Thursday, 13 June 2013
Press Release: Human Rights Commission
NZTA Changes Gender Identity Policy For Driver Licences
Previously, applicants first had to correct their sex/gender on their
birth certificate. This is a costly and time consuming legal process
that requires a trans person to provide evidence of medical treatments
they have undertaken as part of their transition. The Commission’s
2008 Transgender Inquiry recommended that this process for amending
birth certificates and other official documents, such as passports and
drivers’ licenses, should be simplified. This recognises that for
financial, medical, cultural and other personal reasons, not all trans
people will undertake medical procedures as part of their transition.
Nor is it appropriate to require intersex people to undergo medical
procedures in order to amend sex/gender details on official documents.
Commissioner Richard Tankersley has welcomed the move, commending the
NZTA on their initiative and the proactive manner in which they sought
the Commission’s advice. “It is always really satisfying to be able to
work collaboratively with government agencies, particularly when it
results in a policy change that will make a real difference in many
trans and intersex people’s lives.”
The NZTA is currently developing a standardised statutory declaration
form, which will mean that changing recorded gender will be able to be
completed at any one of the Driver Licensing Agent outlets (i.e.
Automobile Association, Vehicle Testing New Zealand, and Vehicle
Inspection New Zealand). There will be a delay of about six weeks for
this to become fully operational, and for information to be on the
NZTA website. In the meantime individuals wishing to have their gender
details amended can contact the NZTA contact centre directly on 0800
The NZTA has confirmed that the statutory declaration requirements
will be similar to the new policy that the Department of Internal
Affairs made last year for people wishing to change sex gender details
on a passport.