NewsPublic Affairs / November 25, 2019

BMV Hears Public Comment On Driver's License Gender Change Proposal

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Anderson University professor emeritus John Aukerman told the BMV people shouldn't be allowed to change the gender on their driver's license. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Anderson University professor emeritus John Aukerman told the BMV people shouldn't be allowed to change the gender on their driver's license.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

The public got a chance to comment Monday, in person, about a proposed rule at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that allows people to change the gender on their driver’s license.

The BMV has long allowed people to change the gender on their driver’s license. But that policy came under scrutiny this year and prompted the agency to establish a formal procedure. Part of creating the new policy requires a public comment hearing.

That allows people like Heidi Pezdek to voice concerns. Pezdek, who’s affiliated with a conservative Christian group, calls the proposal part of a “social agenda.”

“It affirms those gender-confused children who are still developing their brains and their thoughts,” Pezdek says.

Others say opposing the rule is actually for the good of those who want to change the gender listed on their ID. They claim it will cause confusion with first responders and medical personnel.

But LGBT Legal Project director Megan Stuart calls that a “faux concern.”

“It’s because of having a mismatched gender identity presentation and ID that causes people on the street, people at the bar, people at stores – anytime you have to show your ID – from inflicting violence on that person,” Stuart says.

The BMV will decide next week whether to move forward with the proposed rule.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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