Special Report

At a recent public meeting earlier this month, the Nevada Department of Motor vehicles signaled a move toward allowing individuals to self-declare a gender when obtaining a license, rather than provide proof from a physician.  It is still unclear when the proposal might go into effect.

Final approval must come from the state Legislative Commission’s subcommittee to review regulations, which has not yet been scheduled.

Massachusetts, Oregon and the District of Columbia already have similar rules in effect.  California is currently updating their policies.

Currently, driver’s license applicants wanting to select a gender differing from what is indicated on their birth certificate must provide a physician’s certification.

The DMV’s proposed rule would eliminate the need for a doctor’s note. Drivers would simply be able to check the box they identify with more: male or female.

The new policy would align with an administrative code adopted in 2016 by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health that allows individuals to self-declare gender changes on Nevada birth certificates, rather than obtain a court order.

The DMV’s proposal is also supported by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which noted that having an identification card that does not match with a person’s gender identity could expose them to harassment when cashing checks at the bank, applying for jobs or getting stopped by law enforcement.“Having an ID card that misrepresents one’s lived gender ‘outs’ a transgender person in any situation in which he or she needs to show the document,” Holly Wellborn, policy director for ACLU of Nevada, said in a statement posted on the agency’s website. “That can violate the person’s privacy and expose them to the risk of discrimination based on transgender status or gender identity.”

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