Washington takes next step to acknowledge more than two genders on ID cards

July 30, 2019

Story 

The latest step in the state’s efforts for inclusion rights is that residents will be able to choose from three gender options when getting a driver’s license: Male, Female and X.

The X gender designation option means a gender that is not exclusively male or female. The Department of Licensing proposed the rule change earlier this year. The change would also impact instruction permits or ID cards and would create more consistency with Washington birth certificates that now list an X.

Elayne Wylie, co-executive director of Gender Justice League, said this is a step in the right direction.

“It’s imperative of our government to include as many people as possible so that people actually feel like they’re part of society, and that they’re seen and heard,” Wylie said.

When Teresa Berntsen was named director of the Washington State Department of Licensing a year ago, people asked her about the issue. She heard from people who were frustrated that the agency didn’t offer a nonbinary option. People who visited DOL with birth certificates that listed their gender as X had to be turned away.

“Identity is a fundamental human right,” Berntsen said. “We, as the Department of Licensing, serve every Washington resident. And the driver’s license or the state-issued ID cards are your primary identification documents. So by us acknowledging there are more than two forms of gender, we are acknowledging basic human rights.”

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136