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Re-cap: Bringing Trans Issues to the Motor Vehicle Administrators Gathering


Yesterday I had the opportunity to give a presentation to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) at their annual Spring Conference in New Orleans. AAMVA invited NCTE to speak to their members on providing appropriate and effective customer service to transgender people, as well as best practices for updating gender designations on driver’s licenses and state ID cards. I discussed the growing trend toward streamlined policies that enable updates to be made quickly and easily with a simple form and without disclosure of detailed medical information, using the District of Columbia DMV policy as a model of this trend. Having presented a webinar to AAMVA’s members last year together with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, I was pleased to be able to meet so many of them in person. AAMVA’s members, who are motor vehicle administrators from jurisdictions throughout the US and Canada, gave me a warm welcome and were very interested to hear about these topics, which every agency must deal with but which have until recently received little focused attention in most jurisdictions. I was impressed by how seriously AAMVA’s members take providing professional service to all their customers and developing policies that work for everyone. For my own part I was able to learn a lot about all the hard work that goes into producing secure and user-friendly driver’s licenses – though I was disappointed to miss the session on “Emerging Vehicle Issues,” i.e. flying cars (!).

NCTE, together with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, tracks state driver’s license policies and consults with state and local advocates and agencies on developing better policies. If you are working or would like to work on improving policies and practices in your state, please contact me at or my colleague Lisa Mottet, Deputy Executive Director of NCTE at

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