Changing Your Sex Designation

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for changing your sex designation on your NWT birth certificate, your birth must be registered in the NWT.

What is the process for changing my sex designation?

If you were born in the NWT, you do not need to have gender reassignment surgery to change your sex designation on your birth registration and birth certificate. You just need to complete the appropriate form and include relevant supporting documents. For more information, see How to Apply for a Change in Sex Designation.

Who can witness my statutory declaration?

The statutory declaration is a statement that you declare is true that is witnessed and signed by you and a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public.

If you are over the age of 19, an adult who has known you for at least a year must also provide a statutory declaration to support your application. This is included in the application form.

If you are under 19 years of age, a designated professional must provide a statement to support your application.

If you are a minor 16 – 18 years of age who lives independently from your parents, an adult who has known you for at least a year must provide a statutory declaration to support your application. You will also need a statement of support from a designated professional

Who are the designated professionals that can support my application?

The following licensed health or social services providers, can provide a statement to support your application to change your sex designation on your birth certificate.

Eligible providers are:

  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Registered Social Workers

What information is required in the statement from a designated professional?

Applications to Change the Sex Designation for Minors and Independent Minors include a section for the designated professional to complete. Individuals 19 years of age or older do not need to get the support of a designated professional unless they want to change their gender more than once.

If I live outside Canada, can I provide a supporting letter from a designated professional in the jurisdiction where I live?

Yes, but it must be signed in the presence of a Notary Public in the country in which you are residing. The Registrar General may require documentation to show that the professional is licensed to practice in that country. If the statement is not in English or French, you may need to provide a certified translation.

Why can’t I apply to change the sex designation on my birth certificate if I was not born in the NWT?

Each province and territory in Canada has their own requirements to change information on birth registration forms. If you were not born in the NWT, you will need to apply for a change in sex designation in the province or territory where you were born.

How much does it cost for a change of sex designation on a birth registration and a new birth certificate?

There is a $30 amendment fee. You will also need to apply for a new birth certificate, which costs $20.

Will a change in sex designation automatically result in a change of name?

No. A change in sex designation does not result in a legal change of name. For more information on legally changing your name, see:

Will my NWT birth certificate be accepted by other document issuers and service providers if I choose X as the gender marker?

Not necessarily. Please be aware that the ability to choose a gender other than male or female under the NWT Vital Statistics Act only applies to birth certificates and death certificates issued in the NWT.

An NWT birth certificate is generally accepted when you apply for, or wish to change information on other documents, such as a driver’s license or passport. However, each organization independently determines eligibility requirements to issue their documents. At this time, gender X may not be accepted by all document issuers or service providers. For example, you may have difficulty obtaining a passport with a gender other than M or F.

Many other jurisdictions and levels of government are considering changes to allow other gender markers; some are currently changing their laws and policies, others are working on databases and other systems. It takes time. You may wish to contact other organizations before you change your birth certificate to decide if this is the right time for you to do so.

Who can I contact if I need more information?

Please call the Health Services Administration Office at the Department of Health and Social Services toll-free at 1-800-661-0830 or email