In Maryland, a big step back? Act now!

The Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) is currently considering an update to their policy regarding changing the gender marker on a driver’s license effective January 1, 2010.

In recent years, many states such as Massachusetts, New Jersey, Colorado, Ohio and the District of Columbia have updated their policies to ensure transgender people can obtain accurate driver’s licenses. But while most states are moving in the right direction, Maryland is set to take a big step in the wrong direction.

The MVA current policy states that to change the gender marker, an applicant must provide a physician or psychologist’s report to confirm that the applicant is in active treatment. The MVA requires annual re-evaluations until the applicant “meets requirements for permanent gender change.” If you are using a name other than your birth name, you must bring the document that initiated the change of name, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court name change order and your current License.

The new policy would require an amended birth certificate. This requires going through the court system. Maryland code states that they will issue a birth certificate reflecting the proper gender only upon receipt of a certified copy of an order of from a court indicating that the sex of an individual born has been changed by surgical procedure and whether such individual’s name has been changed. You cannot change the sex on a birth certificate simply by providing proof that you are undergoing medical treatment or procedures for gender reassignment.

Equality Maryland has been working hard along with several of our partners including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project to resolve this matter, but at this point the MVA is prepared to move forward with this very backward and potentially dangerous policy change in the New Year.

TAKE ACTION! Contact Governor O’Malley’s office and ask them to halt the implementation of this short sighted and dangerous policy change. Click here to take action. Please pass this alert along to anyone you know who lives in Maryland. Click here for more information from Equality Maryland.

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