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Michigan May Add ‘Non-Binary’ Driver’s License Option

Mary Margaret Olohan on January 14, 2020

Michigan is considering adding an option on driver’s licenses for people who identify as non-binary.

The move would allow Michigan residents who do not identify as either male or female to be represented as “non-binary” on their licenses, according to ABC News. Michigan would become the 14th state along with Washington, D.C., to add the option. New York City already has an option that allows residents to select “X” instead of “M” or “F” for female or male.

“The state is exploring the feasibility of adding a non-binary option when we upgrade our technology in 2021,” a spokesman for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office, Jake Rollow, told ABC News.

“We are doing so after hearing from communities and people across the state who desire a way to identify themselves that reflects their reality,” Rollow added. “At this preliminary stage, we don’t have additional information.”

The Michigan secretary of state already took steps to make it easier for transgender people to change their gender on their driver’s license. Benson revised state policy and made it so that residents fill out a form and pay $9 to change the stated sex on their driver’s license. Under the new policy, people who wish to change the sex on their license do not need to supply a birth certificate, passport, or court order.

“One of my goals is to reduce barriers for marginalized communities to participate fully in our society,” Benson said at a November 2019 press conference, according to a press release from the secretary of state’s office.

“The transgender community has faced both marginalization and violence without proper identification. This change returns to a policy that was in place before the issue was politicized, and that was utilized by both a Republican and Democrat secretary of state.”

Lilianna Angel Reyes, youth drop-in director at the Ruth Ellis Center and executive director of Trans Sistas of Color Project, said at the same conference that the move “validates who we are.”

“For us, having a state identification that reflects how we see ourselves reduces trauma and stress when having to show your ID,” Reyes said. “It validates who we are, especially in a world where people and systems constantly devalue our identity.”

Benson’s office did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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