BMV ID change proposal

Megan Stuart, the director of the LGBT Project at Indiana Legal Services, speaks at the BMV’s public hearing on Monday.

INDIANAPOLIS—For all the LGBTQ+ topics that divide Hoosiers currently, there seems to be one that they can agree on—that a new proposed rule to change gender ID on driver’s licenses and other IDs doesn’t work.

But one side argues that a gender change from male to female or to the neutral X should never be allowed while the other says the proposed new process is too complicated and bureaucratic.

The BMV held a public hearing this past Monday at Indiana Government Center South to solicit public input in addition to the comments gathered online.

Under the current process, which has been in effect since 2009, an individual can go to a BMV license branch and amend the existing credential, said Christine Meyer, the director of communications and public affair for the BMV with one of several supporting documents.

Under the proposed changes, a person would have to get a form from the Department of Health and then have their physician sign it and stating that the person “has been under my care and has received appropriate clinical treatment for transition.”

Next, they mail the form back to the Health Department with a photo ID. The department will return a confirmation that the individual will then take to a BMV office to get the revised ID.

Meyers said that the new regulations will align processes between the BMV and the Department of Health and introduce a secure process that will use a single point of contact to maintain vital records.

Megan Stuart, the director of the LGBT Project at Indiana Legal Services, said the proposed rule change “imposes additional and unnecessary barriers…to obtaining identification.” She said she believes that the current process is the best way for transgender and nonbinary Hoosier to change their license to fit who they are.

“I don’t need to go to the doctor and get a letter confirming my height and weight, or my barber to confirm my hair color,” Stuart said. “I don’t need to do those things, because I am capable looking in the mirror or at the scale and reporting what I see.”

But Michael Morris of the Lafayette Citizens in Action Group was among the overwhelming number of people who said they oppose allowing any change at all.

“Science tells us that we all as humans normally have 22 identical pairs of chromosomes in are DNA but we either have a pair of x chromosomes or x and y chromosomes as our 23 pair. That is determined at conception and cannot be changed,” Morris said.

Micah Clark, the executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, argued against the change saying it would affect how police and other emergency personal handle situations.

“The proposed Department of Health form does not define what gender X is or what it means. This raises some concerns regarding law enforcement,” Clark said.

Meyers said all of the comments will be taken into consideration as the BMV finalizes its rules.

The BMV will submit its final version to be reviewed by Attorney General Curtis Hill and Gov. Eric Holcomb on Dec. 2. The new rules will be submitted for publishing on and the BMV is hoping to roll out the new rule change by March 3.

Brandon Barger is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.

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