Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has
signed into law a bill that offers driver's license applicants a
Under Senate Bill 246, the Virginia
Department of Motor Vehicles will offer three options for sex on a
driver's license or state ID: Male, female, and non-binary.
Northam, a Democrat, signed the bill on
March 31. It goes into effect on July 1.
Equality Virginia, which lobbied for
the bill, applauded its passage.
“Historically, transgender and
non-binary Virginians have experienced challenges obtaining accurate
identity documents due to unnecessary barriers,” said Equality
Virginia Executive Director Vee Lamneck. “This law helps to change
that, and we are proud that Virginia has now joined the ranks of 16
other states and D.C. who already offer a third gender marker option
on state driver’s licenses and IDs.”
“This will have a significant and
positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Virginia,” Lamneck added.
“And allow individuals to go about their daily lives with
identification that accurately reflects their identity.”
Fifteen states plus the District of
Columbia have similar laws, including Oregon, California, New York,
Washington, Maine, Minnesota, Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and
Democrats, who in November regained
control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1996, have
introduced a number of LGBT rights bills this legislative session.