The How to Transition Guide

The following information will help guide you through the transition process for all transgender aviators/aviatrix.

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The FAA Medical

In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration updated the policy regarding transgender pilots, removing the diagnosis from the list of disorders. Item 41. Gender Identity Disorder became Item 48. Gender Dysphoria as referenced in the WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health).

The updated process is very straight forward and simple, there are no hidden intentions or misconceptions. The FAA has made great advances to align itself with the current transgender health guidelines.

The FAA Gender Dysphoria Mental Health Status Report (Updated 08/30/17) is a one page document that must be filled out and sent to the FAA prior to obtaining your medical certificate for all medical classes. (including basic med for GA pilots)

FAA Item 48. Gender Dysphoria

Important NOTAMS to remember when filling out the form.

  1. The form must be completed by a Licensed or Board Certified or Ph.D or Psy.D psychologist or psychiatrist experienced in treating transgender individuals.

  2. The form must be sent in prior to the expiration or applying for a new medical. (6 months is a good rule of thumb)

  3. This form is to be filled out for all medical classes.

  4. Allow up to 6 weeks for the FAA to respond.

If you have any questions or need further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Name change on FAA issued certificates

The FAA has made this process pretty straight forward and actually processes quite of few of these each year. Once you obtain your court order name change schedule a meeting with your local F.S.D.O. (Flight Standards District Office)

You must present these items to the FAA Inspector:

  1. photocopy of a marriage license

  2. court order

  3. other valid legal document verifying the name change

Once you submit the paperwork with your F.S.D.O. you will receive a temporary certificate which is good for 120 days. Within the 120 days you should receive your new permanent certificates.

NOTE: You will want to complete your gender marker change at the same time if possible or desired. (SEE BELOW)

Update: (April 2019) We are still working with the FAA to update and include a gender non-binary option.


FAA Gender Marker Change

There are 2 documents the need gender marker changed,

  1. Pilot Certificates

  2. Medical Certificate

Medical Certificate

First, let’s talk about how you change your gender on a medical certificate. In the section above titled The FAA Medical, you will see that you need to send in the FAA Gender Dysphoria Mental Health Status report. When you send this in you should also submit a separate letter from you primary care physician that states you have completed the medical transition to become your new gender. The specific phraseology isn’t important so long as it contains a paragraph stating you’ve transition into your new gender. This document must be signed and dated by the doctor and must contain your legal name and date of birth and if possible your P.I. number or applicant I.D. number.

Pilot Certificates

The process for changing your pilot certificate gender marker is very similar to the FAA Name change. Once you obtain the letter from your doctor stating you have completed the necessary medical changes (mentioned above under Medical Certificate) bring this form with you to your meeting with the F.S.D.O.

The FAA Inspector will want to see these documents as stated on the FAA website.

  1. A court order issued by a court of the United States or its territories stating that you have changed your gender (Usually your state drivers license or passport)

  2. A statement from a physician or clinical psychologist treating you that contains: 

    • Your identification by name and address

    • Verification that you are undergoing treatment that has altered or will alter your gender

    Update: We are working with the FAA to change these requirements.