The ACLU of North Carolina and the LGBT rights group, Equality NC, are applauding changes made to a form used to change one’s gender assignment on a North Carolina driver’s license.
The revised form now allows for a long list of professionals to complete the form regarding their opinion on the “applicant’s gender identity.”
“We applaud this step the DMV has taken to modernize the process to update gender markers on driver’s licenses,” said Sarah Gillooly, Director of Political Strategy & Advocacy for the ACLU of North Carolina in a press release.
“People of all genders shouldn’t have to face invasive questioning and surgical requirements just to have their government identification reflect their true identity. Trans men are men and trans women are women — period,” said Equality NC Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson in the ACLU press release.
There is no state or federal law mandating such a change process. Patrice Bethea, a Public Communications officer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation said in an email to Battleground State News that the change was made because the “DMV periodically reviews policies and procedures to make sure they are consistent with federal law.”
“North Carolina’s policy is similar to that of states like Alaska, West Virginia and Missouri as well as 10 others,” added Jamie Kritzer in a separate email in response to an inquiry from Battleground. Kritzer is the Assistant Director of Communications at N.C. Department of Transportation. “The policy requires a licensed professional with knowledge and expertise to certify the application for gender designation change, which is appropriate.”
Lawmakers were unaware of the move.
“My first hearing of this was while I was watching cable news,” Representative John Torbett (R-District 108), the Chair of the House Transportation Committee, replied in an email exchange with Battleground. “I will be inquiring as to the reason and request for the change while also looking at future notification language modifications in GS’s so we are made aware long in advance of changes.”
Torbett’s sentiments were echoed via email to Battleground from Co-Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, State Senator Tom McInnis (R-District 25): “I was not aware of the change until I read about it in the media.”
McInnis indicated he would be following up as well.
The form can be completed by a physician, psychiatrist, physician’s assistant, a licensed therapist, counselor, psychologist, or a case worker or social worker.
The professional completing the form must then indicate their “professional opinion” of the “applicant’s gender identity” being either male or female.
The form must then be signed under penalty of perjury that the information is accurate and true.
In order for the applicant to complete the change from one sex to another on their driver’s license or a REAL ID card, other documents are required.
Applicants are still required to submit one of the following items:
– Completed Sex Designation form.
– Valid U.S. passport displaying the requested sex.
– Birth certificate displaying the requested sex.
– Court order issued by a United States court granting change of sex or gender.
The person applying for a sex change designation on their license will also have to turn in their current state-issued license or REAL ID.
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