By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
SALEM, OR — The DMV in Oregon has become the first state in the USA to allow residents who don’t identify as male or female to mark their gender as “not specified” on applications for identity cards, learner’s driving permits and state driver’s licenses.
According to Oregon’s Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) website, the new rule went into effect Monday July 3 and drivers now have “the option to change the sex identifier on your driver’s permit, driver license and/or identification card to Male, Female or X for not-specified.
Plus, the new rule indicates that information provided to Oregon’s DMV “when changing your gender designation will be kept confidential.”
The change is free for those renewing their licenses, while drivers with valid licenses who want replacements will need to pay a DMV standard fee.
DMV said the new rule which did not require approval through the state legislature, studied state laws, updated computer systems, worked with law enforcement and the courts, and changed administrative rules to comply with the court order.
“It was new territory for everybody,” DMV spokesman David House told Reuters in May, noting that no other state offers a third gender choice.
The rule was also influenced in part by Portland becoming the first city to allow a third option for gender identity.
In fact the state of California is considering adding a third gender options on their state IDs, and last month, Washington, DC became the first jurisdiction to offer general-neutral Driver’s licenses.
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