Legal Gender Recognition
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Legal Gender Recognition

Malta allows for legal gender recognition through the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act of 2015​. The Act introduces a right to gender identity for all citizens of Malta and entitles them to:
- the recognition of their gender identity;
- the free development of their person according to their gender identity;
- be treated according to their gender identity and,
- be ide​ntified in that way in the documents providing their identity, and
​- bodily integrity and​ physical autonomy

The Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act allows for the legal gender recognition of persons based on self-determination and bodily integrity. For most persons aged 16 or over, this entails a simple declaration in front of a notary, which is then enrolled with the Public Registry as a public deed. The Director of Public Registry then authorises the changes to the birth certificate, which paves the way for changes to other identity documents such as passports, I.D. cards and Drivers Licence.

Adopted persons seeking to change legal gender on their adoption certificates are required to go through the courts.

With respect to minors (less than 16 years of age), parents must apply to the Court of Voluntary Jurisdiction on behalf of their children. The court decree is then submitted to the Director of Public Registry for the changes in the birth certificate to be effected.

The law establishes that no-one shall be required to provide proof of a surgical procedure for total or partial genital reassignment, hormonal therapies or any other psychiatric, psychological or medical treatment to make use of the right to gender identity. This applies also to children although a court may request an assessment to confirm that the minor is able to provide informed consent.

A person can access legal gender recognition provisions even if they are married and will be able to amend their marriage certificate to reflect their name and gender identity. No permission or authorisation from the spouse is required since gender identity is considered to be the right of each individual.

The Act also allows for the recognition of the gender identity of persons who were granted international protection under the Refugees Act and for the recognition of foreign decisions related to Maltese nationals or third country nationals decided by a competent court or responsible authority. Persons in detention can also have their gender identity recognised for the period of detention through a declaration made before a notary should they not have access to regular legal gender recognition provisions.

Malta depathologised trans identities through ACT No. LVI of 2016​ which amended the Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act. This means that there can be no diagnoses since gender identity is not considered to constitute a medical or mental health condition.The legislation ensures that depathologisation does not inhibit access to trans specific health services.

X Marker
The possibility of an ‘X’ marker on ID Cards and Passports was introduced in September 2017. This entitles Maltese Nationals not to declare their gender on these Identity documents. Foreign residents who, in their home country, have accessed a gender marker that is not 'M' or 'F', will also have an 'X' on their Residence Card.