Legal name change

Changing your name can be a really important step in affirming your gender. There is a bit of a process (and a small cost) but it is relatively easy. Each state and territory has a different process, so if you were born interstate, you’ll need to apply through the registry of that state or territory. Unfortunately, if you are under the age of 18, your parents are the only people who can apply for your legal name change. This doesn’t mean that you can’t start using your preferred name before then though!

If you are over 18 you can apply through the SA Government’s Births, Deaths, and Marriages department website by providing some ID and explaining the reason for your name change in your application. Being transgender is a completely valid reason for a name change and your application will not be denied on this basis (in the unlikely event that it is, you have grounds to make a complaint under the Equal Opportunity Act).

Visit the SA Government Births, Deaths, and Marriages website or TransHealth SA website for more information.

Legal gender change
(birth certificate)

There are actually two ways you can change your gender so that it is legally recognised. Changing your birth certificate can be a bit of a lengthy process, but basically you need to have the support from a registered doctor or psychologist who you’ve seen for clinical treatment at least three times. Your doctor or psychologist will need to write a statement about the treatment you’ve received and then you’ll fill out an application form and pay a fee. As with changing your name, if you are under the age of 18 you’ll also need permission from your parents or legal guardians.

You can also get your gender recognised on government documents without the need for evidence of medical treatment. This means you can change documents such as your Medicare, Centrelink, school, TAFE, Uni, driver’s license – pretty much everything except your Birth Certificate and passport. Again, you’ll need the support from your parents or guardian
if you’re under 18, and a statement from your doctor or registered psychologist, regardless of age. Sex reassignment surgery and/or hormone therapy are NOT a prerequisite for amendments to government documents.