Change of Sex Marker

Passports are valid for different lengths of time depending on whether you have completed your transition or are still in the process of transition.
 

Status of Transition Validity of Passport
You have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition from male to female or female or male*

10 years (Adult)

5 years (Child under 16)

You are in the process of getting appropriate clinical treatment for transition from male to female or female to male 2 years

*Your physician determines appropriate clinical treatment.

 

Requirements

You must apply using Form DS-11, unless you are replacing a limited-validity passport in your new sex within two years of its issuance date (see below). In addition to the regularly-required documents*, submit the following:

  1. ID that resembles your current appearance
  2. Passport photo that resembles your current appearance
  3. A medical certification that indicates you have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition to male or female, or are in the process of transition to male or female
  4. Proof of legal name change (if applicable)

*See Apply in Person for all regularly-required passport documents.

 

Medical Certification

A signed, original statement from a licensed physician must be on office letterhead and include:

  • Physician’s full name, address, and telephone number
  • Medical license or certificate number
  • Issuing state or other jurisdiction of medical license/certificate
  • Language stating that:
    • He or she has treated you, or has reviewed and evaluated your medical history
    • You have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition to male or female, or are in the process of transition to male or female
  • The statement must include, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct.”
  • Medical certification requirements are the same for a minor as an adult.

template medical certification is available for download here.

A description of specific treatments is not required in the medical certification. The certification is based on your physician's clinical assessment of your treatment. The certification meets the standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health which is recognized by the American Medical Association.

Replacing a Limited-Validity Passport

You may have received a limited-validity passport because your transition was in process at the time of your application. To replace a limited-validity passport with a full-validity passport, submit Form DS-5504 (at no additional cost). To use this form, you must apply within two years of your previous passport's issuance date, and you must have completed your transition when you apply.

Submit the following:

  • Your limited passport book
  • Passport photo that resembles your current appearance
  • medical certification indicating you have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition to male or female

If your transition is still in process two years after the issuance date of your limited-validity passport, you must submit a new Form DS-11 and satisfy the requirements for another limited-validity passport including a medical certification indicating you are in the process of transition to male or female.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have the sex on my birth certificate and/or driver’s license changed before I can get it changed on my passport?

No, your (or your child's) citizenship evidence (e.g. U.S. birth certificate) and ID do not have to show the updated sex marker, but the photo on the ID must resemble the applicant's current appearance. 

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What is "appropriate clinical treatment"?

Your physician determines what appropriate clinical treatment is according to acceptable medical practices, standards and guidelines, and certifies that you have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition to either male or female. Surgery is not a requirement to get a U.S. passport.

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Is there a specific requirement needed to get a 10-year passport vs. a 2-year passport?

Yes. The medical certification you submit must either state that you are in the process of transition (2-year passport) or have had appropriate clinical treatment for transition (10-year passport for adults, 5-year passport for children under 16). The certification must be on office letterhead from a licensed physician stating that he or she has treated you OR he or she has reviewed and evaluated your medical history. Surgery is not a requirement to get a U.S. passport. 

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Do I need to apply using Form DS-11?

Yes. The first time you are changing your sex marker in a passport, you must use Form DS-11. After that, you can renew by mail using Form DS-82, if you are eligible. Children under age 16 must use Form DS-11 and appear in-person with both parents/legal guardians when applying for a passport.  

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How do I update the sex marker on a passport for my child?

The medical certification requirements are the same for a child as they are for an adult. However, parental consent is required when the child is under age 16.

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Can my therapist, psychologist, naturopath, etc. submit a medical certification?

No, the medical certification must be from a licensed physician – either a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.). Certifications from other practitioners such as psychologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, health practitioners, licensed vocational nurses, registered nurses, chiropractors, or pharmacists are not acceptable. 

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If I get a 2-year passport, do I have to submit a new photo when I extend to a 10-year passport?

Yes. Please keep in mind that the new photo must resemble your current appearance and meet the passport photo requirements.

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If my birth certificate, driver's license, etc have already been updated to a new sex marker, do I still need a medical certification? Why?

Yes, you still need to submit a medical certification. We need this because the requirements for amending the sex marker on birth certificates and other domestic documents vary from state to state and country to country. The requirements for these documents may not satisfy the requirements for issuing a U.S. passport with a new sex marker.

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If I have a court order approving a change in my sex or gender, do I still need to obtain a medical certification from a physician? Why?

Yes, you still need to submit a medical certification for your transition to male or female. We need this because the requirements for obtaining a court order changing sex vary from state to state and country to country. The requirements may not satisfy the requirements for issuing a U.S. passport with a new sex marker.

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I followed the requirements on this page, but I got a letter requesting more information. What do I do now?

Please follow the instructions in the letter. If you have further questions, please contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-27781-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY).

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Will anyone ask me questions about my medical history besides what is stated in my medical certification?

No. No one, including acceptance agents and passport agency staff, should ask you anything regarding your medical history, other than for you to provide the required medical certification.

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Does my ID have to be in my current name?

No. Not if your name change occurred within one year of the date you submit your passport application. Your ID can be in either your current or previous name, as long as you submit a court order documenting your name change to the current name.

If your name change occurred more than one year prior to your application, you must obtain an ID in your new name before a passport may be issued.

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I had a bad customer experience. How can I complain?

To make a complaint, you can call the National Passport Information Center at 1-855-865-7755 or submit a complaint online through our Customer Survey.