New York

New York begins offering gender neutral driver’s licenses

ALBANY — Nonbinary New Yorkers no longer have to identify as male or female on any state-issued IDs, including driver’s licenses.

In accordance with the state’s Gender Recognition Act, which goes into effect on June 24, “X” is now available as a gender marker on a driver’s license, learner permit, or non-driver ID card at all New York Department of Motor Vehicle offices, Gov. Hochul announced on Friday.

“Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are,” Hochul said in a statement. “My administration remains committed to ensuring that New York is a place of value, love and belonging for members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

New Yorkers who have an existing license or non-driver ID will have the option to change the gender marker on their photo ID from “M” or “F” to “X.”

Anyone applying for a state-issued photo ID for the first time will also have the option to choose “X.”

“Perhaps more than any other state agency, New Yorkers directly engage with their government through the DMV, so offering identity documents that are representative of all New Yorkers is a significant milestone,” said DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder. “We are thrilled to implement this new option that we know will have a positive impact on the lives of so many of our customers.”

The Gender Recognition Act also makes it safer for individuals to petition for a change in name or sex designation by streamlining the process and updating publication requirements.

The law removes a requirement for New Yorkers to publish their name change, address, birthplace and birthdate in a newspaper within 60 days of the change.

People petitioning a court or updating an identification document can also attest to their own gender identity without having to provide medical evidence. They can also ask to seal related documents because of the risk of violence or discrimination.

The law also creates an easier process to change a birth certificate and allows the use of the term “parent” for the first time.

“Each and every New Yorker should be recognized for who they are by their government,” bill sponsor Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) said in a statement. “I’m proud to live in and represent a state that respects and values the needs of these communities – particularly as queer, and especially transgender young people, have come under attack in recent months across our country.”

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