Residents of New York can now choose an “X” marker for their gender on state identification cards
The change is one piece of the Gender Recognition Act, which was passed by the New York state assembly in 2021. New Yorkers can get their gender marker changed to “X” on their driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID card at all Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) offices statewide, according to a news release from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office. Starting in July, residents can also change the marker online.
“As we prepare to celebrate Pride Month in a few days, I am excited to announce this historic change that represents another victory in our fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community,” Hochul said in the release.
“Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are,” she 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 Gender Recognition Act will go into full effect on June 24. In addition to allowing New Yorkers to change their gender marker, the legislation will allow them to attest to their own gender identity when petitioning a court or updating an identification document, eliminate the requirement to publish name changes in a local newspaper, and allow parents the choice to be designated as “father,” “mother” or “parent” on their child’s birth certificate.
The decision comes as several states have pushed a rash of anti-transgender legislation led by Republicans. In April, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a law banning nonbinary gender markers on birth certificates. And earlier this week, Indiana banned transgender women and girls from competing on public school sports teams consistent with their gender.
With the new legislation, New York joins 24 states that offer a gender-neutral marker on at least some official documents, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“This is a significant step forward in the fight for lived equality for transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people in New York State,” Carl Charles, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization focused on LGBTQ rights, said in the release. The nonprofit previously filed suit on behalf of Sander Saba, a nonbinary transgender New York resident who sought a driver’s license that would accurately reflect their nonbinary gender identity.
“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,” said Charles.