Changing assigned sex
In the central civil status register, the births
- of all Austrian nationals and
- everyone born in Austria (irrespective of nationality)
are recorded, along with their sex. Convention refugees and stateless persons or persons with undetermined nationality living in Austria are also registered.
For those not born in Austria who have not acquired Austrian nationality or asylum status, the law of the country of their nationality (which may refer to Austrian law) usually applies for any change in civil status.
Data regarding the sex recorded can be changed in the central civil status register upon application.
Having undergone gender reassignment surgery or divorce is not a requirement for a change of sex in Austria.
In its case-law, the Higher Administrative Court has laid down the requirements whereby the civil status authority must change the sex recorded (VwSlg 17640 A/2009):
‘In cases where a person has lived with the all-pervasive notion that they belong to the opposite sex, and has undergone gender reassignment measures which have led to a clear approximation of the external appearance of the opposite sex, and where it is highly probable that there will be no further change in the sense of belonging to the opposite sex, this person shall be regarded as belonging to the sex which corresponds to their external appearance. If these requirements are met, the civil status authority must change the sex recorded in the register of births, since it became incorrect after its recording.’
The case-law of the Constitutional Court has established an additional sex category – intersexuality – that is biologically separate from male or female. Intersexual individuals have a right to their sex category being recorded in the civil status register (VfSlg 20258/2018).
The terms 'divers', 'inter' or 'open' are available for recording the sex category. It is also possible to delete the sex recorded.
The civil status authorities are the following:
- The registry office ('Standesamt') or registry office association ('Standesamtsverband') of the municipality
- In chartered urban districtsGerman text: the registry office of the magistrate
- In Vienna: the registry offices in Vienna
For a change of sex for transsexuals in the case of adults born in Vienna, the MA 63 (→ City of Vienna)German text requires:
A report from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or clinical psychologist containing:
- a diagnosis of gender dysphoria;
- a statement that there is a sense of belonging to the opposite sex and that this is likely to be largely irreversible;
- confirmation that a clear approximation of the external appearance of the opposite sex is in evidence.
Depending on the federal state, these requirements may be worded differently, or other documents may be required, due to the absence of specific regulation in place.
Other administrative processes
Change of sex must take place before a new, gender-specific first name can be adopted, which is done via a change of name by adults or minors.
In Austria, foreign nationals can only change their name if they are stateless or of undetermined nationality and have their usual place of residence in Austria, or are refugees in accordance with the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and have their residence or usual place of residence in Austria.
The registry office will subsequently issue birth certificate, which enables holders to apply for all relevant documents to be reissued, such as:
- Confirmation of registration ('Meldebestätigung')
- Change of name in the certificate of citizenship ('Staatsbürgerschaftsnachweis')
- Passport reissue
- Duplicate driving licence
- Change in civil status (→ City of Vienna)
- Decision of the Supreme Administrative Court, VwSlg 17640 A/2009
- Decision of the Constitutional Court, VfSlg 20258/2018
Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior