South Carolina does not have a specific gender correction provision, but the general statute governing corrections to birth certificates is S.C. Code Ann. § 53-3-530(9) and 44-63-150. Amending the name or gender marker on a birth certificate will likely require a court order. The Department of Health has specific instructions on what a court order must reflect, and specifically do not require evidence of sex reassignment surgery. However, keep in mind that the decision to grant a court order is up to the judge's discretion. Many judges have never seen a gender correction request and need to be educated, and they often want evidence of surgery. The updated certificate will be marked as amended but what information was amended will not be indicated.
To apply for an amended birth certificate an applicant is required to submit:
- An Application for Birth Certificate
- A copy of the individual’s photo ID (see application for list of acceptable ID)
- A court order for correcting the birth certificate (see below instructions) establishing the following:
- Medical certification of a physical change related to sex (evidence of sex reassignment surgery is NOT required)
- A licensed physician and the court are satisfied that medical treatment has been completed, and the individual is now a different sex from their biological sex at birth and is not merely in the process of transitioning (although additional procedures or treatment may still be continuing and life-long)
- The change is permanent in nature
- The change in sex is made with the intent to change permanently and for all purposes.
- Payment of the applicable fee (non-refundable $12 fee, additional copies $3 each) made payable to SC DHEC
Mail application and payment to:
SC DHEC Vital Records
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
How to Apply for a Court Order For Sex Change:
Applicants can apply for a court order for correcting a birth certificate's sex field at the same time as a name change or separately. The applicant should submit to the Family Court:
- A Petition for Change of Sex indicating the desire to amend the sex field on their birth certificate and including:
- Date of Birth
- Place of Residence and Birth
- Desired Change
- Reason for the Change
- Testimony or a notarized statement in proper affidavit form from a licensed physician containing the following language:
“This statement is a medical certification of a change of sex of PATIENT. PATIENT has completed medical treatment resulting in physical changes related to sex. PATIENT is a different sex from their biological sex at birth, and is not merely in the process of transitioning, although additional procedures or treatment may still be continuing and life-long. PATIENT’s change is permanent in nature and their change in sex is made with the intent to change permanently and for all purposes. PATIENT's identification documents should be updated accordingly.”
- $150 Money Order made out to Family Court.
Submit application to the Family Court in your circuit: http://www.sccourts.org/familyCourt/familyMap.cfm. Request a hearing for one hour.