A transmasculine person taking notes on a large notepad.

What Does it Mean to Legally Transition?

Image credit: Gender Spectrum Collection.

In all states and territories of Australia anyone can freely change their name. This is done through your state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages registry. To change your name you will have to visit your state’s Births, Deaths and Marriages registry website and navigate to the change of name section. Once there you will be able to find the required documents needed to be filled out and either handed in in person at the nearests registry office or online if your state allows it. After filling out the forms and paying the fee you will have a new, updated birth certificate sent out to you with your new chosen name.

Once you have legally changed your name you are required to update your name on your other identity documents such as your license, passport, medicare card, bank accounts, insurance and so on. Most organisations will require you going into an office and presenting your new birth certificate as proof of your name change.

​In all Australian jurisdictions, citizens are able to change the gender on their birth certificates. As of the 1st of May 2020, transgender people born in Victoria can change their gender without having to undergo surgery. Western Australia allows hormonal therapy as an alternative treatment for a legal gender change, and does not mandate surgery. Queensland and New South Wales are the only two jurisdictions that require surgery before a person’s gender can be legally recognised. All states recognise non-binary gender identities, except Queensland and Western Australia.

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