Transgender Laws around the World

Here we have summarized laws around the world pertaining to the transgender community of the nations with embassies supporting Pride House Tokyo. It is basically a list of laws related to the definition and conditions of a change in gender identity including requirements needed to change their legal identity (in family registers for example), and the years in which the laws were passed.

Country Law Year


The Gender Recognition Act 2015


(This allows people over 18 to self-declare their own gender identity.)


The United Kingdom

The purpose of the Gender Recognition Act 2004


The purpose of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 is to provide transsexual people with legal recognition in their acquired gender.



The Australian Government Guidelines on the Recognition of Sex and Gender, which took effect from 1 July 2013, state that "The Australian Government recognises that individuals may identify and be recognised within the community as a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth or during infancy, or as a gender which is not exclusively male or female. This should be recognised and reflected in their personal records held by Australian Government departments and agencies." This enables individuals to choose to identify as male, female or X on federal documents. Documentary evidence must be provided from a doctor or psychologist, but no medical intervention is required. Transgender Australians can apply for a passport in a sex different from their birth certificate, or identifying them as X (indeterminate/intersex/unspecified). However birth certificates and drivers licences are within the jurisdiction of the states, with each operating under different rules. All states have abolished the requirement to divorce before sex affirmation surgery since same-sex marriage was made legal in 2017.


The Netherlands

Transgender Law, Article 28 of Civil Code
In Dutch: Transgenderwet


Article 28 of the Civil Code was adjusted in 2014.
Before 2014, transgender person needed to undergo surgery to have their gender legally recognized.



Decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (2012)


In Canada, provinces and territories are responsible for health related issues. Between 2012 and 2017, all provinces and territories amended their legislation to remove the surgery requirement for individuals to officially change their legal gender.



Legal Gender Recognition Act


(Abolition of the mandatory sterilization as a requirement to attain legal gender recognition in 2013)



3/2007 Act

3/2007 Act (2007) amends the Civil Registration Regulations, to enable the change of gender (español)



The Act on amendments to the Civil Registration Act removed the requirement of diagnosis with a mental disorder and surgery with irreversible sterilization



Transsexual law
In German: Transsexuellengesetz (TSG)


Since 1980, Germany has a law that regulates the change of first names and legal gender. It is called "Gesetz über die Änderung der Vornamen und die Feststellung der Geschlechtszugehörigkeit in besonderen Fällen" (Law about the change of first name and determination of gender identity in special cases)
Requirements that applicants for a change in gender were infertile post-surgery declared unconstitutional by supreme court ruling in 2011.


New Zealand

Section 28 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995 allows an eligible adult to apply to the Family Court for a declaration that their birth certificate should show the sex specified in the application.
The applicant must show that they have undergone such medical treatment (not necessarily full reconstructive surgery) as is usually regarded by medical experts as giving them the “physical conformation” of their gender identity
As such, people who’ve had no surgeries but have been on hormones for a very long time have been successful when applying to change their birth certificate, as have transgender men who don’t intend to have any kind of genital reconstruction surgery.



The Legal Gender Change Act



Act on the Confirmation of Gender of a Transsexual


(Finland currently legally recognizes the gender of a transgender person provided that the person in question fulfils certain criteria laid down in the Transgender Act and it requires the person to be sterilized. )



In 2015, Mexico City amended its Civil and Civil Procedures Codes to recognize the right of transsexual and transgender people to their gender identity. This amendment simplified procedures to modify personal identification documents (i.e. birth certificate) to make such documents coincide with the person´s gender identity without requiring sex reassignment. As of December 2019, other 5 states have made similar amendments.

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