Legal & Admin Issues

Legal and administrative issues for trans children and young people

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Describe what the following are and why they may be important for trans people: Deed Poll, Gender Recognition Certificate, and Passport
  2. Understand how to access information on how to apply for a Deed Poll, Gender Recognition Certificate, and Passport
  3. Identify other legal protections for trans people in the Republic of Ireland

Part 1. Deed Poll

Part 1. To Learn More

To learn more about completing a Deed Poll, please see below for the age of your transgender family member:

Deed Poll - Under 14 years of age

If your family member is under the age of 14 years, the Deed Poll can be executed by one parent with the consent of the other. That is, one parent can complete the Deed Poll process but BOTH parents must consent to the name change.

In order, to complete a Deed Poll for a person aged under 14 years, you must contact the Central Office of the High Court to ask for examples of necessary documents. The Central Office of the High Court is located at the Four Courts, Dublin 7 or on 01 888 6511/6512 or through HighCourtCentralOffice@courts.ie.

Deed Poll - 14-17 years of age

A young person between the ages of 14 and 17 can execute the Deed Poll themselves. However, they need the consent of BOTH parents.

Deed Poll - 18+ years of age

A person aged 18+ years of age can execute a Deed Poll on their own behalf.

How to Complete a Deed Poll

Please note that if you are a non-EU national, you will require the permission of the Minister for Justice & Equality to change your name. The contact details for the Minister are in the further resources section of this website.

Please remember a young person requires the consent of BOTH parents to execute a Deed Poll.

  1. The first step in the process is to complete a Deed Poll form. This must be done on Deed Paper, which can be purchased from legal stationers. You can use a Google search to find up-to-date and local legal stationers in your area.
  2. Next, choose a witness to the Deed Poll. This person must be over 18 years of age, must sign the Deed Poll, and must be available to swear an affidavit before a solicitor or commissioner for oaths.
  3. Next, go to a solicitor or commissioner of oaths in order for the witness to swear the affidavit. This will cost a small fee. There is no set fee for this service so you can call several offices to see which provides the best price.
  4. You then must attend in-person the Central Office of the High Court service for personal callers. This service is available only on Tuesdays and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  5. You can now choose whether to ‘Enrol’ your Deed Poll. The enrolment of a Deed Poll publishes the name change on a publicly accessible record. This means the wider public is alerted to the name change. It can also be useful for future identification. It is not required to enrol the Deed Poll in order to change a name. A Deed Poll that is enrolled has no greater effect than one which is not enrolled. It is important to know that a person needs an enrolled Deed Poll in order to apply for Gender Recognition under their preferred name.

To learn how to enrol a Deed Poll, please continue forward by clicking the right arrow.

How to Enrol a Deed Poll

To enrol a Deed Poll in the High Court, you must first be sure you have a correctly completed Deed Poll. Next, you will need:

  • Evidence of previous name (e.g. a birth certificate, marriage certificate, previous name change by Deed Poll, Certificate of Naturalisation).
  • A licence to change name by Deed Poll, issued by the Minister for Justice & Equality (if non-EU national)
  • Photographic proof of identification.
  • €60.00 stamp duty on the Deed Poll.

In order to complete the enrolment process, it is required to first complete the application form to enrol the Deed Poll.

In order to complete the enrolment process, it is required to first complete the application form to enrol the Deed Poll.

If you do wish to enrol your Deed Poll, you must attend the Central Office of the High Court service for personal callers in-person. This service is available on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am to 12:30 p.m.

(PDF download available in the ‘Further supports and resources’ section)

Part 1. Summary

In this part of the module, we looked at Deed Polls, what they are and why they’re important, as well as a step-by-step guide for how to complete one. In the next part, we will look at how to apply for Gender Recognition.

Part 2. Gender Recognition Certificate

Part 2. To learn more

To learn more about completing a Gender Recognition Certificate please see below for the age of your transgender family member:

Unfortunately, if your family member identifies as something other than ‘male’ or female’, they will not be able to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. TENI, BeLonG To, and other groups are lobbying for this to change. Please keep an eye on their websites for the most up-to-date information on their efforts.

GRC - 15 years of age or younger

There is currently no pathway for a person 15 years or younger to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. TENI, BeLonG To, and other groups are lobbying for this to change. Please keep an eye on their websites for the most up-to-date information on their efforts.

GRC - 16-17 years of age

In order for a person aged 16 or 17 years to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, an order from Circuit Family Court must be obtained. This order exempts the person from waiting until they are 18 to make their application. In order to learn more about this process, please contact the Family Courts. Their contact information is located in the further resources section of this education programme.

