British Columbia

British Columbia

Arrest/Detention

If you are arrested, you have the following rights:   

  • The right to be placed in a correctional institution based on the gender you identify with 
  • The right to choose who is allowed to conduct searches (i.e. the gender of officers) 
  • The right to retain personal items that are part of your gender expression, such as packers or prosthetics  
  • The right to be referred to by your name and pronouns  
  • The right to order the institutional gendered clothing of your choice  

If you are housed in an institution according the the gender you were assigned at birth, you have the right to : 

  • Private bathroom and shower spaces 
  • Not to be required to share a cell with another prisoner 

 

To file a complaint if these rights have been violated, contact one of our legal support resources.  

Source: Trans Rights BC 

Gender Marker

You will need to submit different documents to change your gender marker depending on your age. The fee for this change is $27, plus a fee of $27-$60 to receive a new birth certificate. You will be allowed to change your gender marker even if you have not or do not plan on undergoing any gender affirmation surgery. You can change your gender marker to F, M, or X.   

For all ages, you must meet the following requirement:  

  • Return any previously issued BC birth certificates   

For adults (age 19 or older), follow the following steps:  

  1. Fill out the application for change of gender designation form   
  2. Get a medical professional to fill out a physician’s or psychologist’s confirmation of change of gender designation form 
  3. Submit your application to Vital Statistics  

For youth (age 18 or younger), follow the following steps:  

  1. Fill out the application for change of gender designation form   
  2. Get a medical professional to fill out a physician’s or psychologist’s confirmation of change of gender designation form   
  3. Provide proof of parentage and/or a copy of legal guardianship (this can be a copy of a parental birth certificate, a guardianship court order, etc.) 
  4. Provide consent from all other parents/guardians 
  5. Submit your application to Vital Statistics    

 

Driver’s Licenses and Other Identification Cards 

You can also change your gender on your Driver’s License, BCID, Medical Services Plan client record, and BC Services Card. It is recommended that you change your birth certificate first, and then change other forms of identification. 

To change your gender marker on a BCDL, BCEDL, BCID, or BCEID is relatively simple once your birth certificate has been changed. You need only visit a Driver Licensing Office with your updated birth certificate and the required identification. 

Sources: British Columbia – Change Personal InformationDriver Licensing – Changing Gender; British Columbia Vital Statistics ActBritish Columbia Vital Statistics AgencyChange of Gender Designation on Birth Certificates

Human Rights

Gender identity and gender expression are protected under the British Columbia Human Rights Code, except for under wage discrimination based on sex. 

If you have been discriminated against due to your gender identity or gender expression in a way that is protected under this Act, you can file a human rights complaint. To see if your complaint is covered by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal or to receive assistance, call (604) 622-1100 or 1-855-685-6222. 

Source:  British Columbia Human Rights Code; British Columbia Human Rights ClinicBritish Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. 

Name Change

You will need to submit different documents to change your name depending on your age. The fee for this change is $137.   

For all ages, you must meet the following requirements:  

  • Be a permanent BC resident or have lived in BC for at least three months before applying   
  • If you were born in Canada, provide your original birth certificate with its registration number   
  • If you were born outside of Canada, provide a certified copy of both sides of your Permanent Resident Card or Canadian Citizenship Card/Certificate.   
  • For any documents in a language other than English, provide a certified English translation 

For adults (age 19 and older, or younger if you have custody of a child), follow the following steps:  

  1. Either apply online or complete a physical application form    
  2. Provide a photocopy of a valid photo ID   
  3. Provide any previously issued change of name certificates 
  4. Have your fingerprints taken by an official service (the fee will vary depending on where you have them done), and submit a photocopy of the fingerprinting receipt   
  5. Sign the statutory declaration in front of someone who is authorized, such as a notary public, a lawyer, or someone appointed by the Attorney General 
  6. Provide any copies of your original birth certificate  
  7. Submit the completed application to Vital Statistics 

For youth (age 18 and under), follow the following steps:  

  1. Have a parent either apply online or complete a physical application form    
  2. Provide a photocopy of photo ID for all parents/guardians on your birth certificate, or get a court to approve waiving this requirement for one parent/guardian    
  3. If you are 12 or older, write a signed letter about why you want to change your name (optional) 
  4. If you are 12 or older, sign a consent form 
  5. Sign the statutory declaration in front of someone who is authorized, such as a notary public, a lawyer, or someone appointed by the Attorney General 
  6. Provide any copies of your original birth certificate 
  7. Submit the completed application to Vital Statistics 

Source: British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency – Legal Change of Name Application