Starting today, Washington, D.C.’s nonbinary and gender nonconforming residents can now receive a gender-neutral gender marker on their IDs, making D.C. the first region in the United States to officially offer the option.
City residents don’t need any proof from a third party to request the “X” on their driver’s license or non-driver identification card at a DMV, either. The district expects the change will greatly benefit transgender citizens looking for a way to accurately express their gender identity.
“Washington, D.C. has long been a leader in LGBTQ rights and gender issues, and this change is the most recent example of our city’s commitment to inclusivity,” Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in an official statement. “The safety and well-being of all Washingtonians is my top priority, and whenever we are presented with an opportunity to improve the lives of residents and better align our policies with D.C. values, I will take it. I hope to see other jurisdictions follow in our footsteps.”
According to PBS NewsHour, Washington, D.C. previously required residents to receive a signature from a doctor or care practitionerconfirming their gender identity before changing their gender marker on their district IDs. Now, Washington, D.C. DMVs also feature a “self-attestation form,” in which residents can self-attest to their gender identity in order to change their ID marker. This cuts out reliance on a medical doctor or clinic to affirm a citizen’s gender identity.
This isn’t the first time that a U.S. region has acknowledged nonbinary Americans. Previously, Oregon ruled that residents can legally change their gender marker to nonbinary. However, Washington, D.C. is the first U.S. region to implement the policy; Oregon will roll out their nonbinary gender marker in July. Meanwhile, the California Assembly is currently debating a bill that would allow for nonbinary gender markers across the state if passed.