Self-Attestation is the Right Step for the Social Security Administration

November 14, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: November 14, 2022

Social Security Administration LogoThe two most important parts of transition for many transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse people are changing their name and correcting their gender marker on official records. This process often required jumping through many legal, medical and bureaucratic hoops.

Medical certification created unnecessary barriers for trans, nonbinary or gender diverse persons. These included:

  • Incurring monetary costs for a doctor to provide a medical certification.
  • Incurring wait time to process, review, and accept the medical certification document (i.e., ensuring the correct wording, spelling, and color of ink signature).

Previously, this administrative process caused trans persons to submit multiple versions of a doctor’s letter before they received one that was accepted.

Social Security’s new policy on Self-Attestation eliminates what can often be the most frustrating of those hoops. Under this new policy, Social Security no longer requires legal or a medical documentation to certify a person’s gender before it can be changed on their record. When the information that someone reports on a document does not need verification by a secondary source, that is called self-attestation. Self-attestation is the standard we use for information on most forms that we fill out. For instance, nobody is called upon to prove their height or weight on their driver’s license application.

Here are the steps to follow to update their sex marker in SSN records:

  1. Find your Local SSA Field Office
  2. Apply for a replacement SSN card
  3. Show a current document to prove your identity (i.e., U.S. passport, U.S. driver’s license, or State-issued non-driver identification card)

The agency will accept the applicant’s self-identified sex designation of either male or female, even if it is different from the sex designation shown on identity documents.

  1. Your SSN record will be updated.
    1. You may choose to have your SSN card be reissued if it was lost.
    2. Or, you can keep your current card. SSN cards do not include sex markers.


Having the correct name and gender marker on IDs and records is about more than convenience. It’s also a matter of dignity and safety. The National Center for Transgender Equality learned, through a U.S. Transgender Survey conducted nationwide in 2015, that having incorrect documentation was a significant cause for much of the discrimination and violence trans individuals face daily.

Social Security has modernized their processes to decrease administrative burdens and ensure gender equity in the Social Security Number card application process. Now, millions of transgender, nonbinary, or gender diverse people can update their most common ID documents and records without providing medical documentation. Help us spread the word. Please share this information with friends and family who need it.

We look forward to providing feedback as the agency explores future policy and systems updates to support an “X” sex designation for the SSN card application process.

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  1. Deborah R.

    Um last I saw their were 2 sexes. You are either born a male or female. God does not make mistakes. DEAL WITH IT!!!!!!

    • KC

      Amen, sister!

  2. VOTE B.

    WHEREs that red wave ????
    GAME OVER 😂🤣👍👍
    BLUE WINS 🧿👍

    • Hopeful

      For those of us who want to make America great again, the game is far from over. All of us lost when we were relegated a burned out career politician as “president “ of what was a great nation.

      Yes “blue” has accepted a failure as a victory

  3. OMHBG

    But this is real value to libs. Please, the people who are struggling to “find themselves” in the excuse of “trans”, they are valuable. It’s a travesty that they are being (un)treated this way with only affirmation and not something real.

    • Jim

      If they want to find themselves just look in the friggin mirror. You are what you were born, if you have a vagina you are a girl, if you have a penis you are a boy. Deal with what you are and enjoy your life.

  4. Tony

    The policy is better this time than the last one. They don’t need replacement SSN card unless they change their name, lost their card, or request one. It should not be mandatory to replace their SSN card.

    The non-binary would have a problem with spousal benefits which the SSA cannot make policies due to the federal law section 216 of the Social Security Act (42U.S.C. 416). A “divorce wife” and “surviving divorce wife” is defined as a woman. A “divorce husband” and “surviving divorce husband” is define as a man. Congress would need to change the definition to include non-binary.

  5. MajJohn

    We are now to believe that the world is a safer place if one’s SSA record reflects the sexual preference of the number holder. Discrimination and violence happens to a person when they look different than the norm. And millions of dollars are going to be wasted to study further accommodation. I’ve a plan, just don’t ask.

  6. Michelle L.

    WOW 😳 beyond ridiculous!!

  7. Cherie D.

    Pandering to mental illness does nothing to help anyone, when what these people need is true mental health help. I’m also sick of my tax dollars being wasted on this nonsense.

    • David

      The author of the article certainly struck pay dirt (I am certain her title comes with a decent salary.) with her major being in transgender studies etc.

    • Pat

      I’m quite sure my soc sec number does contain my sex at birth. One of the numbers in the sequence is even or odd depending on your sex.

  8. Donna F.

    It is costly and inconvenient for me to provide medical certification of my physical disabilities… can I self attest at my next review? Or are we only worried about some peoples costs incurred?

    • Anne


    • Mike S.

      Very good point.

  9. Darlene

    Why not remove gender and race markers completely from every thing and show human.

    • Tom

      Perhaps some people do not want to be called humans. It’s a crazy world and people are caving into a vocal minority.

    • RSK

      You’ve not heard of transhumanism I see.

  10. Phil S.

    Just another complete waste of federal tax dollars. Please focus on something of real value, not this type of nonsense.

    • RSK

      But this is real value to libs. Please, the people who are struggling to “find themselves” in the excuse of “trans”, they are valuable. It’s a travesty that they are being (un)treated this way with only affirmation and not something real.


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