Indiana offers nonbinary gender option on licenses, IDs

Indiana

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering driver’s licenses and state identification cards with a nonbinary gender option for residents who don’t identify as male or female.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the third option was made available this month.

Bureau spokeswoman Susie Guyer says the agency decided to offer the option based on a recommendation by the American Academy of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Indiana law requires every application for a driver’s license or ID card to include information about the applicant’s gender. Guyer says residents can now choose the third option “X” instead of the traditional options of “M” or “F.”

Guyer says an applicant must present documentation that proves a permanent gender change, such as an amended birth certificate or doctor’s statement.

Information from: The Times

The LGBTQ+ community believes this move is a step forward for Indiana.

“I think that when the state or the BMV, an institution like the BMV acknowledges that these kids are real, it humanizes them,” said Nicki Meier, a facilitator and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth. “It gets them seen. It makes them feel heard. When you humanize someone, I think it makes it less likely that  you’d use violence against them. I think that if you see them as a whole real person, you’re no longer objectifying them, and it makes it harder to bully someone”

The BMV does not anticipate doing away with gender identification on driver’s licenses altogether because it “adopted the credential standards recommended by the American Academy of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), which recognizes three gender options: female, male, and non-specified, which is indicated with an X.”  

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