SALEM, Ore. - (Update: Adding DMV comments on "sex" notation on license, not gender; REAL ID Act requirements)
Beginning in July, Oregon residents will have the option to mark their sex as “not specified” on their application for a driver license, instruction permit or identification card.
Under a new administrative rule approved Thursday by the Oregon Transportation Commission, card holders who do not wish to identify as either male or female will have a third option when they obtain, renew or replace their license, instruction permit or ID card at Oregon DMV.
An X will appear instead of M or F in Oregon driver records and on the driver license, instruction permit or ID card.
Oregon is the first state in the nation to offer that option. And it's not limited to those who have changed their gender. "That is an option for anyone," said DMV spokesman David House.
The new rule came about after an Oregon resident’s court order authorized a sex change from female to “non-binary.”
In order to comply with the order, DMV needed about a year to implement the change. Time was required to study state laws, update computer systems, work with business partners such as law enforcement and courts, and change administrative rules, officials said.
House also noted that while the driver license says "sex," not "gender," the laws and rules say the terms mean the same thing.
Regarding the federal REAL ID Act requirements, House said gender is a required data element, "but (it) does not say what the data element options must be."
Nothing specifies it must be either M or F, he said, and the suggested standard is "X" for "not specified."
If you wish to make a change on your card more than a year before your renewal date, you must pay a replacement fee.
Any time you need to visit an Oregon DMV office in person, DMV suggests that you first visit OregonDMV.com to find office hours and locations, and to make sure you have everything you need before your visit. You can do some DMV business from home at OregonDMV.com, but you cannot obtain, renew or replace a driver license, instruction permit or ID card online.