Monday, December 14, 2009


This is an amended version and a work in progress. All errors are my responsibility and can be directed to me. My only concern is to create an accurate resource…Corrections and/or amendments gladly accepted.



These are the requirements, state by state, for
amending gender markers on driver’s licenses.
In most states, “surgery” can be defined as hysterectomy,
breast reduction, and /or phalloplasty and vaginoplasty
or orchiectomy. Some states include FFS, breast augmentation
and/or vasectomy.

• Alabama: Proof of surgery and letter from surgeon or physician who has knowledge of surgery.

• Alaska: Proof of surgery and letter from surgeon.

• Arizona : Documentation from a licensed medical or osteopathic physician attesting to applicant’s irrevocable commitment to the amendment.

• Arkansas: Proof of permanent gender altering surgery or court order.

• California: DL 328 must be completed by a licensed physician or psychologist certifying that applicant’s gender disposition is consistent with amended gender marker.

• Colorado: DR 2083 must be completed by licensed physician who verifies applicant’s gender identity and fulltime gender identification.

• Connecticut: According to Connecticut Women’s Legal &
Educational Fund (CWEALF), applicant needs a letter from a
healthcare provider verifying that they are actively in treatment
and living full time according to the requirements mandated
by the HBIGDA (WPATH) Standards of Care.

• Delaware: Applicant needs a court order for name change, an affidavit from a licensed physician, and to have one year real experience in appropriate gender presentation.

• Florida: Applicant must have had surgery and either a copy of an amended birth certificate or a letter from a licensed physician certifying proof of surgery.

• Georgia: At the discretion of the Department of Motor Vehicles and upon provision of letter from a licensed physician certifying proof of surgery.

• Hawaii: Applicant needs note from a physician to amend birth certificate and driver’s license.

• Idaho: NCTE’s website states that surgery is required; another source says either a court order or therapist’s or physician’s letter. Wikipedia states that Idaho will not amend a gender marker.

• Illinois: Medical report, physician’s statement or psychiatrist’s report attesting to correct gender identity; in conjunction with the sex change, any applicant who requests a name change, whether applying for an original, duplicate, or corrected driver's license/ID card, must present acceptable identification which confirms the new name being requested, as well as establish an acceptable link between the old and new names

• Indiana: Acording to NCTE, no written policy…court order needed, no requirements specified. Another source states that surgery is required. One resident who had the gender marker changed reports “There is a policy on the issue: one needs a letter from their doctor stating that they're transgender, and that their gender needs to be flipped. Present that to an attendant at the BMV, and the marker is changed, no court order necessary. The big trick of the matter is finding a doctor who a) knows this requirement and b) is willing to give you the letter.”

• Iowa: Amended birth certificate or court order, no requirements specified.

• Kansas: No written policy…documentation needed proving a change of gender.

• Kentucky: Certified copy of amended birth certificate; proof of surgery needed to get amended birth certificate.

• Louisiana: A medical statement signed by a physician stating that this person has undergone an operation for a sex change and that the sex or gender change has been successfully made. Additionally, applicant must have a court order which may require an amended birth certificate.

• Maine: According to NCTE, “Medical documentation of gender change” is needed.

• Maryland: Documentation packet including comprehensive treatment and a letter of request needed from a psychotherapist attesting to RLE, HRT, etc.

• Massachusetts: Gender Designation Change form along with documentation from medical or social service provider attesting to applicant’s gender.

• Michigan: According to NCTE, “Applicant must provide an original doctor’s statement or court order certifying that the applicant has completed the medical treatments necessary to change their gender”. Another source is similar, but implies that documentation may not be necessary, merely a statement to the effect that they want to change gender on their driver’s license. The form used is T-34.

• Minnesota: According to a Minnesotan with recent experience: A "petition for variance" (form available on the web) must be completed and sent to the Driver and Vehicle Services in the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The petition must be accompanied by a letter from a physician attesting to ongoing hormone therapy. The DVS will then approve the petition via a letter, which the individual must then take to a local registrar's office to apply for the new license.”

