Indiana driver's license recognizes nonspecific gender

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - Licensed drivers in Indiana now have a third option when it comes to choosing a gender identity.

Before March of 2019, to acquire an Indiana state ID or driver’s license, you had to choose M for male or F for female. Now, there’s the option of X for those who identify as neither.

In a written statement, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles said the change began in March of this year in response to requests for a nonbinary marker.

In Indiana, people requesting the X designation must present either a certified amended birth certificate or a physician’s note stating that a subject’s gender has permanently changed.

Indiana appears to be the eighth state in the nation to offer a third gender option.

The most recent research from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law says that there are more than 27,500 people in Indiana who identify as transgender, accounting for 0.56 percent of the population.

Having a state ID that accurately reflects one’s gender is seen by some as essential to preserve one’s right to vote in states that require a valid government-issued photo ID at the polls.

In a written statement, local transgender activist Meghan Buell stated, "I applaud the BMV's giving people in Indiana an option for identifying outside of the gender binary. My hope is this is an early step toward true equality for all Hoosiers."