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The Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA)

The GRA legislation provides a mechanism to allow trans people to obtain recognition for all legal purposes to their preferred gender role. There are 4 elements that require compliance to succeed in an application:

1. Been living permanently in their preferred gender role for at least 2 years, and,

2. Have been under medical supervision and assessed as having gender dypshoria, now or in the past and,

3.  Are currently unmarried1 and,

4. Are able to declare that they intend to live permanently in their new gender  role for the remainder of their life


You will need to have a psychiatric or psychologists report that you have or have had gender dysphoria.


Hormone Therapy 

The Act does not require a trans person to have already undergone previous hormone therapies or surgery (though most applicants will have). But the Gender Recognition Panel will look for evidence of your intention to undertake hormone therapy in the future as soon as a place comes up for clinical assessment and treatment.  


There is no requirement that you undergo genital reconstruction surgery, but unless for reasons of health, again it is not a good idea to simply say you do not want it. Better to state that you intend to have it in the future when the surgical waiting list has spaces.

Generally they do not require trans men to have genital reconstruction because of its potential complications.


What If?

1. Your assessment for treatment was a long time ago

2. Your doctor is now retired or has passed away

3. Your Treatment was overseas and you can't provide your assessment note

4. You are still waiting for your clinical assessment to consider whether you are suitable for treatment


For Questions 1. 2. and 4.

The only way around this is to pay privately for an assessment by one of the doctors on the list of 'Expert doctors' on the Gender Recognition Panel's site, who does private work, to provide a new evaluation that states you had gender dysphoria in the past, or you have it now and are awaiting an appointment for assessment at a gender identity clinic.

For Question 3.

The only way around this is to pay privately for one of the doctors on the list of 'Expert doctors' on the Gender Recognition Panel's site, who does private work, to agree to look over your diagnostic notes and confirm to the GRP in a new medical statment that the assessment met standards similar to those in the UK or the period relevant WPATH Standards of Care. You need to provide them with as much detail as possible.

For both situations :

The only way to find out which doctors might do this is by writing to the doctors on the list one by one, to see if they are currently willing to do this.



 What are my options if i am currently Married 

If a trans person meets these requirements, but they are still married or in a registered civil partnership, they can be awarded an INTERIM Gender Recognition Certificate with a ‘6 month life’ which provides a couple a fast track route to the annulment of their marriage or the ending of the partnership. You can then apply to the County Court to have your marriage annulled.


The Family Proceedings (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2005

gives instructions to the courts to accept an Interim Gender Recognition Certificate as grounds for annulment of a marriage

Recognition for all legal purposes

includes giving the trans person the right to marry or form a civil partnership in their new gender role.

However, the Act provides a ‘conscience’ concession for religious leaders by allowing individual priests, ministers, Brahmin, Imams or other leaders to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony where one of the parties is a trans person who is getting married in their new legal gender role.  

There is a Court practice direction relating to annulment where a person has an INTERIM gender recognition certificate, enabling the creation of a new Birth Certificate for the trans person as soon as the annulment is completed, so that on the same day the couple (if they wish to do so)  who have had to divorce or end their civil partnership may return to the registry office and register their ongoing relationship in the alternative form.


The Civil Partnership Act 2004 

is legislation to enable the registration of same sex partnerships. Amended the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to allow trans people to enter civil partnerships in their new gender role, if they have received a gender recognition certificate.


For More Details of how to Apply for Gender Recognition see:

Details for those born in the UK, including birth registered by the British Forces Overseas, and UK born Ex-Patriots who now live abroad.

Details for those born overseas or whose birth was registered overseas 

Useful LInks:        


The Gender Recognition Act 2004

The GR Act 2004: Explanatory Notes

The Gender Recognition Panel website

Gender Recognition Application Process

GRP General Guide for Applicants


The Standard Track

Standard Track Guidance

Standard Track Forms


The Overseas track

Overseas Track Guidance

Overseas Track  forms


List of Approved territories

List of Approved Gender Dysphoria Specialists

Current Cost of Making a GRC Application

Gender Recognition Panel FAQ's

Guidance on Pensions for Married Couples & those in Civil Partnerships  

Guidance for Married Couples & those in Civil Partnerships