Self-identification process launched

The self-identification process came into effect on 15 June 2023. Self-identification allows people to amend the sex on their New Zealand birth certificate more easily, which is important to transgender, intersex, nonbinary and takatāpui people. This process replaces the Family Court process for amending sex on birth certificates, which is no longer available.

You can find more information about the self-identification process and how to apply here.

Sex and gender markers other than male and females

As of 15 June 2023, there is one additional marker besides ‘male’ and ‘female’ for birth certificates. This marker is “non-binary.”

Previously, the Government had proposed that there would be two additional markers, these being:

  • ‘a non-binary gender’; and
  • ‘another gender’.

‘Another gender’ can be considered to capture every gender other than male, female, or non-binary gender identities. It has been removed because the empowering provision of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 2021 does not permit the use of catch-all terminology.

Originally, ‘a non-binary gender’ was to be available under the self-identification process, but has been amended to ‘non-binary’ to align with the empowering provision more clearly.

Who can act as a suitably qualified third party?

The list of third parties who can support a child or young person’s application will include:

  • registered professionals (doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, nurses, and counsellors); and
  • any person aged 18 or over that has known a child or young person for 12 months or more.

There will not be additional requirements if a person applies multiple times

The Government consulted on potential additional requirements that must be met if a person applies to change their name and sex more than once. The consultation and policy development process determined that the self-identification process would not significantly increase the risk of identity fraud in New Zealand. There are also a range of protections in place that will help minimise the risk of the self-identification process enabling identity fraud. As a result, no additional requirements have been imposed for people changing their name and registered sex via self-identification more than once.

Further information on the previous decisions

Further information on the previous decisions can be found in the Cabinet paper, available here: Proactive Releases -


Contact the Births, Deaths and Marriages team about changing registered sex:
0800 22 52 52