The Department of Motor Vehicles is moving to make it easier for transgender and gender nonconforming Nevadans to change the gender marker on their driver’s licenses.

The ACLU of Nevada supports the DMV’s proposal to move from medical certification to self- attestation when changing the M or F on an ID card. We proudly registered our support before the regulatory committee, where the proposal was met with zero opposition Thursday.

The reason is simple: Having an ID card that doesn’t match a person’s gender identity can be dangerous. It can lead to severe consequences, including economic marginalization, assault and violence, and the denial of health care resulting in serious and negative health outcomes.


And numerous attacks on transgender communities under the Trump administration underscore the need to adopt sound policies at the state level to protect transgender Nevadans.

ID cards are required for an ever-increasing number of important areas of civic and economic participation, such as applying for a job, using a credit card, checking into a hotel, or being stopped by the police. The new regulation removes unnecessary barriers to obtaining identification for a community that faces unique challenges in daily interactions.

For example, inaccurate ID cards can expose people to harassment. Having an ID card that misrepresents one’s lived gender “outs” a transgender person in any situation in which he or she needs to show the document. That can violate the person’s privacy and expose them to the risk of discrimination based on transgender status or gender identity. 


Transgender people don’t need a doctor to tell them who they are, and not every person who is transgender wants or needs medical treatments.  


The fundamental rights to privacy and self-determination weigh in favor of self-attestation. An applicant should not be required to seek out unwanted, unnecessary and potentially costly health care treatment in order to access identification that accurately reflects one’s gender. 


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