Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Health and Human Resources
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Petition 231
Petition Information
Petition Title Recommended Amendments concerning Gender Change
Date Filed 11/13/2015    [Transmittal Sheet]
Petitioner James Parrish, Equality Virginia; and Arli Christian, National Center for Transgender Equality 
Petitioner's Request

The petitioner requests that the Vital Records regulations be amended as follows:

Virginia’s birth certificate gender change regulation should not require surgery, based on a modern understanding of appropriate treatment for transgender people.

Virginia’s birth certificate gender change regulation should not require a court order, as courts are a costly and complicated barrier to many transgender people, and medical providers, rather than judges, have the professional expertise to request the appropriate gender marker on a birth certificate.

Agency's Plan

In accordance with Virginia law, the petition has been filed with the Registrar of Regulations and will be published on December 14, 2014 and posted to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall at  Comment on the petition will be accepted until January 4, 2016 and may be posted on the Townhall or sent to the Board.

Following receipt of all comment on the petition, and within 90 days of January 4, 2016, the matter will be considered by the State Health Commissioner, acting on behalf of the Board, in order to decide whether to grant the petition.

Comment Period Began 12/14/2015    Ended 1/4/2016
Virginia Register Announcement Submitted on 11/13/2015
The Virginia Register of Regulations
Published on: 12/14/2015     Volume: 32  Issue: 8
Agency Decision Take no action    
Response Date 3/17/2016
Decision Publication Date Published on: 4/18/2016     Volume: 32  Issue: 17
Agency Decision Summary

The Board of Health does not have statutory authority to amend the Regulations Governing Vital Records (12VAC5—550) as requested by the petitioner.  Section 32.1-269(E) of the Code of Virginia states as follows: "Upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction indicating that the sex of an individual has been changed by medical procedure and upon request of such person, the State Registrar shall amend such person's certificate of birth to show the change of sex and, if a certified copy of a court order changing the person's name is submitted, to show a new name.”  Given this current statutory requirement, legislation would need to be enacted authorizing the Board of Health to amend the regulations as requested.

Contact Information
Name / Title: Janet Rainey  / Director, VDH Division of Vital Records
Address: 2001 Maywill Street, Ste. 268
Richmond, 23230
Email Address:
Telephone: (804)662-5245    FAX: (804)662-6272    TDD: ()-