August 26, 2023 2 min read

The journey to aligning identity documents with one's affirmed gender can be challenging. This article will take you through the step-by-step process of changing your gender marker in South Africa, drawing from various experiences and insights.

Understanding the Legal Context 

South Africa has made significant progress in recognising the rights of transgender individuals. The Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act (No. 49 of 2003) allows individuals who have undergone a sex change operation or medical treatment resulting in gender reassignment to apply for a change in their name and gender. This process requires validation through two medical reports.

South African Law and Gender Reassignment 

South African law recognises gender reassignment as a multifaceted process that extends beyond surgical options. This inclusive approach offers a lifeline to those seeking to align their identity documents with their affirmed gender, irrespective of surgical procedures.

Where and How Gender Is Marked 

In South Africa, the gender marker is included within the unique ID number.   When applying for a gender marker change, you will receive a new ID number that reflects your affirmed gender.

Documents Required 

To initiate the gender marker change process, you will need to gather the following documents:

  1. Form BI 526 (application for amendment)
  2. Form BI 9 (application for an identity book/card)
  3. Form BI 24 (notice of birth) filled out twice – once with your assigned gender and once with your identified gender.
  4. Two letters from medical professionals confirming gender reassignment.
  5. A copy of your birth certificate.
  6. Your existing ID book and a copy.
  7. Full-colour photos for ID (at least 2)
  8. A fee of R 210 (subject to change).

Journey of Personal Empowerment

Each person's journey is unique, but it is advisable to be well-prepared, patient, and persistent. Having a supportive person accompany you can provide additional assistance and comfort.

After submitting your application, staying informed about its progress is crucial. Regularly contacting the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Hotline or using the mobile app for status updates is recommended. Max's experience demonstrates the importance of resilience and persistence when facing potential delays and challenges within the system.

In Closing

Changing your gender marker may initially appear overwhelming, but it can be managed with adequate preparation, patience, and support. The pursuit of an ID book that accurately reflects one's identity is not only worthwhile but also achievable. 

Should you require assistance or guidance, reach out to our credible sexual health providers, who can support you on this journey.

Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Resources such asBeTrue2Me are ready to support and guide you through the process.

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