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Almost 5,000 New Yorkers have 'X' gender markers on their IDs

New Yorkers Gender Neutral X for IDs
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The Gender Recognition Act of 2022 made a third gender option available on state-issued identification in New York.

Nearly two years after New York passed a law allowing residents to use a neutral "X" gender marker on their state-issued identification, almost 5,000 people have used it.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Gender Recognition Act in May, 2022, which made a third gender option available on driver's licenses, learner permits, and non-driver I.D.s issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state. The law also made the process for changing names, sex designation, and birth certificates easier.

The policy permits New Yorkers to change the gender marker on their documents from "M" or "F" (male or female) to "X" (unspecified). Those applying for a photo I.D. for the first time have the option to select "X" from the start, and those who are unable to visit a DMV office to change their I.D. can do so online.

Since the law went into effect on June 24, 2022, 2,862 driver’s licenses, 858 learner permits and 1,082 non-driver IDs were issued as of April 4, 2024, a state Department of Motor Vehicle spokesman told the Times Union. This adds up to over 4,800 New York residents using the "X" gender marker on their I.D.s.

When announcing the law, Hochul described it as a "historic change that represents another victory in our fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community."

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

DMV commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder added that it was "thrilled to implement this new option that we know will have a positive impact on the lives of so many of our customers."

"Perhaps more than any other state agency, New Yorkers directly engage with their government through the DMV," he said. "So, offering identity documents that are representative of all New Yorkers is a significant milestone."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.