Buncombe County now has a much simpler process for people who are transgender to obtain birth certificates that are consistent with their gender identity. The move comes in the wake of a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s policy requiring transgender people to have undergone sex reassignment surgery in order for them to obtain an accurate birth certificate reflecting who they are.
“This new process simplifies the steps to correct one’s gender marker on their birth certificate to match their identity,” says Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger. “Individuals born in Buncombe County now have simple options to make an amendment on their birth certificate. If a resident has updated their state driver’s license gender, that is the only proof they will need to bring to the Register of Deeds.”
Another way to update a birth certificate is submitting a Certification of Gender Identity form available at the Register of Deeds. This form requires a signature of a physician, psychiatrist, physician’s assistant, licensed therapist, counselor, psychologist, caseworker, or social worker confirming the gender identity of the applicant.
“This is a vital step toward helping provide not just proper documentation, but dignity and validation for people who are transgender,” notes Buncombe County Chief Equity and Human Rights Officer Rachel Edens. “I applaud Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger for prioritizing and streamlining this process. Buncombe County is now in line with the American Medical Association’s recommendation that every individual has the right to determine their gender identity on government documents.”
Reisinger says after this summer’s historic legal case paved the way for people who are transgender to not need sex reassignment surgery to update vital records, he knew his office could step up to help. “My staff and I celebrate the removal of this discriminatory barrier and look forward to facilitating a smooth and affirming experience of the birth certificate amendment process with our trans friends and neighbors.”
To learn more about updating your birth certificate, contact the Register of Deeds at (828) 250-4300.