The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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New York I.D. Cards Will Soon Feature X Gender Marker Option

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Nonbinary and trangender New Yorkers can now select an X gender marker on their state I.D.s.

Gov. Kathy Hochul made the announcement on Friday that the new gender option will be available on driver’s licenses, learner permits, and non-driver I.D.s issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles across the state.

The option is made available through New York’s Gender Recognition Act, which will go into effect June 24, according to a press release.

The act will also make changing names, sex designation, and birth certificates easier, allowing nonbinary and trans people to have legal documents that reflect their gender identity.

“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. “Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are. My administration remains committed to ensuring that New York is a place of value, love, and belonging for members of the LGBTQ+ community.”

Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV commissioner said, “Perhaps more than any other state agency, New Yorkers directly engage with their government through the DMV, so offering identity documents that are representative of all New Yorkers is a significant milestone. We are thrilled to implement this new option that we know will have a positive impact on the lives of so many of our customers.”

New Yorkers can now change the gender marker on their documents from M or F to X. Those applying for a photo I.D. for the first time will have the option to select X from the start.

Those who cannot visit a DMV office to change their I.D. can do so online beginning in July, according to the release.

Friday’s announcement came about a year after nonbinary New York lawyer Sander Saba agreed to put on hold their lawsuit against the state for not offering a third option other than male or female, according to Reuters. They agreed to do so as the Gender Recognition Act was signed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Saba had sued the state in 2020.

“It's my sincere hope that, as we move ahead, other transgender and non-binary New Yorkers will be able to live their lives with the respect and dignity they deserve in every facet of their lives, aided by accurate state-issued identification,” Saba said. “Every person should be able to access identity documents that reflect who they truly are without having to validate their personhood in court.”

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