New Yorkers now have the option to choose "X" as a gender marker on their driver's license, learner's permit or non-driver identification card, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Friday.
This change is prompted by the state's Gender Recognition Act, which goes into effect on June 24 and aims to provide expanded protections for transgender and non-binary citizens, as well as make it easier for people to change their names, change their sex designation and change their birth certificates to reflect their 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," Gov. Hochul said in a statement. "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."
Those who have an existing ID card and wish to change it or are getting one for the first time can complete the application for permit, driver license or non-driver ID card (MV-44) form. Customers who do not want to visit a DMV office to change their existing ID document will have the option to change their gender designation through an online transaction beginning in July 2022.
"Each and every New Yorker should be recognized for who they are by their government. Before the Gender Recognition Act, it was incredibly hard for many New Yorkers to get the identification documents they require for travel, to get a job, and even to go to school. But on June 24, when the GRA takes effect thanks to the efforts of TGNB activists, all gender non-conforming, transgender, non-binary, and intersex New Yorkers will be able to receive IDs that accurately reflect their identity," said state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who was one of the sponsors of the Gender Recognition Act. "I'm proud to live in and represent a state that respects and values the needs of these communities - particularly as queer, and especially transgender young people, have come under attack in recent months across our country. Thank you, Governor Hochul, DMV Commissioner Schroeder, and Division of Human Rights Commissioner Imperial for overseeing the implementation of this important law."
This comes after the state budget, passed in April, included legislation that allows New Yorkers to write a gender-neutral "X" on nearly all state forms beginning in 2023.