Legal gender change in India as per new Transgender law 2020

Legal gender transition India
Legal gender Change Transgender India

Warning – June 2022

A lot of agencies & officials have not yet updated their processes to accept the Transgender ID card for name & gender change, despite what the law and the rules specify, and may possibly require additional legal activism before they start to do so. There are a few workarounds in some cases like Aadhar & PAN with a letter from a gazetted officer, but the publication in the general gazette process outlined on may be preferable to the one described below, as most agencies already accept gazette publication.

The new Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 notified and made effective from 25th September 2020: outline the legal procedure for name and gender change in India.

Government Online portal:

The process is roughly as follows:

  • Apply for a Transgender ID card with your District Magistrate (can also be filed online via the portal above)
  • Apply for a Revised certificate of identity for change of gender as binary male or female (if desired) after “medical intervention towards a gender affirming procedure” (can be done directly even without the Transgender ID card first via the portal above through a combined form)
  • Use the Transgender ID card to get your name, photograph and gender updated elsewhere like your Aadhar card, drivers licence, pan card, passport, etc

Note: People who have gotten their name and gender changed before the new law came into force do not need to go through any of these processes again but are still covered under the rules for protections and benefits

Transgender ID card

This form for the Transgender ID card allows you to change your name and gender to “transgender” with a self declaration and affidavit, and without any physical examination or psychiatrist letter or medical certification or intrusive proof to be submitted.

This form needs to be submitted to the District Magistrate (DM) of the current place of your residence (no need of proof of residence, you only need to submit an affidavit letter stating the same).

You can find out who the DM for your area is online, and the form can be mailed in, delivered in person or simply submitted via the online portal. The DM has to process the form within 30 days of receiving it and either issue your ID card or a rejection with reasons. A rejection is unlikely but if issued, it can be appealed.

This ID card will be the basis for updating name, photograph and gender across all documents like Aadhar card, drivers licence, pan card, passport, birth certificate, etc as outlined in the Annexure 1 of the rules. You should not need any additional gazette notification or any additional proofs as per the rules. All your ID documents will continue to have the same ID number they had before, with just your details updated.

Revised certificate of identity for change of gender

After undergoing “medical intervention towards a gender affirming procedure, either as a male or female”, you may apply with the same DM to update it to a binary gender marker as either “male” or “female” by submitting the form along with a certificate from the Medical Superintendent or Chief Medical Officer of the “medical institution” in which you have undergone the said medical intervention.

Note: You can directly apply for this revised certificate without applying separately for the Transgender ID card first at least via the online portal, through a single form and it appears they will generate a Transgender ID card for you with your binary marker

Here “medical intervention” is defined as anything including but not limited to counselling, hormonal therapy, and surgical intervention, so even a psychiatrist’s letter of support stating the same may technically be sufficient.

And the “medical institution” means any medical institution whether hospital or clinic, private or public, in rural areas or urban or overseas.

Upon receiving your submission, the DM is supposed to process it within 15 days and issue either an updated transgender ID card or a rejection with clear reasons. If they issue a rejection, it may be appealed within 90 days and they have to respond to this appeal within 60 days.

The updated Transgender ID card can then be used as the basis for updating all other documents as outlined above.

The law and rules also outline some anti-discriminatory protections in housing, employment, etc which still hold valid even after revising the certificate to a binary gender marker.

attribution :

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Neysara is a human rights activist and founder of She is a strong believer in the power of awareness and knowledge as tools to help people, particularly when amplified through technology. Through her initiative,, she empowers thousands of transgender people across India with awareness and knowledge to make informed choices, thereby preventing them from being lured into sexual or labor trafficking in the name of culture or tradition. In India, transgender people are seen as sub-human, and trafficking of transgender people is not even considered trafficking, but a cultural tradition that is neither questioned by the state nor by the young persons that partake in it. Currently the information on the TransgenderIndia platform is translated into six major Indian languages, helping information break through socio-economic and language barriers.


  1. Please tell us the procedure to change name and gender in class X and XII certificates (CBSE, ICSE, state boards)

  2. I had directly applied for this revised certificate through a single form, it has been two months without any update can someone help me out, I don’t know how long to wait or whom to contact

  3. Hii i am done Mbbs degree from Abroad so how i will change my name and gender on that mbbs degree certificate? Please help me


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