• Mississippi: Proof of surgery by performing surgeon.

• Missouri: Proof of irreversible surgery.

• Montana: According to NCTE, applicant needs amended birth certificate and court order. Another source states “To change the gender marker, requires an applicant must provide a physician's letter stating that the applicant is in active treatment. Upon renewal, follow-up documentation is needed ‘to see that transition has been completed.’”

• Nebraska: Documentation proving a gender change has occurred..

• Nevada: Documentation proving gender change as well as court ordered name change, if applicable.

• New Hampshire: Documentation proving surgery. One respondent wrote “I had the gender marker changed to an F, in 1986. All I needed was a court ordered change of name.” Current status would be appreciated.

• New Jersey: Applicant must submit a “Declaration of Change of Sex Designation” form and statement from a social work or medical provider who has skills in all areas dealing with gender identity issues stipulating the applicant’s treatment.

• New Mexico: No written policy, but generally, court order and amended birth certificate. One resident was told by the state Vital Records office “In order to have your Birth Certificate amended you must have the SRS done.”

• New York: Applicant must submit form MV-44 and proof of gender as stipulated by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist certifying that one gender predominates.

• North Carolina: From the NC Driver’s License Examiner’s Manual “If a customer desires to change the gender code on driver’s license or ID card, a court order or a physician’s statement verifying procedure must be presented and comments entered indicating what documentation was accepted.”

• North Dakota: No written policy, documentation needed.

• Ohio: Applicant must submit BMV “Declaration of Gender Change” form, signed by a physician, psychologist or therapist.

• Oklahoma: Proof of irreversible and permanent sex change and court ordered name change, if applicable.

• Oregon: Applicant needs letter from qualified therapist indicating that applicant is living full time in desired gender and documentation for name change, if applicable.

• Pennsylvania: Proof of surgery or court order, stating that applicant is living full time in desired gender and is under treatment.

• Rhode Island: Proof of surgery. According to NCTE, applicant must document that they are anatomically correct.

• South Carolina: Proof of surgery and court order.

• South Dakota: Proof of surgery and court ordered name change, if applicable.

• Tennessee: Proof of surgery and court ordered name change, or amended birth certificate, if applicable

• Texas: No written policy, documentation of surgery needed.

• Utah: Letter from therapist verifying transgender transition, documentation for name change, if applicable.

• Vermont: In lieu of a physician’s letter verifying proof of surgery, applicant may submit letter from certified professional, on letterhead, stating that customer is committed to gender change.

• Virginia: 2 prongs: transitional and permanent; transitional requires one year RLE and must supply a letter requesting amendment, proof of name change, if applicable, a letter from physician, a court order and a medical report. If applicant has had surgery, then letter from surgeon or attending physican, or court order.

• Washington: Applicant must request amendment from agency and supply all pertinent information, including status of treatment, as well as a letter from medical or osteopathic physician or psychologist. Court ordered name change needed if applicable.

• West Virginia: Applicant needs a court order specifically stating that gender change is complete

• Wisconsin: Applicant must complete form MV3001and provide an affidavit from a physician or a director of an institute specializing in gender change.

• Wyoming: NCTE states policy is documentation from a physician or surgeon indicating surgery is complete. My other source indicates a “therapist or doctors letter verifying living as male full-time and undergoing treatment and copy of name change order”

• District of Columbia: Applicant must submit a complete gender designation form averring that this is for DL/ID and not in any way fraudulent. Form also must be signed by a medical or social provider and indicate that current gender presentation is expected to continue.

I have no specific information regarding which, if any, surgeries are required by individual states. There is also sparse information regarding what is required to get court orders and/or amended birth certificates.

For specifics, here is a link to NCTE’s gender marker amendment info:

And another source:


Several letters from helpful individuals and organizations
were used in changes made above.
This is an ongoing process and changes, comments or updates are welcomed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


As I write this, it’s Saturday of Thanksgiving Day weekend…the so called beginning of the holiday season. People are out and about, spending money…online too, not really giving thanks, but more or less perpetuating the myth or reality of the unholy dollar. For some, however, this time of year is a reminder, to them, of what has become so oppressive a burden to carry that their wills flag and they succumb to utter despair and hopelessness. They’re ready to give up. The pain they would have to endure to go on without unburdening themselves of that oppressive weight is unbearable. I know. Last year, about this time, I was as close to going through that door as a person can be without actually going through.

