In Quebec, transgender persons can ask to have their official documents changed to reflect their gender identity. Official documents include an act of birth, a health insurance card or a driver’s licence.
Note: The word “trans” refers to people whose gender identity or gender expression is different from the one assigned to them at birth. This is the situation for transsexual, transgender and transvestite persons.
You don’t have to have surgery or medical treatment before asking to change your official documents
Applying to the Directeur de l’état civil (registrar of civil status)
If you want to change the gender and first name on your identity documents, you must be a Canadian citizen, and you must have lived in Quebec for at least a year.
People born in Quebec but who don't live here anymore can also ask to have their identity documents changed. But they must show it’s impossible to do this in the province or country where they now live.
There are no age limits:
- A child under the age of one who was born in Quebec is considered to have lived in Quebec for a year. So, parents of an intersex baby can ask that the baby’s identification documents be changed.
- For a child under the age of 14, the child’s parents (or tutor) must ask for the change.
- A child 14 years or older or the child’s parents (or tutor) can ask for the change if they have the child’s permission.
Submitting an application
There are different forms to complete depending on the age of the person concerned and who is asking for the change. The forms are available on the website of the Directeur de l’état civil. The forms list which documents to include with your application.
The form used to ask for a change of designation of sex can also be used to ask for a name change.
Once you have gathered all the documents you need, you can mail them to the Directeur de l’état civil or bring them in person to the Montreal or Quebec City offices. You must also pay the required fee.
Important: You can’t change your family name using this application. For more information, see our article on name changes.
Decision of the Directeur de l’état civil
After considering your application, the Directeur de l’état civil will send you a written decision explaining why the change was allowed or refused.
If the Directeur de l’état civil refuses to make the change, you can ask the Superior Court to review the decision. You have 30 days from the time you receive the decision to ask the Superior Court to review it. The court will do a new examination of your file.
Documents that will be changed
If the Directeur de l’état civil accepts your application, it will make changes to your act of birth and your act of marriage or civil union.
The Directeur de l’état civil will automatically contact specific organizations like the ones below and have them make the changes in their files:
- Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (health insurance board)
- Retraite Québec (pension board) for the Quebec Pension Plan and child support
If you authorize it on your application form, the Directeur de l’état civil will let other ministries and organizations know about the change. It can also send you certificates to confirm that the changes were made.
You’re responsible for getting new identity documents, such as a new health insurance card, driver’s licence or passport.
Important: The law won’t let you change whether you’re the mother or father on your child’s act of birth. You can only change your first name.
No change to your rights and responsibilities
Changing your name and gender has no effect on your rights and responsibilities. This means any documents you’ve signed using your old name are still valid.
For example, if you signed a contract under the name Pierre Tremblay, you still have responsibilities under the contract, even if your name is now Marie Tremblay.
But you or the person you made the contract with can ask to change the contract to put your new name on it.
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.