Colorado adding non-binary sex option to driver's licenses

DENVER – Coloradans who don’t identify as simply male or female will soon be able to choose a third sex option on their driver’s license or identification card.

The Colorado Department of Revenue announced that residents will have three options – M (male), F (female) and X – starting this month.

The change in policy is to bring the state into better compliance following two court rulings at the state and federal level, the Division of Motor Vehicles’ Executive Director Michael Hartman told the Denver Post.

“This is an important step for the state of Colorado that the state documents reflect our values,” Hartman told the Post. “People are people no matter their sex identification.”

Hartman said the change will be a simple one and won’t cost taxpayers any money.

In order to choose “X” for their sex on a driver’s license, a person will need to provide either a change of sex designation form signed by a licensed medical or behavioral health care provider or a birth certificate with an “X” sex designation. The change cannot be made online.

California, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine and Washington, DC already offer a non-binary sex designation on driver’s licenses and ID cards. Licenses from those states with an “X” designation can be converted directly to a Colorado license with the “X” sex marker.

The state said a license or ID card with the "X" designation will be compliant with the federal REAL ID standards.

The state also is proposing allowing a third sex option on birth certificates following the settlement of a lawsuit that aimed to declare the state’s birth certificate policy unconstitutional because of its requirement that a person’s sex be surgically changed in order to alter the sex designation on a certificate.

The new driver’s license and ID card policy goes into effect under an emergency rule on Nov. 30. The state will then begin the process to make the policy permanent. That process will allow for public comment.

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