HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– Pennsylvanians who do not identify as man or woman are going to have another option when heading to the DMV. PennDOT is in the works to make the gender neutral ‘X’ indication a choice when getting your license or ID.
There’s a new option coming for those in the Keystone State who are getting their drivers licenses. Erin Waters-Tarsatt is a spokesperson with PennDOT and noted they’ve been working to better serve their diverse customer base. By this time next year, licenses may be marked M for male, F for female or X for those who don’t identify completely or at all with either.
“PennDOT has been monitoring what’s going on at a national level with this and we’ve had customers who have asked for a gender-neutral option on licenses and I.D.s,” said Waters-Tarsatt. “We are now in the early stages of examining what that means operationally, what requirements we need from a systems perspective and from our customers.”
Licenses are getting more inclusive by popular demand but PennDOT is still working through the logistics. They say the new non-binary mark will still keep identification up to Real I.D. and federal standards.
While PennDOT is focusing on the technology and data aspect, local clubs and organizations are applauding the effort of inclusion.
“Here it is–it’s official, this is me. I really think that’s going to be a good thing for everybody,” said Ellen Newell, a social psychologist and associate professor at Wilkes University. “By changing the norm, by saying ‘look, the government, the state, and the general public are really accepting of people who have diverse gender identities,’ maybe we’re going to become more inclusive and more accepting as a people, regardless of government.”
There’s no legislation necessary to make this change. PennDOT has the authority to do so under state vehicle code. The gender neutral option is expected to be available next year.