DOS Announces New Gender Marker & Self-Selection for Passports, CRBAs

The Department of State announced that passport applicants can now self-select their gender, without providing medical documentation if their gender identity doesn’t match their birth certificate or other documents. The DOS also stated that the Department is evaluating how to add an additional “gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or CRBA” and notes that the “process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is technologically complex and will take time for extensive systems updates.  The Department will also be working closely with its interagency partners to ensure as smooth a travel experience as possible for the passport holder.”

Department of State Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Selecting Your Gender Marker & Passport Applications

How do I apply for my first passport or replace my full-validity passport?

If you are applying for your first passport, or if you already have a full-validity passport, use Form DS-11 and select “M” or “F” for your gender. You do not need to provide a medical certification or physician’s letter, even if the gender you select on Form DS-11 does not match the gender on your previous passport or other documents. Follow the steps listed on our Apply in Person page. Please note: we are in the process of updating our Form Filler and Form Eligibility Wizard tools to incorporate these changes. Please download your form and complete it by hand in black ink.

How do I replace my limited-validity passport?

Under our previous passport policies, if you were in the process of transitioning to a new gender when you applied for your passport, you may have received alimited-validity passport. We no longer require medical certification or a physician’s letter as evidence of a gender transition. You can now self-select your gender on your passport form, and you are eligible to apply for a full-validity passport.

To replace a limited-validity passport with a full-validity passport, submit Form DS-5504. To use this form, you must apply within two years of your previous passport’s issuance date. You do not have to pay fees unless you are requesting optional expedited service. If your limited-validity passport was issued more than two years ago, please use Form DS-11 and follow the steps on our Apply In Person page.

Please note: we are in the process of updating our form Filler and Form Eligibility Wizard tools to incorporate these changes. Please download your form and complete it by hand in black ink.

Why is the Department of State making this change?

We are committed to promoting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all people – including LGBTQI+ persons.

We are taking further steps toward demonstrating this commitment to better serve all U.S. citizens, regardless of their gender or sex. You can now self-select the binary gender you want printed on your U.S. passport. We are also beginning the process of updating our procedures for the issuance of U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) with a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons. We will post updates on this webpage when that gender marker is available. You cannot apply for a passport with a non-binary, intersex, or gender non-conforming gender marker at this time.

What does it mean to self-certify or self-select my gender?

It means you can select the gender you would like us to print on your U.S. passport by simply checking “M” or “F”. You no longer need to provide medical certification or a physician’s letter when applying for a U.S. passport in a gender that does not match the gender on your citizenship evidence or photo ID.

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, the gender on your citizenship evidence and photo ID does not have to match the gender you select on your passport application. However, the photo you submit with your passport application must look similar to the photo on your ID. Learn more about Passport Photos before you apply.

Do I need to apply using Form DS-11?

Yes. The first time you are changing your gender in your U.S. passport, you must use the Form DS-11. When you renew your passport, if the gender you are requesting matches the gender on your previous passport, you can use Form DS-82. Children under age 16 must always apply using Form DS-11 and appear in-person with both parents or legal guardians.

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

The requirements to update your child’s gender are the same as the requirements for an adult. Both parents or legal guardians must provide consent when applying for a child under age 16.

Do I have to submit a new photo when applying for a passport?

Yes. Your new photo must look similar to your current appearance and meet our passport photo requirements.

If I have a court order approving a change in my gender, do I need to submit that with my application?

A court order approving a change in gender is no longer a requirement to apply for a U.S. passport. It is not necessary anymore.

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, go to our Respond to a Letter or Email page or contact the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-27781-888-874-7793 (TDD/TTY).

What if I want to change my name in my U.S. passport?

You may change or correct a passport by following the steps provided on our website.

If I identify neither as male nor female, or I have a birth certificate, driver’s license, court order or other documents in a non-binary gender, can I have a passport issued with a non-binary gender marker or no gender marker?

No, not at this time. We are beginning the process of updating our procedures for the issuance of U.S. passports and CRBAs with the goal of offering a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons. The process of adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons to these documents is complex and will take time for extensive updates to our information technology (IT) systems. We cannot provide an exact timeline for when we will begin offering a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons. Applicants should not apply for a passport with a non-binary, intersex, or gender non-conforming gender marker as we cannot issue one to you at this time. Applicants who apply for a passport with a non-binary, intersex, or gender non-conforming gender marker will be given the option to select from currently available markers of “M” for male or “F” for female, or to place their application on hold until we can offer a non-binary, intersex, or gender non-conforming gender marker.

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.
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