GRC - 18+ years of age

A person aged 18 years and over can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate on their own behalf.

GRC - Step by step guide

There are three overall steps for completing the Gender Recognition process.

  1. Apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate
  2. Apply to be registered in the Register of Gender Recognition
  3. Apply for a certified copy of entry in the Register of Gender Recognition

We will now take you through each step in more detail. Please remember all of this information will be available in a printable step-by-step guide at the end of this module.

1. How to Apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate

In order to fill in this application form, a number of documents will be needed:

  • A birth certificate or adoption certificate
  • Proof of residency in Ireland (if not born in Ireland)
  • A copy of any gender recognition documents from other jurisdictions or states
  • If a person wishes to have a name other than that on their original birth certificate shown on the Gender Recognition Certificate, they will either be required to provide evidence of an enrolled Deed Poll or evidence of name “use and repute” over two years. “Use and repute” is proven by providing documentary evidence from two different sources (such as passport, driver’s license, college ID card, pay slip, utility bills, bank statements, or official correspondence from a public or private organisation) which shows at least two years usage of the preferred name.

Process

  • Complete the Application Form.
  • Sign the declaration at part 2 of the form and have it witnessed by one of the following: Peace Commissioner, Notary Public, Commissioner for Oaths or Solicitor.
  • Submit the completed form via post to Client Identity Services, Department of Social Protection, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim N41 KD81.
  • 4. Upon receiving your Gender Recognition Certificate, your family member will also receive: 1. An application form to be entered into the Register of Gender Recognition and 2. An application form for a new birth certificate.

If you have any questions about this process or need help with completing the application form, please contact Client Identity Services on 071 9672588.
(PDF download available in the ‘Further supports and resources’ section)

2. Apply to be registered in the Register of Gender Recognition

You may consider applying to the ‘Register of Gender Recognition’. This is not a requirement; however, you will receive a certified copy of entry in the Register of Gender Recognition which will satisfy any situation where a birth certificate is required.

  1. Apply to be registered in the Register of Gender Recognition by filling in the application.
  2. Post the application to the General Register Office in Roscommon

(PDF download available in the ‘Further supports and resources’ section)

3. Apply for a certified copy of entry in the Register of Gender Recognition

Apply for a certified copy of entry in the Register of Gender Recognition which will satisfy any situation where a birth certificate is required. The certified copy of entry can be obtained by writing to the General Register Office requesting a certified copy. The certified copy costs €20.00.

(PDF download available in the ‘Further supports and resources’ section)

Part 2 - Summary

In this part of the module we looked at what a Gender Recognition Certificate is, why it’s important, and the basic steps in how to apply for one. In the next part, we’ll review how to change identifying details on a passport.

Part 3. Passports

Applying for a new passport

Please read the appropriate option below about applying for a new passport

If your family member has or will be receiving a Gender Recognition Certificate

If your family member has or will be receiving a Gender Recognition Certificate, when they receive the Certificate, they will also receive two forms: 1. An application to the Gender Recognition Register and 2. An order form for a new birth certificate.

To apply for a new passport:

  1. You / your family member should complete the order form for the new birth certificate. A new birth certificate will cost €20. This is unless you can prove that the birth certificate is required to provide to another agency.
  2. Once a new birth certificate has been obtained, a passport application can be made using this new birth certificate. To learn more about how to apply for a new passport, please visit the ‘Passports and Citizenship’ section of the Department of Foreign Affair & Trade website at https://www.dfa.ie

If your family does NOT have or does not intend to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate

If your family member does not have or does not intend to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, they cannot apply for a change to the gender marker in their passport

If your family member does not have or does not intend to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, they can apply for a change of name in their passport.

To apply for a new passport with a name change:

  1. It is required that your family member has had their name changed by Deed Poll. You / your family member must provide evidence (school report, college records, official correspondence from a public of private sector organisation, etc.) to show that the name has been in use for 2 years.
  2. A (new or renewal) passport application can be made using this evidence. To learn more about how to apply for a passport, please visit the ‘Passports and Citizenship’ section of the Department of Foreign Affair & Trade website at https://www.dfa.ie and https://www.dfa.ie.

Part 3 - Summary

In this part of the module we looked at why your family member might want to obtain a new passport that recognises their gender identity and the basic steps in how to apply for one. In the next part, we’ll review other important legal protections for transgender people in Ireland.

