New York Assembly approves bill creating gender-neutral option on driver’s licenses
© WikiMedia (Ted Eytan)
New York Assembly approves bill creating gender-neutral option on driver’s licenses

The New York State Assembly approved the Gender Recognition Act Thursday, which, if approved by the governor, will provide for the “sex designation of M, F, or X as certified by the applicant [for a driver’s license], with no additional documentation required.”

In addition to creating a gender-neutral designation for applicants’ sex, the bill provides that an individual “may amend the sex designation of their identification card upon request.” An individual may petition the court in their county to recognize their gender identity by submitting an affidavit confirming their gender identity or giving a reason for the change in their designation. The court may not require any additional medical evidence before granting the request.

Minors may also petition through a parent or guardian for a change in gender or sex designation. An individual who states that they wish to change their designation to conform to their gender identity and not “for any fraudulent purpose” is entitled to a new birth certificate, which “if accompanied by a court order for a change of name,” may also include a new chosen name. Parents may also choose to be designated on birth certificates as “mother,” “father,” or “parent.”

The legislation is a step towards recognizing individuals who identify outside of the gender binary and individuals who are transgender but may not have started treatment. If approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo, it will be effective 180 days after becoming a law.