Legally Changing Your ‘Sex’ on a Georgia Birth Certificate
Despite its (rightly earned) conservative reputation, Georgia has a surprisingly liberal policy for changing sex designation on birth certificates and other vital records. According to section § 31-10-23(e) of the Official Georgia Code, a person’s sex designation can be amended on his or her birth certificate, “Upon receipt of a certified copy of a court order indicating the sex of an individual born in this state has been changed by surgical procedure.” The person applying for the name change in Georgia is required to submit a certified letter from their doctor or physician stating that the individual has undergone irreversible sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). If you have not undergone SRS, you are not eligible to change the sex category on your birth certificate.
However, applicants who have undergone SRS simply need to file a petition to amend your birth certificate with the Superior Court in their home county. The petition must include a Verification from the applicant swearing that all of the information in the petition is accurate, along with the aforementioned letter from a physician attesting to SRS.
Once the petition is filed, the judge may issue a Final Order granting the change in sex designation without the applicant having to appear in court. Some judges in Georgia, particularly those in more conservative counties of the state, might require an applicant to appear in court, which may add to the stress and cost of this process, but shouldn’t interfere with the end result.
Once a Final Order has been issued approving the change of one’s sex designation, you will need to take a certified copy of the Final Order, along with your driver’s license, to the Georgia Office of Vital Records, which will officially change the sex designation on your birth certificate.
NOTE: To amend the sex designation of a birth certificate in Georgia, the applicant must have been born in this state. Also note, a name change and a sex designation change are two separate actions, and require two separate court petitions to be filed.