to the government’s Gender Recognition Panel.  (For details see our Gender Recognition Certificate section under Resources/Legal Documents).   If the individual is successful in their application, the law will recognise them as having all the rights and responsibilities appropriate to a person of their acquired gender.

The GRC is a personal document for the transgender person and is not a proof of transgender status and should never be asked for as such.  Some organisations may mistakenly believe that they are not supposed to change their records to show your new name and appropriate title (Mr, Miss, etc.) until you have obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate.  This is incorrect and in most cases would constitute discrimination.

Nobody is entitled to see or record the details of a Gender Recognition Certificate if you have one.  If someone requires proof of your legal gender then you could show them your birth certificate.  The GRC only exists for the Gender Recognition Panel to instruct the Registrar of Births to make a new entry in their register, from which a birth certificate can be drawn.  The document states clearly that it has no other purpose.

Recording sight of a GRC would automatically lead to a breach of Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act, since sight of the record by any other person would constitute an unlawful disclosure of protected information.

Officials should therefore be gently advised against making up rules involving GRCs.