The Social Security Administration (SSA) on Friday announced that it will no longer require sex-reassignment surgery for transgender people to change their gender identity on their Social Security records.

Under the new policy, transgender people can change their gender marker by submitting a passport or birth certificate that includes the person's correct gender, or a letter from a physician confirming that the person has undergone “appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.”

Transgender activists hailed the change as a victory.

“This is a tremendous victory for our community,” Ilona Turner, legal director of Transgender Law Center, said in a statement. “The Social Security Administration was one of the last agencies to hold onto an outdated, one-size-fits-all standard for gender change. Transgender people will now be able to change all their federal documents with a simple letter from their doctor recognizing that they have undergone the appropriate treatment for them.”

“This significant change by the SSA will benefit many transgender people who face unnecessary hardships just to obtain ID that reflects who they really are,” said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz. “Even with this barrier removed, there is still much work to do toward full equality for transgender people.”