ECONOMY

Cost of changing legal gender reduced to £5

T

he fee to apply for a gender recognition certificate has been reduced to £5, the Government has confirmed.

The £140 fee for how a person changes their legal gender will be reduced to single figures from Tuesday to ensure the process is more affordable for transgender people, following a pledge by the equalities minister.

The Government decided against wider reforms but Liz Truss committed in September last year to making the application for a gender recognition certificate “kinder and more straightforward”.

Announcing the new fee, Ms Truss said: “As we build back better, we want transgender people to be free to live and to prosper in modern Britain.

I am proud that we have made the process of getting a certificate fairer, simpler and much more affordable

“In the National LGBT Survey, 34% of transgender people told us that the cost of applying for a certificate was holding them back from doing so.

“Today we have removed that barrier, and I am proud that we have made the process of getting a certificate fairer, simpler and much more affordable.”

To make the application process easier it is also set to be moved online, with further details due to be announced by the Government in due course.

Under the existing Gender Recognition Act (GRA), a transgender person has to undergo a two-year waiting period, a review or appearance before a specialist panel as well as paying £140 before being able to change their gender legally.

Many LGBT campaigners believe the current system is not fit for purpose and have called for it to be replaced with a simpler statutory declaration and self-identification.

Eloise Stonborough, associate director of policy & research at LGBT charity Stonewall said the reduced fee was a “small step in the right direction” but added the existence of the fee was a “barrier for some trans people”.

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