Rule Gives Oregonians Non-Gender Option on Driver's License

Oregon DMV headquarters

"It's fitting that this is before us during Pride Week in OR and Pride Month around the country", said Commissioner Sean O'Hollaren.

The Oregon Transportation Commissions unanimously approved a policy introducing option "X" for non-specified, rather than the "M" for male and "F" for female on drivers' licenses and identification cards from as early as July. The International Civil Aviation Organization, which develops passport standards, has recommended an "X for unspecified" option since 1996, according to NBC.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In a move hailed by LGBT rights groups, OR became the first state in the USA on Thursday to allow residents to mark their gender as "not specified" on applications for driver's licenses, learner's permits and identity cards.

The change follows a ruling previous year by an OR judge that allowed Jamie Shupe, an Army veteran, to legally identify as non-binary.

"This change in ID is a huge piece of validation for me", J Gibbons, a 26-year-old non-binary Portland resident said to The Guardian.




In a statement, the Department of Motor Vehicles said that "time was required to study state laws, update computer systems, work with business partners such as law enforcement and courts, and change administrative rules". "It's something that we should do because it's the right thing to do".

OR is now the first state to allow a third gender option on driver's licenses. Those have included prominent intersex activists like Sara Kelley Keenan and David Strachan, who have worked for years to persuade the states to officially recognize that they were born with mixed-sex traits on a biological and genetic level.

California's state Senate passed a bill on May 31 to allow a third gender option on all state issued documents. The California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, opposes it, arguing that "government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification". "They found they could do that through the rule change".

"I very much plan to head to the nearest DMV and ask for that ID to be corrected on July 3rd", Jamie Shupe said after Thursday's decision.

Gender identity has become a major flashpoint across the United States in places like North Carolina, which passed a bill forcing students to use toilets according to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

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