In June 2013, the Social Security Administration announced a new policy to for updating Social Security records to reflect a person’s gender identity.

Under the new policy, a transgender person can change their gender on their Social Security records by submitting either government-issued documentation reflecting a change, or a certification from a physician confirming that they have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition. This policy replaces the Social Security Administration’s old policy, which required documentation of sex reassignment surgery.

Note: Your Social Security card only lists your name and Social Security number – not your gender. However, the Administration maintains information in its computer records on everyone who has a Social Security number, including name, date of birth, and gender.

Last updated February 2015

What You’ll Need

Change Your Name

Any of the following forms of evidence for a name change:
  • Name change court order (original or certified copy),
  • Marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership certificate (original or certified copy),
  • Divorce decree (original or certified copy), or
  • Certificate of citizenship or naturalization (original only)

Change Your Gender Marker

Any of the following forms of evidence for a gender marker change:
  • A U.S. passport showing the correct gender,
  • A birth certificate showing the correct gender,
  • A court order recognizing the correct gender, or
  • A signed letter from a provider confirming that you have had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition
You can apply for a name and gender change at the same time or separately. Guidelines for each process are below.

How to Change Your Name

1. Gather the required documents.

You will need proof of your identity. Sometimes you also may need to prove your current U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status. You will also need proof of your legal name change.

2. Print and fill out the application form.

Click here for the SSA’s Application for a Social Security Card (PDF).

3. Take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

Apply for a change through the mail or in person at a local Social Security office. You cannot apply for a card online. There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free.

How to Change Your Gender Marker

1. Gather the required documents.

You will need proof of your identity. Sometimes you also may need to prove your current U.S. citizenship or lawful noncitizen status. You will also need evidence for a gender marker change – either another legal document with the correct marker, or a physician’s letter.

If you use a physician’s letter, it must be written by a licensed physician with whom you have a patient relationship, and who is familiar with your transition-related treatment. This may be a primary care physician or a specialist. The letter must be on office letterhead and include the doctor’s certificate or license number.

Use the template below as it meets all of the Social Security Administration’s physician’s letter requirements. Template provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Guide to Social Security Changes (PDF).

I, (physician’s full name), (physician’s medical license or certificate number), (issuing U.S. State/Foreign Country of medical license/certificate), am the physician of (name of patient), with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whom I have treated (or with whom I have a doctor/patient relationship and whose medical history I have reviewed and evaluated).

(Name of patient) has had appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition to the new gender (specify male or female).

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the forgoing is true and correct.

Signature
Typed Name
Date

2. Print and fill out the application form.

Click here for the SSA’s Application for a Social Security Card (PDF).

3. Take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

Apply for a change through the mail or in person at a local Social Security office. You cannot apply for a card online. There is no charge for a Social Security card. This service is free.