WASHINGTON – The nation’s capital is following in the footsteps of Oregon and will allow residents to identify themselves as something other than male or female on D.C. driver’s licenses.
Under a change announced by the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, residents will be allowed to choose a gender neutral identifier on driver’s licenses and other documents issued by the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
Those who do not want to be labeled as male or female will have an ‘’X’’ placed in the gender category of the ID. Residents will be able to choose the gender neutral identifier “later this month,” according to a statement released this week.
“There are many people in our community whose identity is not bound by or guided by gender,” said Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, who introduced a bill that would prevent future administrations from reversing the ID rule change. She said the gender neutral designation “seemed like something very simple that our government could do to really continue being on the leading edge of supporting our LGBTQ community.”
A spokesman for the US. Department of Homeland Security said the change would comply with federal ID rules, which require gender to be listed.
“We crafted the legislation to comply with REAL ID, which states that one must choose something (regarding gender) for their driver’s license, but it does not specify what the options are,” Nadeau said.
Many other councilmembers showed support for the bill by serving as co-introducers or cosponsors. Based on the number of those supporters, the bill should have enough votes to pass, Nadeau said.
Oregon was the first state to allow its residents to pick a gender neutral identifier on driver’s licenses.