In a rare instance, the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Bengaluru received a gender change request on a passport after a resident underwent sex-change surgery to become a woman. This is perhaps the first time that a passport is being rectified for gender change after a surgical procedure in Bengaluru since the process became digitised, The Times of India reported.
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For the gender to be changed on a passport, officials are required to examine supporting documents and a note from the surgeon who performed the procedure. In this case, the 28-year-old woman underwent a sex-reassignment surgery or a vaginoplasty at a hospital in Tamil Nadu and produced paperwork for the same.
However, the hospital shut down after the COVID-19 induced pandemic crisis. Officials also verified the same and found it to be true. Even with this complication, authorities at the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) in Bengaluru’s Lalbagh said they worked swiftly to process the request and said they “were keen on issuing the passport without disappointing the applicant.” They then advised the individual to undergo an examination at a government hospital in Nelamangala, where her new gender status can be certified by a doctor.
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Once this was done, the papers and the gender-change request were processed successfully. The woman’s new and updated passport will be issued shortly after the police can verify her residential address.