Oregon Makes Accurate ID Easier for Transgender People
Washington, DC – Oregon will become the first state to offer a gender-neutral marker on its state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards on July 1. The new gender designation—an X marker—provides an option in addition to M (male) or F (female) on Oregon-issued identification. The gender-neutral marker provides an important option for nonbinary people, people whose gender is neither male nor female, to display a more accurate gender marker, as well as for people of any gender to have increased privacy around gender on their state ID. Importantly, the new policy also allows all applicants to self-report gender as M, F, or X, and no longer requires a medical or mental health provider to attest to the gender marker. Self-reported gender markers are the most accurate way to ensure that identification documents have the proper marker for that individual, and removes barriers faced by people with limited access to medical providers.
Oregon's new policy is the current best practice for access to accurate gender markers on identification in the United States. Many jurisdictions worldwide already have similar policies, including in Canada, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey, nearly a third of nationwide respondents indicated incidents of verbal harassment, assault, refusal of service or being denied benefits due to identify documents with gender markers which did not match their presentation. By adding a gender-neutral option and removing provider certifications, Oregon's new policy ensures transgender and nonbinary individuals have better access to accurate IDs for use in their daily lives.
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling offers the following statement:
“We are thrilled to see Oregon leading the way in advancing identity document policies which allow for transgender people, including those who are non-binary, to have accurate ID that helps them function in their day to day lives. This is a tremendous first step, which acknowledges the experiences and humanity of a growing segment of the population. NCTE congratulates Oregon and looks forward to other jurisdictions passing similar measures in the months ahead.”