Alaska's Lt. Governor Makes ID Change Easier for Transgender Residents

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com July 27 2012 2:36 PM ET

The lieutenant governor of Alaska has signed a new Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles regulation which will make it easier for transgender citizens to change their sex identifier on state ID cards. According to the Alaska Dispatch, anyone wanting to change their physical description can nonw submit certification from a licensed physician, social worker, psychologist, professional counselor, physicians assistant, or certified nurse practitioner that attests that the person is "undergoing treatment and that the change is expected to be permanent." That's a big swtich from the old regulation, in which trans people had to submit proof of surgery.

The change is in response to a state Superior Court ruling earlier this year in the case K.L. v. the State of Alaska which concluded that asking for proof of surgery was was too invasive of people's privacy rights. The case was brought by a trans woman who had been living female since 2009, but was refused a new driver's license by the DMV without proof of certain gender reassignment surgeries.

The new regulations begin August. 11.

The Alaska Dispatch reminds us that this is a small but important victory for the embattled transgender community in Alaska, who found themselves in the middle of a debate over Anchorage's failed proposition 5, a ballot measure that would have added protections to people regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.