County tax collectors of Florida will no longer be able to alter the gender designation on state-issued driver’s licenses for transgender Floridians, per a memo from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Deputy Executive Director Robert Kynoch of the department issued a memo on January 26 stating that gender indicators on newly issued Florida driver’s licenses should reflect the sex designated to the individual at birth.
Kynoch wrote that the previous policy of the department, which permitted transgender individuals to alter the gender indicator on their driver’s licenses with a letter from their physician beginning in 2011, is not supported by statutory authority.
He wrote that the department may only issue replacement licenses in the following circumstances: license or permit loss or theft, licensee name, address, or restriction change.
In this instance, “gender” does not refer to a person’s gender identity, but rather to their sex, which is determined by innate and immutable biological and genetic characteristics, as stated in Kynoch’s writing.
A bill making its way through the Republican-dominated House of Representatives in Florida would require transgender individuals to identify their sex assigned at birth on their driver’s licenses rather than their gender identity.