Getting a Passport and Changing Social Security


Short post for the day.  I wanted to put this on the blog so that it is easy for me or others to retrieve necessary links and information needed to make sure we can secure passports for our children in the most expedient manner possible.

I know many of us are concerned that the day or week President Trump assumes office (yes, my hand just cramped typing that, and I threw-up a little in my mouth) he will revoke the Obama administration’s guidance for the issuance of passports.  If we can manage to get one now, and get it for at least five years then maybe there is  good chance…he will be gone before a renewal is needed.

Anyways here are the links for the information we should need to get a passport or change the gender marker with Social Security for our children to the correct gender marker:


US Department of State Gender Designation Change Passport Page

The page above has information and links for what is required to ensure the appropriate gender marker for transgender persons.  For minors passports can be issued for 5 years, and parental consent is required for issuance.

Passport Medical Certification Sample Letters

The link above will download sample language from a link also embedded on the above State Department page.  I have included this here, but actually would recommend the letter linked below in the Social Security section.  It seems to combine the best elements of both letters.  As for the link above, from my research I would recommend the language from the example at the top of the page.  “Clinical Treatment” could be whatever is deemed appropriate for your child’s age.  Mine is seven, so obviously surgery, etc. are not appropriate interventions/treatment.   An attorney friend of mine suggested that of these two examples the second one is more likely to get a 2 year provisional, or have it thrown back to you as it says “in the process” meaning it has not been completed and so the State Department may want to see if in two years it “the process” has been completed.

Finally,  don’t wait for the name change.  You don’t have to have it to get an appropriate gender marker on a passport.  Once a passport is issued you have up to a year to amend it for a name change.  As long as this is done within a year, the cost for the name change on the passport is free.  For peace of mind, go ahead and get it done.  Get it out of the way.

More excellent information on passports can be found here:

National Center for Transgender Equality, Passports

Social Security

Social Security is much easier than changing the gender marker on a passport.  While you can wait until you have a passport and use that as proof.  According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, you need only a doctor’s letter identical to the one you would need for a passport in order to change a Social Security gender marker.  If you are seeking a name change then expert advice is to wait until the name change is official, so that you can change them both in one trip.  In addition, the only issue that might occur with Social Security for transgender persons is when it comes time to go on Medicare depending on medical procedures requested, so there is plenty of time to get the gender marker changed.  Expert opinion is that name change is far more important for Social Security.

Physician Sample Letter for Social Security and Passport

In my opinion, the above letter is the ideal letter for both Passports and Social Security.  Make sure it is on your physician’s letterhead and you should be good to go.

More excellent information on Social Security can be found here:

National Center for Transgender Equality, Social Security

Other Info:  Name Changes and Gender Markers at the State Level

Finally, the National Center for Transgender Equality has some really great resources on a variety of topics, including document change information for each individual state.  Making it a one-stop resource regarding most of what, we, as parents, need to know to take care of our children’s name and gender marker changes.

Late Edit:  I strongly suggest getting 5 official copies of any documents (name change, birth certificate, etc.)  Often times government entities will keep the official document, and depending on where you live, getting more will require having to go in person to get more.  Save yourself the hassle.

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