Monday, May 24, 2010

How did this one slip under the radar?

Bilerico reports this evening that the State of Nevada will now allow transgender people to change the gender designation on their driver's licenses based just on a doctor's say-so. Previously, the state required documentation of gender assignment surgery. This is quite a step forward, given that many people elect not to have reassignment surgery even if they can afford it.

At any rate, that reminded me of a small treasure I discovered last week tucked neatly away in the Administrative Code of Georgia:
 375-3-1-.17 Changing Gender on License
(1) A person may have the gender designation on their driver’s license changed after a gender reassignment operation upon the presentation to a driver examiner of either a court order reflecting such change, or a physician's letter certifying such change. The letter or court order shall state the person's name and date of birth, and the date of gender reassignment operation, as well as other identifying information.
(2) A person applying under Section (1) shall surrender all licenses in their possession and shall be required to pay either the renewal license fee or a duplicate license fee, whichever is applicable. No rebate will be given for any licenses surrendered.
(3) In all cases the decision to change the gender designation on the license is at the discretion of the Department.

For Georgia, this is downright progressive. How the heck did this little regulation manage to get on the books? Probably very quietly. Some state employee deep in the bowels of the DMV decided to make a difference, and got the ball rolling.  I love that!  And then somehow, got it past public review. It wasn't completely without controversy though, at least internally at DMV: Subsection (3), which gives the agency absolute discretion, was, no doubt, a requirement for getting the regulation through. 

Perhaps at some point Georgia will follow Nevada's lead and no longer require evidence of actual reassignment surgery. 

Hope springs eternal, even here in the Deep South.

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