NOTE: In April 2014, the Supreme Court of India declared that surgery, hormones and other steps are not necessary for legal recognition of gender change. Self-identification and (at most) psychological assessment will suffice. Please bear with us as we compile updated information for this sections. From the experiences of people known to us, the process is as follows:
– Get a gender change affidavit (male to female, male to transgender, female to male, or female to transgender: all these possibilities are recognized) completed and notarized by a magistrate.
– Place two newspaper ads, and then place a government gazette notification.
– Use these documents to petition for change of gender in other identity documents.
Please write to http://orinam.net/contact/ if you have further questions, would like a template of the gender change affidavit, or have experienced challenges in the process.
WHERE NALSA DOES NOT WORK: Despite the NALSA ruling, the Ministry of External Affairs still requires medical verification in order to change gender markers on a previously existing passport. Steps for changing these in the passport are, thus, mostly similar to those listed in the ‘pre-NALSA’ situation. The exception is for those who apply for a passport for the first time, seeking third-gender designation on their passport. In such a situation, a self-declaration as third-gender will suffice.
UPDATE 2017: It appears from experiences of our trans* readers that passport officials insist that the medical verification be from a government doctor such as a civil surgeon. In one instance that we are aware of, a transman was able to have the doctor declare him as phenotypically a man based on top surgery alone. We have also heard of one situation where a passport office declined based on the fact that the applicant had not had a phalloplasty or metoidioplasty performed. The only one case we found online where a person – a transwoman – reported getting the gender changed on the passport pre-surgery is Safiya’s testimony here.
We are seeking to record experiences of those transgender people who have applied for change in documentation after the NALSA verdict of April 2014. Please write to http://orinam.net/contact/