Updating ID Guide
Changing name and gender markers in British Columbia
This online guide provides information about how to legally change your name and gender markers on identity documents (ID) issued by the British Columbia (B.C.) provincial and Canadian federal governments.
NOTE: The Updating ID Guide is not legal advice. If you have legal questions, or need to consult with a lawyer or notary, please see the resources listed below.
NOTE: January 14, 2022 – BC Government Announcement
On January 14, 2022, the BC Government announced changes to the process of changing provincial ID in British Columbia. We are currently revising this guide to reflect these changes.
If you have pressing questions that need to be addressed within the week, please contact Trans Care BC or any of the resources listed in the ‘Need Help?’ section below.
USE THE GUIDE
If you want to update your name and/or gender markers on your ID, answer the questions in this guide by clicking on the answers most relevant to you.
Is the first document(s) you wish to change issued by the provincial or federal government?
Provincial ID examples
Most people change their provincial documents first.
Provincial documents include:
- BC Birth Certificate
- BC Driver’s licence (BCDL)
- BC Identification Card (BCID)
- BC Services Card (combined BC Driver’s License and Services Card, Photo or Non-photo)
- Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) and Enhanced Identification Card (EIC)
Federal ID examples
Once you have an updated birth certificate, you can change your federal documents.
- Canadian Passport
- Citizenship Certificate
- Permanent Resident Card
- Temporary Resident Documents
- Certificate of Indian Status
- Social Insurance Number
- Income Tax Records
- Voting Records
Most people change their provincial documents first. Although changing you name and gender markers are often separate processes, you can work on both at the same time if you plan to change both.
After completing any provincial documents that are required before changing federal documents, you can move on to the steps for changing federal documents. Remember, name and gender markers can then be changed at the same time on federal documents. You should consider this approach if you want to streamline the federal document process and minimize potential fees.
NOTE: There is no law that says trans, non-binary, or gender diverse people must change their ID. You are allowed to use your name and gender marker without a legal change. However, there are many reasons people may want to legally change their name and/or gender. We hope this guide can be a helpful resource for people to use in that process.
The resources below can help you connect with a notary or to receive legal advice.
For support and help finding notaries & lawyers:
Other helpful resources:
The Updating ID Guide will continue to be updated based on new information, legal changes, or helpful suggestions about improving the guide. We welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate our partnership with Pro Bono students Canada, University of Victoria Chapter, who made the development of this resource possible, especially Emmett Rogers, Derek Baker, Nicholas Picard, Lisa Harris, Laura Bullock, and Lauren Sutherland.
Special thanks to Adrienne Smith for their review, updates, and support.