New Jersey Becomes Latest State to Add 'X' Gender Option on Driver's Licenses: 'Deeply Impactful'

Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read

New Jersey MVC

New Jersey will officially join a growing list of states to allow residents to use an "X" to mark their gender on driver's licenses and identification cards.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced on Monday that residents will no longer have to choose between "M" for male and "F" for female, and can use an "X" to indicate an unspecified gender if they prefer.

The MVC said in a press release that the change is for people who identify as nonbinary, and for those who do not want their gender specified.

"Diversity and inclusion are core values for New Jersey, and for all of us at the MVC," MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said in the release. "We know this new option will be deeply impactful for many residents, as access to resources and the ability to live and work freely so often hinges on having documentation that correctly reflects your identity."

Nineteen other states and Washington, D.C. also allow residents the choice to use "X" if they prefer, including Maine, Maryland, California and Hawaii, according to the Movement Advancement Project.

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According to CNN, New Jersey's decision to make the change is part of legislation passed in 2018 meant to help residents change gender identification more easily, simplifying a process that can often prove challenging.

Just 21 percent of transgender people who have transitioned have been able to update all of their IDs and records, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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The nonprofit said that correct identification, be it male, female or nonbinary, is required to open bank accounts, start new jobs, enroll in school and travel.

"We're thrilled that New Jersey has joined 19 other states and Washington, DC in offering X gender markers on driver's licenses and state IDs," Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality, said in a statement. "This option will allow New Jerseyans, particularly nonbinary and intersex people, to enjoy a right many of us take for granted — having ID that accurately reflects who we are. We applaud the MVC for taking another step to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ New Jerseyans."

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Garden State residents who want to change their designation to "X" should fill out the associated form, and head to an MVC Licensing Center as a walk-in. They will have to hand over their current license or ID, and pay a standard fee of $11.

The move was initially scheduled for late 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-10 pandemic.