Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office is working to add a third gender option on Michigan licenses. The plan will take at least another year to implement.  Michigan would become the 14th state to make such a change.

A department spokesman tells the Detroit News one of the issues being reviewed is whether the legislature needs to approve the change. That may impact how things develop.  And it’s still not clear how the designation would appear on licenses. Washington, D.C., and New York City have adopted similar options, which allow drivers to select an “X” instead of “M” or “F” to indicate their gender.

Benson had previously attempted for a third gender designation, but the department’s driver’s license database software prevented her from doing so. So instead she came up with  a new interim policy making it easier for people to change their gender designation on state-issued licenses and ID cards.

The old policy required Michigan residents to provide a birth certificate, passport or court order to change the designation. Benson’s change allows individuals to change their designation by filling out a form, visiting an office to have their photo taken and paying the $9 correction fee for a driver’s license or $10 fee for a state ID.

Equality Michigan, an anti-violence and political advocacy organization serving Michigan’s LGBTQ community, applauds Benson’s efforts

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