La. clarifies DL policies for transgender people
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles will allow people who identify as opposite genders to take a license photo representing their day-to-day lifestyle.
For instance, the OMV will allow people who identify as female but still have legal documents listing them as male to take a photograph that may include longer hair and make up. Their sex will not be updated on the license unless a change is made on a birth certificate first, State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson said.
"[People may say] 'I may look a little different from the picture you saw last time, but it is still me. This is the way I live my life.' You know what, we are going to take a picture of that and we're going to issue them a driver's license because that is what we are supposed to do," Edmonson said.
The ACLU of Louisiana called on the state to change their policies after they said a transgender woman was denied a driver's license reflecting her stated gender. The state's laws say driver's licenses can be denied if the issuer believes the person is trying to deceive them about their gender.
The ACLU said that is not the case with transgender people, who should be allowed to have licenses which reflect how they appear each day.
"Louisiana has no legitimate interest in forcing someone to alter their appearance in order to satisfy stereotypes," Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman said about the situation. "Particularly when doing so will result in a photograph that bears little resemblance to the person."
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