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Arkansas is issuing gender-neutral IDs to people – and has been since 2010

Arkansas is issuing gender-neutral IDs to people – and has been since 2010

Arkansas state sign

Arkansas joins the ranks of generally bluer states and is issuing gender-neutral forms of identification to people.

A report by INTO initially revealed the policy.

Zach Miller, who identifies as gendervoid and uses neither male nor female pronouns, confirmed to INTO that they changed their state ID card.

Miller went to a DMV station in Little Rock and requested the change. Earlier this month, Miller received a new state ID card.

‘It was very affirming to me,’ Miller said. ‘It makes it clear that we exist — that gender nonconforming, non-binary, intersex, and trans people exist.’

All of it began for Miller after a friend, Beck Witt, showed Miller their changed ID card with a gender marker of ‘X’.

Miller said prior to this there were some uncomfortable instances. Police pulled Miller over for an out headlight a few years ago.

‘The police officer wasn’t especially aggressive, but then when I showed him my ID, he had a second officer come up,’ Miller said.

‘He had his hand on his weapon. They accused me of having a fake ID. Then even when I told them that I was transgender, they became more aggressive. I was very concerned for my safety.’

This isn’t new in Arkansas

Perhaps the most surprising piece of this story is that the policy isn’t new in the state.

‘Our official policy is to allow a licensee to change their gender as requested, no questions asked, no documentation required,’ Mike Munns, who was Assistant Commissioner of Operations and Administration at the time, wrote in an email. ‘Please see that this policy is followed.’

The policy was reportedly rolled out in December 2010, with no formal announcement.

Spokesperson Scott Hardin confirmed the policy’s history.

Lambda Legal senior attorney Paul Castillo commended the progressive step forward.

‘I think you will continue to see states move in this direction with regard to identity documents from state identification to birth certificates.’

Previously, it was thought Oregon was the first state to offer such gender options on IDs. Other states like California and Washington soon followed suit.

Most recently, New York City also adopted a similar change.

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