MA Birth Certificate Tool Kit
Step by Step Directions for Changing Gender and Name on a Massachusetts Birth Certificate
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has recently updated the process for changing gender on a Massachusetts birth certificate.
The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics will update the sex on a Massachusetts birth certificate following completion of medical intervention appropriate for that individual for the purpose of permanent sex reassignment and a completion of a judicial change of name, if applicable.
Affidavits are required from both you and a physician.
Here are the steps:
- Complete the applicant affidavit form, which can be found here.
Alternatively, you may submit a similar affidavit that includes:
a. Your full name, date of birth, place of birth and parents’ names on the existing birth certificate;
b. A statement that you have completed medical intervention for the purpose of permanent sex reassignment and are not of the sex designated on the current birth certificate;
c. Your request for a permanent amendment to your birth certificate to reflect a different sex and, if you want your name changed, submit a certified copy of your court name change decree with your application);
d. Contact information including your current name and address.
- Have a licensed physician complete the Physician’s Statement: Amendment of a Birth Certificate Following Completion of Sex Reassignment form, which can be found here.
Alternatively, you may submit a notarized affidavit from a physician on office letterhead that contains the following:
a. The physician’s name, license number, state of jurisdiction, physician-patient relationship and a statement that either the physician is treating you or has reviewed your medical history and evaluated you concerning a change of sex;
b. The physician needs to certify that you have completed medical intervention for the purpose of permanent sex reassignment that is appropriate for you and that you are not the sex recorded on the birth certificate.
Note: To ensure rapid processing, the physician should use the exact phrase “has completed medical intervention, appropriate for that individual, for the purpose of permanent sex reassignment.” Information beyond this phrase, including details with regard to the nature of medical care or treatment received is not necessary and using alternative terms or adding other information may delay an application, as additional review may be necessary.
- Submit a court-certified copy of your legal name change decree (see the instructions below on Name Change if you have not already done this).
Everyone has the right to use a name of their choice as long as it is not done for fraudulent or illegal purposes. However, if you want to change your name on your birth certificate, you must submit a court name change decree at the same time that you are applying for a gender change.
You can file for a court name change in Massachusetts if you are 18 years or older. Parents can file to change their minor child’s name.
The following link contains information about how you obtain a name change, and what it costs: www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/name-changes.
When you submit your change of name form, GLAD suggests that you consider requesting the court to:
- Waive the requirement that you publish a notice in a newspaper about your change in order to protect your privacy. You can do so by submitting an affidavit with your petition as to why you do not wish to have the notice published. You may have to go before a judge to present your reasons.
- Seal your file to protect your privacy. You can include this request in the same affidavit asking to waive the publication requirement.
It will be up to the court to decide whether to honor these requests.
Remember, you can only change the name on your birth certificate when you are also changing the gender, so if you do not submit a name change decree together with your request for a gender change, you will not have another opportunity to change the name on your birth certificate.
Submitting Your Application
An application for amendment may be submitted by mail or by making an appointment at the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.
Required fees should be included:
1. $50.00 one-time amendment fee, and
2. $32.00 per certified copy of the amended birth record by mail ($20.00 if in-person)
By mail, please include all required documents and fees and send your request to:
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon Street, 1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125
For more information or to make an appointment, telephone: (617) 740-2600 or email: Vital.Regulation@state.ma.us .
Amendments also may be made at the Clerk’s Office in the city or town of birth. Fees for amendments and certified copies vary by community.
Contact GLAD Answers by email or live chat at www.GLADAnswers.org or by phone at 800-455-GLAD (4523).