Social Security: Americans can now select a gender marker on their records


People can now choose a gender marker on their Social Security records, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday. It’s the latest step in the Biden administration’s efforts to make transgender Americans more inclusive.

While people will be required to show documentation to prove their identity, they will no longer be required to provide medical or legal records of their gender designation, the agency said.

“The Social Security Administration’s Equity Action Plan includes a commitment to reduce administrative burdens and ensure that people who identify as gender diverse or transgender have options in the Social Security number card application process,” said Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi.

The move is part of the Biden administration’s push to make it easier for transgender people to access government services and increase visibility into data. Changing the designation on Social Security records will improve the experience of accessing retirement benefits, getting health care and applying for jobs, according to a White House fact sheet in March.

As part of the effort, the State Department began allowing US citizens to select an “X” on their passport applications in April. The Department of Homeland Security introduced an “other gender” option for the TSA PreCheck application process in July.

The Social Security Administration will accept the person’s gender designation as male or female, even if the gender shown on other identity documents, such as passports or state-issued driver’s licenses, is different.

Those who update their gender in their Social Security records will need to apply for a replacement card. The Social Security card does not include a gender designation.

The agency is considering updating its policies and systems to allow the designation of “X,” but people cannot currently enter a binary or indeterminate sex marker.