Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (2023)

Driver’s license policies govern the process by which a person can change the gender marker on their driver’s license. Many transgender people choose to update the gender marker on their identity documents so that it matches their gender identity. Accurate and consistent gender markers on identity documents helps transgender people gain access to public spaces and resources, as well as dramatically reducing the risk they will face violence, discrimination, or harassment. Additionally, states may allow individuals to identify as something other than male or female on their driver's licenses. The ease of the process to change gender markers is independent of how many gender options (i.e., male, female, nonbinary) are available.

However, many states have not yet modernized their policy or process, making it significantly challenging for transgender people to access identification that matches their gender identity and protects their safety. This map examines the variation in state policies regarding both the process of changing one's gender marker, as well as the gender marker options available in a given state. This map's categories were developed in conversation with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and based on their driver's license process grading system, available

here.

Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (1)

Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont
  • Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (2)

    State allows residents to mark M, F, or X on their driver's license (22states+D.C.)

  • State uses easy to understand form and does not require provider certification (22states+D.C.)

  • State uses easy to understand form and requires provider certification (accepted from wide range of professionals) (7states,1territory)

  • State uses easy to understand form and requires provider certification (accepted from limited range of professionals) (3states)

  • State has no form. No court order or proof of surgery required, but burdensome process requirements and/or provider certification required from limited range of professionals (6states)

  • State has unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes (4states,2territories)

  • State requires proof of surgery, court order, or amended birth certificate (8states,2territories)


*NOTES (and click "Read the State-by-State Statutes" for more info about every state):
- In March 2019, Indiana's Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) announced that gender-neutral markers on driver's licenses would become available in October 2019. However, in September 2019, the state's attorney generalblocked this option, and in March 2020 issued an official opinion preventing gender-neutral options from ever being allowed unless the state passes legislation explicitly permitting them.
- In August 2019, Illinois passed legislation to implement gender-neutral markers, but

due to the state's contract

with an outside technology company, these options may not be availableuntil 2024. See the current formhere.

The processes by which an individual can change the gender marker on their driver's license and/or birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity are governed by state laws and administrative policies and often include intrusive and outdated requirements, such as proof of sex reassignment surgery and court orders. According to the
National Center for Transgender Equality, burdensome requirements and prohibitive costs prevent the majority of transgender individuals from obtaining accurate identity documents.

For more information, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality'sIdentity Documents Center.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Identity Document Laws and Policies."https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/identity_document_laws. Accessed 11/30/2022.

Percent of Adult LGBTQ Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBTQ adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBTQ adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (3)

52%

52 % of the LGBTQ population lives in states that allow residents to mark M, F, or X on their driver's license

55%

55 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with easy to understand form and no provider certification required

9%

9 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with easy to understand form and provider certification requirements (accepted from wide range of professionals)

3%

3 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with easy to understand form and provider certification requirements (accepted from limited range of professionals)

12%

12 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with no form; no court order or proof of surgery required, but burdensome process requirements and/or provider

2%

2 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with unclear, unknown, or unwritten policy regarding the process of gender marker changes

18%

18 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require proof of surgery, court order, and/or amended birth certificate to change gender marker

Birth certificate laws govern the process by which a state changes (or refuses to change) a gender marker on a person’s birth certificate. Many transgender people choose to revise the gender marker on their identity documents so that it matches the gender they live every day. Accurate and consistent gender markers on identity documents helps transgender people gain access to public spaces and resources, as well as dramatically reducing the risk they will face violence, discrimination, or harassment. For more information, see here.

Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (4)

  • Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (5)

    State allows residents to mark M, F, or X on their birth certificates (16states+D.C.)

  • State issues new birth certificate and does not require sex reassignment surgery nor court order in order to change gender marker(27states,1territory+D.C.)

  • State is unclear regarding surgical/clinical requirements and/or may require a court order to change gender marker (6states,1territory)

  • State has unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes (2states,2territories)

  • State requires proof of sex reassignment surgery in order to change gender marker (12states,1territory)

  • State does not allow for amending the gender marker on the birth certificate (3states)

  • Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (6)

    State bans the use of an X option on birth certificates (1state)


*NOTES (and click the "Citations & More Information" button below the map legend for more information on every state):
--Montana's 2021 law requires a court order and proof of surgery before granting an updated birth certificate, but in April 2022, a
court issueda temporary injunction of the law, ordering the state to revert to its previous (good) process. In May 2022, however, the state department of health issued an "emergency order" banning any changes under any circumstances, in defiance of the court order. The court again ordered the state to allow updates, and the state is reportedly accepting applications for updates for the moment, but the state has alsoasked the state Supreme Court to stop the judge's order.This map will be updated as the case progresses.
--Oklahomahas issuedat least one nonbinary marker on a birth certificate (Oct 2021), but the state’s Governor then issued Executive Order 2021-24 (Nov 2021) to prevent such options and to prevent any gender marker changes at all. In April 2022, the state passed a law, the first of its kind in the country, banning the use of an "X" marker or anything other than male or female.

