New license/ID will allow third gender option starting this summer

04 June 2019

A third gender option will soon be offered on driver’s licenses and ID cards in order to serve Vermonters better. When the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) begins to roll out new credentials this summer, nonbinary Vermonters or those who do not identify as either male or female will have the option to select “other” for their gender.

“When an ID does not match the gender identity or expression of the holder, the person can be exposed to potentially uncomfortable situations,” said DMV Commissioner Wanda Minoli. “Thanks in large part to the hard work of Vermonters in the LGBTQ community, we saw an opportunity to allow a third gender option for increased safety and inclusion of all Vermonters.”

The change to three gender options was a decision made during the planning process for the new driver’s license system Minoli said. Applications for credentials, including Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Enhanced Licenses, will list the third option as “other,” and the marking on the credential or license under gender will be “X.” This decision was made with direction from members of LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont, which preferred “X,” Minoli said.

“Offering a third gender option on driver’s licenses is consistent with our Vermont values of inclusion and acceptance,” added Governor Scott. “Obtaining a driver’s license that correctly reflects who you are is something we may take for granted. This change is an important step forward in advancing equality for LGBTQ Vermonters.”

“Vermont is a state that prides itself on individualism and freedom,” said Brenda Churchill, Statehouse Liaison for the LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont. “To have a third gender designation on one of the first legal documents a Vermonter can possess that indicates they do not identify as male or female is recognition they exist—legally and fully—in society.”

Vermont law has long recognized that gender identity may differ from the sex assigned at birth. In 2007, state statute (1 V.S.A. § 144) defined gender identity as “an individual’s actual or perceived gender identity…regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.”

 “The third gender option is appropriate for Vermont, and this is the right time to make the change to credentials as we move to VTPICS,” Minoli said.

Vermont joins at least ten U.S. jurisdictions that currently issue identity documents with non-binary gender markers: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maine, Minnesota, New York City, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

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