Part 4. Legal protections

Part 4. Personal stories

In this part, take some time to read stories from other families and trans young people about their experiences with the legal and administrative systems.

We have done all of the above. Every department we dealt with have been respectful and helpful in their dealings with us which made the process easier to cope with. The paperwork involved takes up a huge amount of time and mental energy.
Mother of a 20-year old trans young person
Regarding the Deed Poll, I decided to contact the Deed Poll office by email, get the advice I needed and the templates and paper and type them up myself. I rang our solicitor initially but she had never had to do a Deed Poll before and was very unsure but she did act as Commissioner of Oaths for us and signed and stamped it. We drove to Dublin and entered the Deed Poll office and registered it in the High Court and paid the stamp duty. I contacted the Citizens Identity Services office by phone regarding changing both my sons PPSN's and my 18-year old received his GRC [Gender Recognition Certificate] within a couple of days. We then applied for his passport and the Garda Identity card for proof of age.
Mother of an 18-year old trans young person
I didn't have any bad experience doing Deed Poll. I got it all done in a week. It was easy.
Trans young person
Applying for a Deed Poll was surprising easy and straightforward even though he was still under 18, but I found the process incredibly emotional as a mum. He has since applied for and obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate and new birth cert himself within a matter of weeks…I thought that when I saw the new birth cert I would be upset but I wasn't I suppose almost six years on, the sadness and grief I felt has subsided.
Mother of a 20-year old trans young person
My [child] cannot get a bank account or a passport as he cannot get his GRC [Gender Recognition Certificate] unless I go to court when he turns 18. There is a lot of work involved in getting each stage of the paperwork done, and when one is done, there's another. Every professional we met along the way to help us was wonderful, from our GP, our solicitor to the local Garda. All were very interested and asked plenty questions which we were happy to answer.
Mother of a-15 year old trans young person
The Deed Poll was tricky in relation to having to go the Four Courts in Dublin twice to enrol it/collect it. The GRC [Gender Recognition Certificate] was very easy to obtain.
Trans young person

Activity

Now that you’ve learned a bit about the legal and administrative system, (if appropriate to their age) consider asking your family member if you can speak to them for a few minutes. Ask if they mind discussing with you any concerns they have about their legal documentation. If appropriate, ask them if they are intending on legally changing their name or gender or applying for a new passport.

If so, make a plan of action for how you can undertake this task. Refer to the pathways in this module for guidance.

Key messages summary

Further resources related to this module

Deed Poll Forms:

Deed Poll How To PDF.

Application to enroll a Deed Poll.

Template Of Adult Deed Poll.

Gender Recognition Certificate forms:

Gender Recognition Cert. How To.

Gender Recognition Certificate Application.

GRC Affidavit of Consent.

GRC Certificates.

GRC Civil Bill.

GRC Ex parte motion.

GRC Affidavit of Applicant.

Passport forms:

Passports How To.

For further information

Deed poll information:

Ireland Courts Service: http://www.courts.ie.

Citizens Information on Deed Poll: http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

Minister for Justice & Equality for non-EU national Deed Poll: http://www.inis.gov.ie.

Citizens Information on Deed Poll: http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

Gender Recognition Certificate Information:

Citizens Information on Gender Recognition: http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

Department of Social Welfare for Gender Recognition Certificate information: http://www.welfare.ie.

TENI Gender Recognition information: http://www.teni.ie.

How to apply for a passport information:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: https://www.dfa.ie. and https://www.dfa.ie.

Sources used in developing this module:

Citizens Information. 28 June 2016. Changing to your preferred gender. Available at: http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

Citizens Information. 29 August 2016. Changing your name by Deed Poll. Available at: http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. (2016). How to apply for a passport. Available at: https://www.dfa.ie.

Department of Social Protection. 17 November 2016. Gender Recognition. Available at: http://www.welfare.ie.

Government of Ireland. (2015). Gender Recognition Act 2015. Dublin, Ireland: Office of the Attorney General. http://www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Government of Ireland. (2000). Equal Status Act, 2000. Dublin, Ireland: Office of the Attorney General. Available at: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Government of Ireland. (2008). Passport Acts 2008. Dublin, Ireland: Office of the Attorney General. Available at: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Ireland Courts Service. (2016). Deed poll. Available at: http://www.courts.ie.

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services (INIS). (2016). Change of name license. Available at: http://www.inis.gov.ie.

Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. (2016). Change of name license. Available at: http://www.inis.gov.ie.

Subject Matters Experts (SMEs) in Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). (2016). Legal Gender Recognition in Ireland. Available at: http://www.teni.ie.