State Lawmakers Make Gender Changes At BMV More Difficult

Mar 20, 2019

A House committee voted Wednesday to make it harder for Hoosiers to change the gender on their driver’s license at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The move comes after the BMV recently added a non-binary gender option for state IDs.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles now allows Hoosiers to list themselves as neither male nor female. Some state lawmakers want to ban that entirely. But a proposed floor amendment to do so wasn’t offered.

Instead, a House committee amended a bill to say that the BMV can no longer change someone’s gender on their ID with only a physician’s note. The person would now have to get their birth certificate changed – an act that generally requires a court order.

Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), who authored the amendment, says she’s trying to ensure gender changes go through the proper agency.

“So, if the doctor and the applicant want to change the birth certificate to do that, that’s with the Health Department or through the court system,” Sullivan says.

Sullivan claims her amendment isn’t a reaction to the recent non-binary option offered by the BMV.

The ACLU of Indiana calls the move a “spiteful reaction to the BMV’s new policy.”