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U.S. Passports

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Apply For or Renew My Passport

Gender Designation Change

Passports are valid for different lengths of time depending on where you are in your gender transition.
 

Status of Gender Transition Validity of Passport
You have had appropriate clinical treatment* 10 years
You are in the process of getting appropriate clinical treatment 2 years

*Your physician determines what appropriate clinical treatment is.

 

Requirements

You must apply using Form DS-11, unless you are replacing a limited-validity passport in your correct gender (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 are in the process of or have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition
  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 a doctor/patient relationship with you
    • He or she has treated you or has reviewed and evaluated your medical history
    • You have had, or are in process of having, appropriate clinical treatment for transition to the updated gender (male or female)
  • The statement must include, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.”

template medical certification is available for download here.

 

Replacing a Limited-Validity Passport

You may have received a limited-validity passport because your gender transition was still in process. To replace a limited-validity passport for 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 issue date.

Submit the following:

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

Description of specific treatments is not required. The certification from your physician is based on his or her judgment of your treatment needs. This is in accordance with standards and recommendations of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), recognized as the authority in this field by the American Medical Association (AMA).

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

No, your citizenship evidence (e.g. U.S. birth certificate) and ID do not have to show your updated gender marker, but the photo on your ID must resemble your 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 gender 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 having appropriate clinical treatment (2-year passport) or have had appropriate clinical treatment (10-year passport) for gender transition. The certification must be on office letterhead, from a licensed physician stating that she/he has either treated you or has reviewed and evaluated your medical history, and that she/he has a doctor/patient relationship with you. 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 gender marker in a passport, you must use Form DS-11. After that, you can use Form DS-82, if you are otherwise eligible.  

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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.).

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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 all of my domestic documents have already been updated (birth certificate, driver’s license, etc.) 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 gender marker on birth certificates and other domestic documents vary from state to state.

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If I have a court order showing a legal gender change, do I still need to obtain a medical certification from a physician? Why?

Yes, you still need to submit a medical certification. We need this because the requirements for obtaining a court order changing gender vary from state to state.

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If I identify neither as male or female, can I have a passport issued with a different gender?

No, the only genders available for a passport are male and female.

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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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I had a bad customer service experience at an acceptance facility or passport agency. 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.

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

The medical certification requirements are the same for a child as they are for an adult. However, parental consent is required for all minor passport applications.

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Does my ID have to be in my current name?

No. 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.