BC Vaccine Card Recommendations for Trans, Two-Spirit and Non-Binary People and Vaccine Verification Best Practices

The BC Vaccine Card currently discloses a person’s legal name. For many trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people, legal name disclosure raises fears of being outed, confronted, or referred to by a name and/or pronouns that do not reflect their identity.  

The BC Vaccine Card is managed and issued by the government of British Columbia. The government is working to resolve the issue of legal name exposure, which is well known as a safety and human rights issue; however, a resolution will take time. As a result, we are publishing the following information as an advisory to the UBC community in order to reduce potential harm that may occur as a result of legal name disclosure. 

Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary people have the right to be referred to by their correct name and pronouns, and to not be outed. These rights persist even if they have not legally changed their name.  

Recommendations for trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people

If you have not changed your legal name 

It may be helpful to ensure your photo ID accurately reflects your current appearance. You can update your photo ID at an ICBC driver licensing office.  

You can also ask for a “carry letter” from your doctor or counsellor. This is a letter that confirms your chosen name and pronouns and indicates that you are not attempting to perpetrate fraud by using a name and pronouns not reflected on your government-issued identification. Trans Care BC has created a template document accessible by searching “carry letter” on their site. 

If you would like to change your name, follow the Trans Care BC guide on changing your name and/or gender markers. 

If you have changed your legal name 

The BC Vaccine Card may not display your updated legal name. To resolve this issue:  

  • Re-generate your card. This may automatically update your name.  
  • If your re-generated card does not update your name, call the BC Immunization Line at 1-833-838-2323. They will help you update your information. 

Recommendations around vaccine verification best practices

Recommendations around vaccine verification best practices

When verifying vaccine status, the following best practices can minimize harm to trans, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people:  

  1. Ensure that the person verifying vaccine status is trained in confidentiality practices and is familiar with practices towards   safety, respect and inclusion of Two-Spirit, trans, and non-binary community members. 

           a. Do not comment on legal name where it is different from the chosen name.

           b. If more detailed conversation is required to verify vaccine status, move to a private location. 

           c. Do not disclose legal name information to anyone.  

           d. Ensure familiarity with carry letter format and content.  

2. Whenever possible, confirm vaccine status once and retain a record rather than checking repeatedly.