INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Attorney General has slowed down the effort to add a gender neutral marker on driver’s licenses by saying there wasn’t enough notice.
The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reported that the move also jeopardizes a plan by the Indiana State Department of Health to allow people to change their gender on a birth certificate with just a physician’s statement.
Susan Guyer, a spokesperson for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, told the newspaper that AG Curtis Hill declined to sign off on the rule saying “their perception that public notice wasn’t sufficient.”
From the Journal-Gazette:
The rule says either a birth certificate or a special Indiana State Department of Health form is needed to change gender on licenses and IDs. It is essentially the same policy that exists now except it will be a health department form instead of the motor vehicle agency form.
“The BMV is not in the medical field,” BMV Commissioner Peter Lacy said. “It makes more sense that the doctor’s note be a state department of health form and that the state department of health would administer the physician portion.”
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box would not disclose exactly what the health form says, making it difficult to understand the full impact of the rule.
But in an interview with The Journal Gazette, Box said it is similar to the existing BMV form.
“They have to have an MD or DO attest to the fact that they’ve undergone transition. They basically have had medical treatment in order to transition and that can be a whole gamut,” she said. “To some people that’s counseling, and to some people that’s surgery. That’s between a physician and the patient to decide.”
The BMV form on the website says the doctor certifies that the person “successfully underwent all treatment necessary to permanently change” their gender.
Box also said the health department will now accept the new health department form to change gender on birth certificates – a significant policy shift.
Until now, Hoosiers had to go through the courts – sometimes a long and costly process – to amend a birth certificate.
Indiana started working toward having a gender neutral marker back in March. The Journal-Gazette said that, until this roadblock, the change would have gone into effect in October.