Updated Social Security Administration gender change policy
In late 2012, the Social Security Administration announced they had updated the policies for change of sex designation connected with a Social Security number.
The new policy states to change the sex field in their database:
Accept any of the following:
- full-validity, 10-year U.S. passport with the new sex
NOTE: Do not accept passports with less than ten years of validity.;
- State-issued amended BC with the new sex;
- court order directing legal recognition of change of sex;
- medical certification of appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition in the form of an original signed statement from a licensed physician (i.e., a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.)). The statement must include the following:
- physician’s full name;
- medical license or certificate number;
- issuing state, country, or other jurisdiction of medical license or certificate;
- address and telephone number of the physician;
- language stating that the individual has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (male or female);
- language stating the physician has either treated the individual in relation to the individual’s change in gender or has reviewed and evaluated the medical history of the individual in relation to the individual’s change in gender and that the physician has a doctorpatient relationship with the individual;
- language stating “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.”
NOTE: See RM 10212.200C in this section for a sample letter from a licensed physician that includes all required information to certify to the individual’s gender change.
IMPORTANT: Surgery is no longer required to change the sex field on the Numident. However, if an individual presents an original or certified letter from a physician stating the individual has undergone sexual reassignment surgery, accept it as evidence to change the sex field when it meets the requirements in GN 00301.030 and contains sufficient biographical data (e.g., name, date of birth) to clearly identify the individual.
NOTE: In some cases an individual’s sex may impact eligibility for benefits dependent upon spousal relationships. To make title II entitlement or title XVI eligibility determinations dependent upon marriage, follow the instructions in GN 00305.005B. Do not use sex field data on SSA records to make marital status determinations.
RM 10212.200 Changing Numident Data for Reasons other than Name Change