Womens Health

State Department Relaxes Passport Rules for Transgendered People

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The State Department has relaxed its passport rules, a change which will now make it easier for transgendered people to obtain passports that accurately reflect their gender identity.

According to the Washington Post:

The State Department has revised its policy on changing passports for transgender people, announcing Wednesday night that a doctor's note will now suffice in such cases.

Previously, the State Department had required that a person undergo sexual reassignment surgery before it would change the passport. The policy had outraged transgender advocates, who called for an updated approach.

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Under the new policy, which takes effect Thursday, a doctor must attest that the person is undergoing clinical treatment for gender transition, State said. Limited-validity passports will also be available to applicants in the process of gender transition, the department added.

 

The previous policy, which only allowed a change in the sex recorded on a passport if a person had already completed sexual reassignment surgery, was accused of endangering travelers who may be heading to countries where transgender identification is dangerous.