Washington is the latest to allow people to change their gender designation to ‘X’ on driver licenses

People in Washington now have nonbinary options for gender identity. (Source: Washington State Department of Licensing)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (Gray News) - Another state is allowing its residents to choose the letter "X" for their gender designation on its identification cards.

The Washington State Department of Licensing announced the change Wednesday. The "X" is an alternative to "M" for male and “F” for female. Department of Licensing director Teresa Bernsten said the change happened so some don’t feel improperly identified on state-issued cards like driver licenses and instruction permits.

“Everyone deserves to have their lived experience of gender and identity reflected as accurately as possible on their identification documents,” Berntsen said in a blog post. “This, in turn, helps reduce barriers to housing, transportation, education, and employment. It’s in service to our purpose of helping all Washington residents live, work, drive, and thrive.”

The "X" designation won’t have an impact on the REAL ID Act, which means people who don’t identify as male or female on their licenses can still board commercial airplanes and enter military installations when the federal law goes into effect in October 2020.

People in Washington can also change their gender designation on their birth certificate.

Washington joins a growing list of states offering residents nonbinary gender identification options. Out Magazine reports at least 16 other states offer nonbinary IDs, including Massachusetts, which launched its option Tuesday.

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