How do I change the gender on my Social Security Card?

Instructions for changing the gender marker on your social security card. #8911EN

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

* Social Security calls the designation a "Sex Identification on Social Security record"

Social Security cards do not list gender designation on the Social Security card itself. However, a gender designation is made on your Social Security record. This gender designation can be seen by hospitals, during credit checks and many other records search that may include your Social Security number.

You can change the gender designation on your Social Security record but will be limited to only 2 gender designation options. To change the gender designation on your Social Security record, you do not need to provide medical or legal evidence of your sex or gender designation.

You will have to provide proof of your identity and you may have to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status.

The Social Security Administrations records system currently only allows for 2 gender designations: Female or Male.

Even if your identity proof document (like your Washington State driver's license) lists a different gender designation such as "X", the Social Security Administration will only issue gender designation changes from Female to Male or from Male to Female. You can request either Male or Female gender designation on your record regardless of what gender designation is listed on your state ID or other identity proof document. They don't have to match.

Social Security no longer requires proof of gender to change the gender designation on your record. You no longer need to provide a doctor's letter. Just choose which of the two gender designation options works best for you when you complete your Application for a Social Security card form. On the form the options are listed as "Sex".

Social Security requires that you prove who you are when you are requesting a change to your card or record. Use documents that are current (not expired) and have your name, date of birth or age, and, preferably, a recent photo. Examples: U.S. driver's license, State-issued non-driver ID card, U.S. Passport. Social Security might also accept an employee or school ID card, a health insurance card (except for Medicare cards), or a U.S. military ID card.

Social Security also requires proof of citizenship and immigration status. Social Security will only accept certain documents as proof of citizenship status.

If you are a U.S. Citizen:

  • If you were born in the U.S., show your U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport.
  • If you are foreign-born, show your U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization (N-550/N-570), Certificate of Citizenship (N-560/N-561), Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350), or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)

You must show a current U.S. immigration document, such as Form I-551 (Lawful Permanent Resident card, Machine Readable Immigrant Visa), with your unexpired foreign passport, I-766 (Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit), or I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport.

F-1 or M-1 students must show I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status).

J-1 or J-2 exchange visitors must show DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status).

I have gathered my documents. What do I do now?

You must fill out an application for a Social Security card. You can fill it out online and print it from the Social Security card application online at ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf.

Take your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office. All documents must be originals OR copies certified by the issuing agency (no photocopies or notarized copies).

Replacing your Social Security after a change to your record is free.

No.

Generally, changing your gender designation on your Social Security record will not affect private health insurance. For some insurance plans like Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security Income programs, you could experience coverage approval or denial issues due to a mismatch of gender designations between your medical records and Social security records. You may have to work with your insurance provider to address this problem. Adding a specific billing code or contacting the plan to request a formal coverage determination could help.

You can learn more about changing your name on your Social Security card at faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01981.

You can learn more about how to change your gender designation on other identity documents like your birth certificate, ID card or U.S. passport on our How Do I Change the Gender On All My IDs page.   

Get Legal Help

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

Download | Printer-friendly PDF

Last Review and Update: May 24, 2023
Was this information helpful?
Back to top