Some transgender people make or want to make legal changes as part of their transition, like by changing their name or updating the gender marker on their identity documents.
Not all transgender people need or want to change their identity documents, but for many, it’s a critical step in their transition. For many transgender people, not having identity documents like driver’s licenses or passports that match their gender means that they might not be able to do things that require an ID, like getting a job, enrolling in school, opening a bank account, or traveling. Some transgender people who use an ID that doesn’t match their gender or their presentation face harassment, humiliation, and even violence.
Transgender people may need to change a number of documents in order to live according to their gender identity, such as their:
- Driver’s license
- Social Security card
- Bank accounts and records
- Credit cards
- Paychecks and other job-related documents
- Medical records
- Birth certificate
- Academic records