Non-Binary Gender Recognition Challenge: How to Guide for Irish Gender Recognition Bill!

Today I received this letter from the Irish Client Identity Service, the governmental department that has been processing gender recognition applications in the Republic of Ireland since the Gender Recognition Bill was passed in September 2015.

Non-Binary Gender Recognition Certificate refusal letter

In my application for a Gender Recognition Certificate, I requested that my gender markers be amended to X and that my gender be recognised legally by the Irish state as non-binary. This letter states their refusal to do so. Although I knew this would happen, it is a necessary process on the road to a legal challenge of the Gender Recognition Bill to recognise non-binary gender.

The process by which I went about doing this is as follows:

  1. I changed my name by deed poll, which required the use of two forms available as templates on the High Courts Central Office website. The first form is a deed poll, which needs to be countersigned by a witness (i.e. someone other than the solicitor). You can also download the adult deed poll template here. The second form has to be signed by the solicitor and the person applying to have their name changed. It’s called the Affadavit of Attesting Witness form which you can download here. This HAS to be printed on deed paper (official yellow legal paper, which the solicitor had in their office). The cost of this was the solicitor’s fee, which was €40.
  2. I enrolled this deed poll in the Irish High Court using this form, submitted along with a copy of my birth certificate. I had to go in to the Irish High Courts in person as they required proof of identification, presented in person by the applicant. The cost of this was €60 stamp duty (along with transport to and from Dublin). This form can also be accessed on the High Courts Central Office website.
  3. I waited 1 month for my deed poll to be enrolled in the High Court, then I returned to the High Court to pick up my deed poll again, along with my birth certificate.
  4. I applied for a Gender Recognition Certificate using the GRC 1 Application Form, which I accessed from the Department of Social Protection’s website. Again, this form had to be witnessed by a solicitor. This time I went to a family friend so there was no cost involved, but otherwise it would have cost me the price of the solicitor’s fee (€40-€60).
    • This is the part that is pertinent to all non-binary applicants so READ ME!:
      • On the first half of Part One, they ask for Personal Details. For the preferred title, I put ‘Mx‘ under the ‘Other’ option. This is a personal choice, but it’s the most commonly used gender-neutral title in the English language.GRC Personal Details
      • Part Two is the Statutory Declaration. In order to request recognition of non-binary gender, I crossed out both ‘male/female’ options and hand wrote ‘non-binary with X gender marker‘ onto the form. This is the part that needs to be written in the presence of, and countersigned by, a solicitor (or peace commissioner/notary public/commissoner for oaths) so make sure to only fill this form out in the presence of the person witnessing your application!Statutory Declaration
  5. I sent this form to the Client Identity Services (CIS) at the following address along with a certified copy of my birth certificate and a certified copy of my deed poll (again, I got my deed polls ‘certified’ at the solicitor’s office at the same time as getting my GRC 1 form signed):
    • Client Identity Services
      Department of Social Protection
      Shannon Lodge
      Co. Leitrim
      N41 KD81
  6. I received the above response from the CIS exactly 1 month after sending off my application. It’s important to state that the CIS did NOT return my copy of my deed poll, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when applying. However, they did return my birth certificate.


  • If you’re not actually changing your name, then you don’t need to go through steps 1-3.
  • If you are changing your name, the only reason why steps 1-3 are necessary is because the Gender Recognition Certificate process requires you to have your deed poll enrolled in the high court – yet more bureaucracy and more financial cost placed upon trans people by the Irish government.
  • If you weren’t born in Ireland but you are resident here, you will ALSO need to provide proof of residency with your GRC 1 form.
  • When showing ID, I just used my passport/driving licence which are still in my old name. As long as I had my deed poll with me, I didn’t have any trouble with this.
  • Don’t expect them to recognise non-binary gender through this process. This is a means to an end – the more of us who go through this and get the letters back from the CIS refusing to recognise non-binary gender legally, the better chance we have at winning a court case against the Irish government!


I am currently looking for other Irish enbies/enbies resident in Ireland who are interested in having their gender legally recognised as non-binary with an X marker to JOIN ME in this challenge to the Irish government! You can contact me in the following ways:


twitter: @tirnanogender

facebook: Tirnanogender

I look forward to hearing from all you other enbies!



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