Florida Will No Longer Allow Transgender People to Change the Sex on Their Driver’s License

2024-01-31 14:00:06

The state of Florida has changed its policy on how a person’s sex appears on driver’s license. Transgender people will no longer be able to change their listed sex to align with how they identify and the key word is sex, not gender.

Proponents of this plan note that this is the same policy that the federal government uses for passports.

The Hill reports:

Florida bars transgender residents from changing gender on driver’s licenses

Transgender Floridians will no longer be able to change their gender on state-issued driver’s licenses, according to a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles memo addressed to county tax collectors.

The department’s memo, sent Jan. 26 by Deputy Executive Director Robert Kynoch, states that gender markers on newly issued Florida driver’s licenses should reflect individuals’ sex assigned at birth.

The department’s previous policy, which since 2011 has allowed trans people to change the gender marker on their driver’s licenses with a letter from their doctor, is “not supported by statutory authority,” Kynoch wrote. The department is permitted to issue a replacement license only when a license or permit is lost or stolen, or when there is a change in the licensee’s name, address or restrictions, he wrote.

According to Kynoch, the term “gender” in this case does not refer to an individual’s gender identity, but rather their sex, which “is determined by innate and immutable biological and genetic characteristics,” he wrote.

“Additionally, a driver license is an identification document and, as such, serves a critical role in assisting public and private entities in correctly establishing the identity of a person presenting the license,” Kynoch wrote. “Permitting an individual to alter his or her license to reflect an internal sense of gender role or identity, which is neither immutable nor objectively verifiable, undermines the purpose of an identification record and can frustrate the state’s ability to enforce its laws.”

Democrats are outraged about this, naturally.

From the Florida Democratic Party:

Florida Democrats Condemn DHSMV Rule Changes Targeting Trans People

Last night, a memo sent to county tax collectors by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles began circulating on X (formerly known as Twitter). The memo rescinds existing guidance directing HSMV personnel to issue new licenses matching gender identity, reinterprets existing statute to equate gender identity with biological sex, and threatens transgender Floridians with criminal and civil penalties. In response, the Florida Democratic Party has issued the following statement:

“Florida Republicans’ obsession with trans people has to stop,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “Instead of addressing our raging property insurance crisis or out-of-control rent hikes, the GOP continues to pursue blatantly transphobic policies to serve their made-up culture wars. Erasing and criminalizing trans people is absolutely disgusting and can’t be allowed to stand.

“We’ve seen state agencies continually weaponized under Ron DeSantis, and this rule change at DHSMV serves the same purpose as the rest — allowing right-wing extremists to get the wildly unpopular policies they want without having to go on the record as voting for them.”

“The State of Florida should not sanction hate, violence, or cruelty,” said Nathan Bruemmer, President of the LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

Here’s a local news report:

Featured image via YouTube.


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Florida Will No Longer Allow Transgender People to Change the Sex on Their Driver’s License


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