In the everyday life of any person, there is frequently the need to give proof of one’s identity. Acts such as paying with a bank card, picking up a package in the post, signing a contract, boarding a plane, crossing a border, applying for a visa, applying to a new job, visiting a doctor or even checking in a hostel, etc.. are all very common activities where we have to demonstrate who we are and we have to give proof of our identity. For trans, inter and nonbinary people, very often our identities don’t match our legal documents and these everyday activities end up being a nightmare. In most countries changing names is a lengthy, incriminating, expensive or simply unachievable task. Even in those countries where name change is allowed, currently, only a few countries recognize gender identities outside of the binary male/female, making it very hard for nonbinary people around the world to get the legal recognition of our identities that we urgently need.
In Germany, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Transidentität und Intersexualität e.V. (dgti), has worked very hard to remedy this situation and created a supplementary ID (in German: Ergänzungsausweis) that exist since many years and it has been confirmed by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. It is a document that aims to prevent discrimination by authorities and can help to avoid uncertainty in security screening procedures with governmental bodies such as police, border patrol, TSA, etc.
The Ergänzungsausweis contains personal information that helps to identify the person as well as a current passport photo so that there is no discrepancy between the papers and the person. The personal details in the supplemental ID as shown should be respected. It is translated into English, German and French, making it possible to use abroad. There is a QR code on the card which leads to a text on the dgti website and ensures that authorities and other institutions are informed about the function of the supplementary card, increasing its practicability. The dgti supplementary card is known to all interior ministries of the federal states, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, as well as various other authorities, ministries as well as various organizations and societies in Germany.
How does it look like?
The dgti supplementary card contains the field “name”, where you can specify a name chosen by you. It can include special characters such as * or _ and can be up to 24 characters due to space constraints.
Also, there is a field for “pronoun” to inform others which pronouns they should use to refer to you. This field is entirely optional and what you fill in is up to you. You could specify one or several pronouns, your name, or no pronoun, etc. For reasons of space, the pronoun field has a limit of 17 characters.
There is a field for “gender” which can but does not have to be completed. It’s important to mention that especially when traveling, problems with unknown genders can occur. The dgti recommendation is to use “x” as a gender since the x can also be processed by computers at the airport, etc. Nevertheless, you are free to give any other information or leave the field empty. Due to space constraints in the card, this field can’t exceed 24 characters.
The ID card also contains a passport photo and the number of the official ID that you use to link with this card. The expiry date of the dgti supplementary card is the same as the official ID (if the official ID card, for example, passport, becomes invalid and needs to be replaced, then the supplementary card also becomes invalid.
In the back of the card, there is a QR code that links to an informational text on the dgti website, which explains the purpose of the dgti identity card to people who see the card for the first time. For example, police officers can inform themselves that the supplement is a document approved by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. A text box written in three languages informs that the details on the supplementary card are to be respected.
How can I get one?
For complete and accurate information visit the dgti website and follow the instructions. You can order it online completing this form or you can also do it per post. The information on that website is currently available only in German, but if you have any questions you can write to them in English.
Last update: 2019.06.15