The processes by which an individual can change the gender marker on their driver's license and/or birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity are governed by state laws and administrative policies and often include intrusive and outdated requirements, such as proof of sex reassignment surgery and court orders. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, burdensome requirements and prohibitive costs prevent the majority of transgender individuals from obtaining accurate identity documents.

For more information, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality's

Identity Documents Center.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Identity Document Laws and Policies." https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/identity_document_laws. Accessed 11/30/2022.

Percent of Adult LGBTQ Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBTQ adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBTQ adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (7)

46%

46 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that allow residents to mark M, F, or X on their birth certificates

66%

66 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that issue new birth certificate and do not require sex reassignment surgery nor court order in order to change gender marker

15%

15 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that are unclear regarding surgical/clinical requirements and/or may require a court order to change gender marker

1%

1 % of LGBTQ population lives in states have unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes

15%

15 % of LGBTQ population lives in states require proof of sex reassignment surgery in order to change gender marker

3%

3 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that do not allow for amending the gender marker on the birth certificate

Many transgender people change their legal name to better reflect their gender identity. While state laws generally allow individuals to change their legal name for any non-criminal purpose, many states still have outdated and burdensome requirements that create substantial barriers to achieving a legal name change. One of the most common and problematic requirements is that a person must publicly post or publish their legal name change request, often in a local newspaper. This not only poses a financial obstacle (as the publication typically must be paid for), but also puts the person at risk of potential harm, harassment, or discrimination. Another significant barrier is that many states have additional rules and restrictions on name changes for people who have a criminal record. These aspects of the name change process are reflected in the map below. For more information, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality's Identity Documents Center.

Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (8)

  • State law does not require publication of name change announcement (23states,1territory+D.C.)

  • State law has unclear publication requirement, or requires publication but allows individual court discretion and/or broad option to waive requirement (18states)

  • State law requires publication of name change announcement (9states,4territories)

  • Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (9)

    State law includes additional restrictions and/or requirements for individuals with a criminal record (25states)


Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Identity Document Laws and Policies." https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/identity_document_laws. Accessed 11/30/2022.

Percent of Adult LGBTQ Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBTQ adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBTQ adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

62%

62 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that do not require publication of name change announcement

26%

26 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with unclear requirements, individual court discretion, or broad waiver options for public announcement of a name change

12%

12 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require publication of name change announcement

Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (10)

71%

71 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with additional restrictions and/or requirements for individuals with a criminal record

Key

  • State has this law Positive Law
  • State does not have this law Negative Law
  • Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (11) Gender Neutral "X" Options Available
State Driver's License Birth Certificate Name Change
Citations Citations Citations
Alabama State does not have this law State has this law
Alaska State has this law State has this law
American Samoa State does not have this law
Arizona State does not have this law
Arkansas State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (12) State does not have this law State has this law
California State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (13) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (14) State has this law
Colorado State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (15) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (16) State has this law
Connecticut State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (17) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (18) State has this law
Delaware State has this law State has this law State has this law
District of Columbia State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (19) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (20) State has this law
Florida State has this law State has this law
Georgia State does not have this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Guam State does not have this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Hawaii State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (21) State has this law
Idaho State has this law State does not have this law
Illinois State has this law State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (22)
Indiana State does not have this law
Iowa State does not have this law State does not have this law
Kansas State has this law
Kentucky State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Louisiana State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Maine State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (23) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (24) State has this law
Maryland State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (25) State has this law State has this law
Massachusetts State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (26) State has this law
Michigan State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (27) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (28)
Minnesota State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (29) State has this law State has this law
Mississippi State has this law
Missouri State has this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Montana State does not have this law
Nebraska State does not have this law State does not have this law
Nevada State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (30) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (31) State has this law
New Hampshire State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (32) State does not have this law
New Jersey State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (33) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (34) State has this law
New Mexico State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (35) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (36)
New York State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (37) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (38) State has this law
North Carolina State has this law State has this law State does not have this law
North Dakota State has this law State does not have this law
Northern Mariana Islands State does not have this law State does not have this law
Ohio State has this law Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (39)
Oklahoma State does not have this law State does not have this law
Oregon State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (40) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (41) State has this law
Pennsylvania State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (42) State has this law
Puerto Rico State has this law State has this law State has this law
Rhode Island State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (43) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (44)
South Carolina State does not have this law State has this law
South Dakota State does not have this law
Tennessee State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Texas State does not have this law State has this law
U.S. Virgin Islands State does not have this law
Utah Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (45) Movement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (46)
Vermont State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (47) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (48) State has this law
Virginia State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (49) State has this law State has this law
Washington State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (50) State has this lawMovement Advancement Project | Identity Document Laws and Policies (51) State has this law
West Virginia State has this law State does not have this law
Wisconsin State does not have this law
Wyoming State has this law State does not have this law
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