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B.C. no longer requires medical consent to change gender on ID cards

The B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C. is shown on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito The B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C. is shown on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The British Columbia government has amended its requirements for people wanting to change their gender designations on provincial identification cards, no longer requiring the approval of a physician or psychologist.

The province announced the change Friday, saying transgender, two-spirit and gender-diverse adults can now declare their own gender designations on their driver's licence, BC Services Card, BCID card and birth certificate without a doctor's consent.

Grace Lore, B.C.'s parliamentary secretary for gender equity, said the change removes a "real barrier" that British Columbians faced when trying to change their official identification in the past.

"Each individual knows their own gender best, and today, I am proud that our government is recognizing this by taking landmark action," Lore said in a statement.

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Citizens’ Services and the Insurance Corporation of BC worked together to implement the change, the province said.

In November 2018, the B.C. government introduced an X-gender marker on government-issued ID for non-binary British Columbians who do not identify as either male or female.

Adults wanting to change their gender designations will be required to complete an application that includes a gender self-declaration. British Columbians under 19 years old will need to provide proof of support from a parent or guardian.

"This announcement will make it easier for people to have their true genders reflected on their B.C. identification documents," Health Minister Adrian Dix said. "We will continue our work toward creating a health-care system that works for everyone."

Adrienne Smith, litigation director for the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre’s all-genders legal clinic in Vancouver, said the province still has "lots of work to do to streamline the name and gender change application process," but added that "removing this barrier to legal recognition signals that our government is listening."

An estimated 46,000 people in B.C. identify as transgender or gender diverse, according to the province. Top Stories

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