It is possible in the Netherlands to request an X gender marker on your passport, but the process differs from obtaining a binary gender designation (F or M). You can read here how that works.
For an X gender marker on your passport, there are additional steps that need to be taken, as currently, this can only be arranged through the legal system.
Obtaining an X gender marker involves a time-consuming process with several essential requirements.
Time: 3 – 9 months
Costs: between 1,000-2,000 euros
- Lawyer (see our list of lawyers to choose someone to assist with this)
- Copy of the birth certificate (can be requested at the municipality, where it was issued, you will need to show a valid ID)
- Copy of your passport
- Your own statement about your gender experience and why you want an X gender marker in your passport
- (Optional) statements from others about your gender experience
- (Optional) an expert statement that can be requested through specific parties
An argument that can be used in your legal case is a friend of the court brief from Bureau Clara Wichman and Transgender Network.
Step 1: Submit a petition through a lawyer
The first step involves working with a lawyer to draft a petition and submitting it to the court. In the Netherlands, there are 11 courts, each associated with the municipality where your birth certificate was issued. When submitting, consider including previous court rulings.
The petition must include a copy of your birth certificate, a copy of your passport, and your statement about your gender experience. Additional statements from others can strengthen your case.
“My lawyer advised me to gather as much evidence as possible. In the end, I added letters from myself, my parents, and my coach to the petition.” – Storm, received X gender marker in March 2022
While not officially required, an expert statement has often been necessary for the petition to change to an X.
“I didn’t arrange an expert statement. The municipality insisted, objected, and we ended up in court. In the end, the official didn’t even show up, and the X was granted two weeks later.” – Sam, received X gender marker in late March 2022
Step 2: Opportunity for stakeholders to respond to the petition
In this case, stakeholders are the civil registrar from the municipality where your birth certificate was issued and/or the public prosecutor. In this context, the municipality may request additional documents, such as an expert statement.
Step 3: Oral or written hearing
The court may choose to respond orally or in writing to your request. There is no consistent approach, varying from one judge to another. This means you may receive a decision in writing, or a hearing may be scheduled where you and your lawyer can present your case.
Approved? Then a waiting period of three months follows.
When the judge approves the request, there is still a three-month period before the civil registrar can amend the birth certificate. These three months allow for the possibility of filing an appeal against the decision, for instance, if you decide to retract the X gender marker or for other stakeholders who disagree with the decision. After these three months, the modification to the birth certificate can be implemented, and you can apply for a new identification document, updating your information wherever it is not automatically done.