Gender and sex information on government IDs and forms
Learn more about our new policy for collecting, using, retaining and displaying sex and gender information on forms and IDs.
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Starting on May 1, 2017:
- gender identity will be the default information we collect, use, retain and display on government forms and IDs
- sex will only be collected and used when it is required to deliver, monitor or improve the product or service
- Ontario government ministries must tell you why they are collecting the information and how it will be used
- when gender identity information is displayed on an ID, customers will have the option to choose
- male ‘M’
- female ‘F’, or
- ‘X’ which includes Trans, Non-Binary, Two-Spirit, and Binary people and people who don’t want to disclose their gender identity
By introducing this new policy our goal is to reduce the risk of trans and non-binary people facing harassment or discrimination because their ID is not consistent with their gender identity.
Ministries are now reviewing each of their products and services to see what changes need to be made (e.g. forms, IDs and online applications). They will be consulting with partners and various stakeholders to understand how these changes will affect each product and service identified.
How to change your sex designation
To change the sex designation on your driver’s licence to an 'X', visit a ServiceOntario centre. You do not have to bring any supporting documents.
Online and in-person consultation (closed)
From August 8 to September 16, 2016, we asked Ontarians to share their feedback about how and when the government should collect, use, retain and display sex and gender information on forms and IDs. We explored three key themes during the consultation:
Theme 1: collection, use, retention and display
We wanted to be more mindful about why information on gender and sex is collected and displayed. To address this, we proposed to collect gender information as the default, and sex information only if needed. For example, sex information is required for the Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP).
Theme 2: third gender identifier
For people who do not identify exclusively as male or female, we proposed the use of the letter ‘X’ on ID cards.
The use of an ‘X’ as a third gender identifier has been implemented by countries like Australia and New Zealand. Since Ontario could be the first province to use an ‘X’ as a third category, we will work with other provinces and the federal government to help them understand our policy.
Theme 3: consistency in change of gender and/or sex information
We wanted to provide a consistent process for people with trans and non-binary gender identity who want to change their sex or gender information on government IDs.
We also wanted to propose a policy where – once you change your sex information on your Ontario birth registration, you can use your birth certificate to change your sex information for any other government ID or service.
Below are highlights of what we heard during the consultation. This feedback helped to inform our approach and will continue to shape policy on sex and gender information on government IDs.
Expert panel consultations
- 53 organizations participated in 4 in-person, expert panel meetings
- included academics, legal experts, advocacy groups
- consultations were held in Ottawa, London, Sudbury and Toronto
- 60 people attended 2 in-person, community meetings
- included members from the trans and non-binary communities
- 12 ministries identified 68 programs with products and forms that collect sex/gender information
- we surveyed all Ontario government ministries about their products and forms
In total 3,714 people completed our online survey.
Gender identity of respondents
- 36% identified as Trans or Non-Binary
- 64% identified as Cisgender
Age of respondents
- 29% aged 24 and younger
- 36% aged 25 to 34
- 18% aged 35 to 44
- 17% aged 45 and older
Top 5 geographic areas we heard from
- Toronto – 1,170 respondents
- Ottawa – 403 respondents
- London – 216 respondents
- Hamilton – 116 respondents
- Kitchener – 89 respondents
We also received 522 respondents from small or medium size towns/cities in Ontario.
Collection and use of sex and gender information
- more than 80% of all respondents feel that there is a good reason for the government to collect gender or sex information
- health care, demographics and policy development were selected as the top legitimate reasons to collect sex or gender information
Display of sex and gender information
- 34% of all respondents feel there is no reason to display sex or gender on Ontario IDs
- 68% believe that 'X' is an appropriate third-gender identifier on government IDs
Changing a sex designation on a birth registration in Ontario
- 82% of respondents support changes to the current health corroboration policy
- 81% of respondents also support the idea of having a third party provide supporting documents to change sex information on a birth registration
Terms and definitions
For a complete list of acceptable terms and definitions, visit the 519 website.
Privacy and personal information
Your privacy is important to us.
Feedback received from this consultation may be used or quoted in reports, etc. to help inform an understanding of the issues; however for privacy reasons no feedback or responses will be attributed to any specific individual.
Please do not include personal information in your responses or any information that identifies yourself, a friend, family member or other person.
Any responses received through the survey, this website, or by email will be handled according to our Privacy Statement.