Except a few personal anecdotes/experiences shared by some trans folks, there aren’t any complete online resources that will guide you through the process of legal change of name and gender. From my own personal experience I’ve compiled this guide to save you some time and trouble. Legal change of name and gender is a three-step process. Namely, 1. Get An Affidavit 2. Publish Newspaper Advertisement 3. Notify in The Gazette.
1. Get An Affidavit One can get an affidavit for the change of name and gender from any notary. They normally charge around 300 rupees. A sample affidavit is available here for your reference.
2. Publish Newspaper Advertisement Choose any one local newspaper of your choice and submit a copy of the affidavit to place an Ad. You can easily do this online too, from the comfort of your home via http://www.releasemyad.com . If you want to do it discreetly, choose a newspaper that’s less popular and it’ll save you few bucks too. The Ad will cost anywhere from 300 to 500 rupees. To give you an idea of how the Ad looks like, I’ve attached a template here
3. Notify in The Gazette The final step is to notify the change of name and gender in the gazette. Gazette is like an official magazine of the Government. State and Central Governments have their own gazettes. While one can notify in either of the gazettes, many governmental/semi-governmental institutions insist on notifying in the Gazette of India. Advertisements and public notices from private individuals are generally published in Part-IV of the Gazette of India. I’ll be describing the procedure to notify the change of name & gender in the Gazette of India. For those of you who don’t know, no surgery/treatment is necessary to change the gender, thanks to the landmark Supreme Court’s NALSA judgement. For the gazette notification, the following forms/items should be submitted.
- Copy of the Notarized Affidavit for Change of Name & Gender from step 1
- An undertaking duly signed by the applicant
- Original Newspaper
- Prescribed proforma in duplicate duly typed with signature of applicant and two witnesses.
- C.D containing the print matter without witness portion in MS Word and type name in place of signature.
- Two self-attested passport size photographs and a self attested photocopy of ID proof.
- A Certificate duly signed by the applicant declaring therein that the contents of hard copy and soft copy are same.
- Request Letter along with the requisite fee ( cash if submitting in person or Demand Draft drawn in favor of “Controller of Publications” payable at Delhi, if sending it through post/courier)
- Attested photocopy of medical document ( GD certificate or SRS certificate).
- Specimen Proforma regarding Change of Sex for people who had SRS (It’s not mandatory)
One can either submit documents in person or send them through post/courier. It is advisable to submit them personally (takes less time to process) rather than through post because the office hardly attends your calls if there’s any problem. Also, the applications sent through post/courier would take at least 2 months to get processed. The gazette is normally published every Saturday and it can be downloaded from the website address egazette.nic.in
For further information on Gazette of India, please check the official website at deptpub.nic.in
Once you finish all the three steps, with the copies of affidavit,newspaper Ad and the gazette notification, you can change other IDs like PAN, Aadhaar, Voter card, Company ID etc.
Even educational certificates can be changed based on this Gazette Notification. For Degree certificates issued by Visvesvaraya Technological University in karnataka, you may apply for the name and gender change based on Gazette through the VTU name correction form. You have to pay the relevant Fees online and send the filled application to VTU via your college.
PS: Thanks to the efforts and 2 year long legal battle of Ms Kritika Singh (Board Member of Transgender India) with Gazette of India, now Transgender people in India can legally change Gender and Name without Surgery or HRT.