The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 2021

Updated 10 June 2022

The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 2021 (the Act) improves digital access to birth, death, marriage, and civil union information, and modernises the language of the legislation.

The Act also introduces a self-identification process to amend the sex recorded on birth certificates. For documents relating to these policy decisions, please refer to the Department's proactive release page here: Proactive Releases - Minister of Internal Affairs 

Self-identification means applicants will no longer need to go to the Family Court or have medical treatment to physically conform with the sex they want listed on their birth certificate. Instead, people will apply directly to the Registrar-General by filling out and submitting a statutory declaration.

Most of the Act, including the provisions that introduce the self-identification process, will come into force by mid-2023. This timeframe allows key details of the process to be consulted on and developed, including:

  • the sex and gender markers, other than male or female, to be available when amending birth certificates;
  • who can be a third party to support applications for youth and children; and
  • the additional requirements where a person applies more than once.

The fees for amending the sex or gender marker on a birth certificate will be reviewed. It currently costs $55 and a further $33 - $35 for a new birth certificate. A name-change costs $170.

Separate work is also underway to pursue a solution for people born overseas to register their gender. There is more information about amending the sex recorded on birth certificate in Frequently asked questions.