- Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth
Media Contact for Massachusetts Allows Nonbinary Marker on Licenses, IDs
Dr. Jo Trigilio
Boston, MA — The Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth congratulates the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) on its move to allow Massachusetts residents to select a nonbinary gender marker in place of “male” or “female.” The change fulfills a key recommendation issued to the RMV by the Commission, and follows years of collaboration between the Commission and the RMV. This collaboration included the Commission and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition conducting a training for senior RMV staff and providing instructional material for all staff at the end of 2018.
The nonbinary marker appears as an “X” on documents, versus an “F” for female or “M” for male, which is in accordance with emerging international practice and guidance. Several states have made similar changes, as have a growing number of countries. The “X” marker is available on both driver’s licenses and non-driver state IDs, and is in full compliance with national REAL ID requirements to allow for domestic air travel and other interactions with the federal government.
“We’re so proud to see the RMV make this shift and help carry Massachusetts to a more inclusive place,” said Corey Prachniak-Rincón, Director of the Commission. “Members of the Commission and community have worked for years to make this happen, and we’ve already heard from many people who have gone to the RMV to update their IDs. Not only does this affirm their identities, it also helps to protect their safety.”
Indeed, having a gender marker on identification that does not match one’s gender identity can lead to discrimination and even violence, and causes many individuals to avoid receiving services or entering spaces in which an ID is required. Public school students in Massachusetts are already permitted to select a nonbinary marker for their school records, and other state agencies are considering how to be more inclusive of nonbinary identities.
In addition to people with identities such as gender nonbinary, gender nonconforming, or gender fluid, others may be interested in using the “X” marker. For example, transgender individuals who identify as male or female may prefer to use an “X” marker for various reasons. Intersex individuals may also find that an “X” marker better aligns to their identity. Finally, some individuals select an “X” marker simply for privacy.
No documentation is needed to select the “X” marker – or for transgender individuals to change from “F” to “M” or “M” to “F.” This change was also made recently by the RMV and has already made it easier for transgender people to update their gender marker to correctly match their gender identity.
If you have questions about how to change your marker, please contact the RMV. If you have comments about how the change has impacted your life, or about your experience changing your gender marker, the Commission is happy to review all feedback via its comment portal.