Sunday, February 10, 2013

Changing ID in Ontario Canada

I'm guilty of not posting frequently enough for awhile now. The concern is, sometimes I don't feel sexy and I question whether I should be posting non-sexy blog entries. Then again, I guess the point is to give a glimpse into what my life as a transsexual woman is like. To that end, I'll fill you in on getting my name and sex designation changed on my birth certificate in Ontario...

I'm in the process of changing my identification and sex designation on my birth certificate with the Office of the Registrar General. Their office is in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

On December 14th I had Canada Post sent the package of my application, original birth certificate, and credit card information with priority to the Office of the Registrar General in Thunder Bay. I had been patient, but on January 30th I contacted the Registrar General's office to check on the status of my application. The processing time quoted is 6-8 weeks, but speaking to Donna, she said that my package was not in their system. She said I should check to see whether Canada Post delivered it. 

I confirmed on January 31st that my package was delivered on December 17th.

I called the Office of the Registrar General again, and spoke to Risa. She confirmed my package was not in the system, but she created a ticket and told me to expect a call in the next week on the subject. 

February 4th I spoke again to Donna, who informed me my package has been rejected due to guarantor. I asked why it had taken 7 weeks before they found my package. Donna, contrary to her previous statement, said they always had the package, and 7 weeks is inside the normal processing time of 6-8 weeks. She contradicted her earlier statement with one that would protect her organization. I specified in a letter that I required this to be urgently processed, a service they have that speeds this up to 10 business days. If they had opened the package in the 7 weeks, why had it not been processed in 10 business days? This does not make sense.

When I asked again, she said that in light of the changes the human rights council had imposed, the Office of the Registrar intended to be "thorough" with transgender people. Donna said I would need to make the necessary changes and re-submit. I asked if she couriered the package back to me, as I had paid $12 to courier it to them. She said they did not. They sent it regular mail.

I was being considered for an internal position within my organization that would have been a significant financial improvement. I would have been making six figures. Their poor organization skills have cost me the job, the money, and the ability to better help raise my 2 year old daughter. The position requires a passport, and while my employer was willing to wait for what we expected would be the timeline before, the rejection of this request after seven weeks and sending by regular mail required them to remove me from consideration. 

Their contradictory statements make matters worse. If the Office of the Registrar General received my package on Dec 17th, which has been confirmed by Canada Post and reiterated on my 2nd call with Donna, but they did not enter my package details into their system until 7 weeks later... how did they monitor who had access to my identification documents? They have mishandled my original birth certificate, credit card information, as well as several applications with an enormous amount of personal information. To top it off, the package included, by their requirements, two notarized affirmations of who I am and two guarantor statements. Quite bluntly, they received a identity theft treasure chest on Dec 17th and made no attempt to secure and organize the information for 7 weeks!

I am unable to go to a hospital, the bank, leave the country, or do anything that requires proof of identification. Losing my package for 7 weeks cost me a significant career opportunity, but it has also continued a feeling of house arrest in the country I live in. The Office of the Registrar does not recognize any of the above as being proof of urgency without my employer writing a letter, so they ignored the letter I initially included.

I finally received my package back to me by regular mail. When I opened it I found they have kept my original birth certificate!!

If the above reads more formally than my usual writing, it's because I've copied and pasted it from what I sent to both my Member of Provincial Parliament and the Ontario Ombudsman. This is completely uncool and while I'll be updating the things they need, I still feel extremely uneasy about having them keep my birth certificate... but not have ever entered me into their system. What drawer to they file a birth certificate in if they have no record of my submission?

So that's been keeping me from feeling overly sexy.


  1. I can't blame you for not feeling sexy with all of that going on. I hope everything works out well from here, after getting the parliament and ombudsman involved.

  2. That truly sucks and so sorry to hear you have been having such a nightmare. Hope things get sorted out soon.


  3. That's absolutely horrible what they've done to you! I truly hope that they correct their errors quickly and offer you some form of compensation. I'm so sorry that you've had to go through all that.


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