New Yorkers will now have the option to select “X” as their gender on state-issued IDs, Governor Kathy Hochul (D) announced Friday.
The option will be available on driver’s licenses, learner permits and non-driver IDs. The change comes as part of the state’s Gender Recognition Act, which will go into effect June 24.
“Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are,” Hochul said. “My administration remains committed to ensuring that New York is a place of value, love and belonging for members of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The measure was originally signed into law by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) last year. Current state law requires residents to provide a letter from a doctor stating that their preferred gender is their “predominant gender” in order to correct their identity documents.
New York residents who already have a state-issued ID will have the option to change their gender marker from “M” or “F” to “X” at the DMV or online. Those applying for a state-issued ID for the first time will also have the option to select “X.”
Carl Charles, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, which focuses on LGBT rights and filed a lawsuit seeking the “X” marker on behalf of a nonbinary, transgender client, called the move a “significant step forward” for equality.
“The State of New York has finally turned the page on a discriminatory, outdated policy,” Charles said. “Nonbinary, transgender, and gender non-conforming New Yorkers now have access to accurate, state-issued identity documents that are critical to day to day life in New York.”
New York joins several other states, including California, New Jersey and Maine, in allowing residents to choose something other than male or female as their gender marker on certain state-issued documents. In March, the State Department added the “X” gender marker choice to passports.
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