Sadly, news broke this morning, November 28, two days after Thanksgiving. Mike Penner, erstwhile Christine Daniels, was found dead. The LA Times article suggested apparent suicide. I had corresponded briefly with Ms. Daniels, shortly after her announcement in Spring of 2007. She wrote “I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them."

Thanksgiving weekend…beginning of the holiday season…and…a week and a day after the Transgender Day of Remembrance…and now she is gone.

Subsequent to her announcement, Christine volunteered herself and her privacy for the sake of her brothers and sisters. I was so taken by Ms. Daniels words that I wrote her and expressed my support. Subsequently, we corresponded, back and forth, several times. I was impressed not only by the depth of Christine’s sense of herself, but with what appeared to be her commitment to trans causes. She was well spoken and passionate, and I thought perhaps charismatic enough to help effect changes towards better lives for trans people.

I was so happy for her. In one email to me, she wrote “I never knew it was possible to feel this good! No, good doesn't do it half-justice. I feel great, fantastic, whole for the first time in my life, skipping and dancing on the clouds you mention. I went through an extremely agonizing path to get here -- the birth of Christine nearly killed me -- but the dividends once you survive and push through to the other side? Oh my!”

Being a sportswriter for a major American newspaper is high profile, and all indications were that Ms. Daniels could handle the exposure. Lives tend to be all-consuming, however, and I’m sure that was the case with Christine. We lost touch, but from time to time, I’d read an interesting post in her BLOG, or her LA times column, “Totally Random”. She was living her life, working and writing, and apparently dealing with the changes transition can bring.

Appearances can be deceptive. Late in 2008, news came out that Christine had decided to de-transition back to Mike Penner. There was no statement, no story, not a word. I waited…still…nothing. I thought about writing, but was concerned about intruding into his private life. There could have been any one of many reasons for this decision and I refuse to fix blame. I am certain others will, rightly or wrongly. Ultimately, it was Mike’s decision. I AM of the opinion that being trans is not something which can be submitted to a “cure”. I know more than one trans person who has embarked upon transition, only to abandon their efforts for whatever reason. In each case, everyone who had de-transitioned, re-transitioned. To my knowledge, there is no hard evidence that this is always the case, but I suspect it is most of the time.

Whatever happened in Mike Penner’s world is unknowable to most of us. We may or may not hear from friends, family and associates about his state of mind during this past year, but I think it is safe to say that he was severely troubled. It would be wrong to assume that all trans suicides have been committed because the individuals were trans. Many of us have issues which exist independent of our gender diversity. (Personally, I, consider being trans to intrinsically be neither a liability nor a disability). Often, however, other problems are exacerbated by being trans, or vice versa. Often our issues are conflated, one upon another. And, often our individual and perhaps interior worlds are populated by a host of unknowns. The matter of psyches and how they manifest and interact in the world is extremely complex. Again, we can only speculate about why Christine de-transitioned and what was so burdensome to Mike that caused him to take his life, if that proves to be the case.

I have a profound sadness and empathy for what Mike Penner was feeling and suffering. Too many of us been in the exact same situation. Our psychic distress seems limitless when we see no light to help guide us out of the depths of despair. Often we are looking for that light, for something which can illuminate our darkness and cast off that despair. Often there are persons around who can help to shine that light. It is all too tragic when a person is reaching out, yet no one hears their call. I hope that in Mike’s case there is no cause for self recrimination, although I wish I had composed that email.

More than anything, I hope that each of us will make great efforts to hear one another. During this holiday season, reach out to your brothers and sisters. Please do not assume that everything is okay. Do not patronize them…just be there for them. It is critical that we support each other, love each other and talk with each other. This community can ill afford to lose even one person to despair and hopelessness.