Cost of changing legal gender ‘to be reduced to about £5’

Pride Glasgow 2017
Pride Glasgow 2017 (PA Archive)
20:20pm, Wed 07 Apr 2021
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The fee to apply for a gender recognition certificate is to be significantly cut to less than £10 from next month, according to reports.

Government sources have reportedly told the BBC that the £140 fee for how a person changes their legal gender will be reduced to single figures – at around £5 – from May.

Equalities minister Liz Truss committed in September to making applying for a gender recognition certificate “kinder and more straightforward” and said that the fee would be reduced.

Under the existing Gender Recognition Act (GRA), a transgender person has to undergo a two-year waiting period, a review or appearance before a specialist panel as well as paying £140 before being able to change their gender legally.

Many LGBT+ campaigners believe the current system is not fit for purpose and have called for it to be replaced with a simpler statutory declaration and self-identification.

Following a public consultation, Ms Truss announced in September that the Government had rejected calls for people to be able to self-identify their gender and change their birth certificates without a medical diagnosis.

Instead, the minister said that the cost of applying for a gender recognition certificate would be reduced to a “nominal amount” and that the process would be moved online.

But the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) called it a “missed opportunity to simplify the law on gender recognition”, while the LGBT Foundation said it was “incredibly disappointed”.

Nancy Kelley, chief executive of LGBT charity Stonewall, told the BBC that any fee “creates a barrier for some trans people” and urged the Government to commit to a timeline of further changes to the process.

“However, none of these changes are a substitute for meaningful reform to the Gender Recognition Act,” she said.

The Equalities Office said: “The Government is committed to making the process of applying for a gender recognition certificate as straightforward and dignified as possible.

“We are progressing work at speed to simplify this process as well as reducing the fee and further details will be available imminently.”

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