New York to offer ‘X’ gender option on driver’s licenses

New York will allow nonbinary gender markers on state drivers licenses with the letter “X,” amid a lawsuit was filed this summer challenging the states rules.

Sander Saba, a nonbinary transgender person and resident of New York City, filed a lawsuit through the civil rights organization Lambda Legal this summer that said New York’s policy limiting gender markers to only “male” or “female” was discriminatory.

However, court papers revealed by state lawyers showed that plans to expand gender identities had already begun in late 2019, making the lawsuit moot, according to TheAssociated Press.

Carl Charles, a lawyer for Lambda Legal approved of the new development, but said more had to be done.

“Every day that a person is denied accurate identity documents is a day in which their rights are unconstitutionally deprived, and in which they suffer harm,” said Charles. “We will continue to prosecute our case on behalf of Mx. Saba so that all nonbinary New Yorkers can have accurate state identification that they need without undue delay.”

The New York DMV will have to first update its computer systems in order to create internal license records without binary gender selection. In court filings Gregory Kline, the DMV’s deputy commissioner, said that process would likely not be finished until the fourth quarter of 2021.

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According to Lambda Legal, 22 other states offer some form of nonbinary identification on government forms, and before this decision New York had begun allowing nonbinary individuals to put “X” on their birth certificates.

The Associated Press reported that the DMV offered to allow Saba to go through a manual process that would replace the gender on their driver’s license with “X.” It is unclear if they accepted the offer.

Tags Department of Motor Vehicles gender nonbinary Lambda Legal LGBTQ rights New York

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