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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The ACLU of Nevada is very pleased to announce that we learned today that the DMV is going to make changes that allow transgender people to obtain gender marker changes with a standardized form completed by their doctor. This change rightly puts the determination of whether someone’s gender has changed in the hands of medical professionals rather than individual DMV employees.

The ACLU of Nevada heard disturbing reports that individual DMV employees were asking inappropriate personal questions of transgender people who have submitted requests for gender marker changes, and even, in violation of HIPAA, contacting applicants’ doctors. After a particularly disturbing complaint that a DMV employee told a transgender person that God would not approve of her, we brought the incident to the attention of the DMV and a broader letter about the issues was sent on behalf of numerous community groups, from the Stonewall Democrats to the Log Cabin Republicans and the Abundant Peace Church.

The ACLU of Nevada and Jane Heenan from Equality Nevada met with the DMV and a representative from the Attorney General’s office, and negotiated the changes.

We understand that while the changes will not go into place immediately because they need to finalize the materials, the DMV is committed to instituting a humane policy that allows people whose gender has changed to get drivers’ licenses that reflect their identity and enable them to avoid harassment and discrimination. The representatives from the DMV and the Attorney General’s office that worked with have been extremely responsive and understanding, and we are glad that we could work with them to make this important change. We are also very grateful to Jane Heenan and Equality Nevada for insight into how the driver’s license issue affected the lives of transgender people. Finally, and most importantly, thanks to everyone who shared their stories and everyone who gave their support to the cause.

In Liberty,

Maggie McLetchie

Interim Southern Program Director and Staff Attorney

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