Previously, applicants first had to correct their sex/gender on their birth certificate. This is a costly and time consuming legal process that requires a trans person to provide evidence of medical treatments they have undertaken as part of their transition. The Commission’s 2008 Transgender Inquiry recommended that this process for amending birth certificates and other official documents, such as passports and drivers’ licenses, should be simplified. This recognises that for financial, medical, cultural and other personal reasons, not all trans people will undertake medical procedures as part of their transition. Nor is it appropriate to require intersex people to undergo medical procedures in order to amend sex/gender details on official documents.
Commissioner Richard Tankersley has welcomed the move, commending the NZTA on their initiative and the proactive manner in which they sought the Commission’s advice. “It is always really satisfying to be able to work collaboratively with government agencies, particularly when it results in a policy change that will make a real difference in many trans and intersex people’s lives.”