Bill addressing gender changes to Indiana IDs likely dead this session

A bill that would have created a hurdle for Indiana residents seeking to change their gender on their driver’s licenses or other credentials issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is likely dead this legislative session.

The Republican-led House Roads and Transportation Committee voted last week to revise an unrelated bill to require the submission of a certified, amended birth certificate to the BMV in order to complete a gender identity change on BMV-issued credentials.

The committee's move came a week after the BMV announced that it had begun issuing driver's licenses and identification cards with a third gender option. That change allowed residents to choose "X'' instead of the traditional options of "M'' or "F'' gender identifiers.
The BMV currently processes gender changes after receiving either a certified, amended birth certificate, or a state form completed by a licensed physician confirming that an individual has undergone treatment to permanently change their gender.

A physician can also submit a signed and dated statement on office letterhead confirming a gender change, as long as the wording used in the statement substantially matches the gender change language required by the Indiana Administrative Code.

Senate Bill 182, which was the bill Republicans amended and initially addressed mobile credentialing by the BMV, moved to the House floor Monday for amendments, but it was never called. Instead of staying on the calendar for Tuesday, as most bills do when action hasn’t been taken, the legislation was removed from the agenda.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said on Tuesday that the bill won’t be called because lawmakers have realized there is a bigger issue with inconsistency among Indiana birth certificates. 

For example, some birth certificates list someone’s sex; some list an individual’s gender and some don’t include anything. Bosma said that varies county by county and sometimes hospital by hospital. 

He said the issue may require the creation of a special task force or a summer study committee, so changing the requirement of what document is needed to amend a driver’s license has been put on hold for now. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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