PORTLAND, Ore. -- Starting Jan. 1, people born in Oregon will be able to affirm their gender identity on a birth certificate by completing a notarized application rather than having to get a court order.
The state Vital Records office, based at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, is preparing for the implementation of House Bill 2673, which allows any individual to request a name change and/or sex designation change on a birth certificate that accurately reflects their gender identity.
Prior to HB 2673's passage in 2017, a court order indicating that an individual has completed sexual reassignment was required to change the sex designation on an Oregon birth certificate.
Under HB 2673, a name or sex designation change on a birth certificate can be requested by an individual 18 or older, or an emancipated minor; a parent or legal guardian if the registrant is younger than 18; or a legal representative of a registrant, parent or legal guardian. Individuals who previously changed their name but have not changed their sex on their birth certificate can do so using this administrative process.
Those choosing to change their sex designation to non-binary will be able to add "X" to their birth certificate, rather than "M" for male or "F" for female.
"HB 2673 ensures any individual can request a name change and sex designation change on a birth certificate that accurately reflects their gender identity," said Jennifer Woodward, PhD, state registrar and manager of the Vital Records office, also known as the Center for Health Statistics (CHS).
Amending a birth certificate requires a $35 amendment fee, although that doesn't include the cost of the certificate, which are $25 each for a short-form version and $30 each for the long-form version. New birth records will be provided within seven to 10 working days after the notarized application and fees have been submitted and new birth certificate has been ordered. Applicants will receive a new certified copy of the record of live birth for the registrant (if ordered); a copy of the application form requesting the change; and correspondence from the State Registrar on the final decision.
Applications can be submitted by mail or in person at 800 NE Oregon St., Suite 225, Portland, OR 97232.
Woodward said CHS has been busy training its staff on the new law, updating the application form for changing the name and sex on a birth certificate, and developing a new website, which has all the forms and frequently asked questions. It also has been getting the word out about the law with help from partner organizations such as Basic Rights Oregon, including sharing the FAQs to help guide eligible individuals through the application process.
"We are ready to begin processing applications starting Jan. 2," Woodward said, noting that although HB 2673 becomes effective Jan. 1, the state Vital Records office is closed New Year's Day, a state holiday.