West Virginia DMV changes photo policy following lawsuit threat
No longer will transgender individuals have to remove their makeup or change their clothing or hairstyle when getting their picture taken at the West Virginia DMV, according to GLAAD.
On July 1st, the state’s DMV changed its license photo policy to trans—inclusive, allowing all applicants who identify as transgender to have their photograph taken as they appear.
The new policy states that “applicants including but not limited to transgendered individuals, will not be asked to remove or modify makeup, clothing, hair style or hairpiece(s) or accessories” for their pictures.
Trans West Virginians are also now allowed to change their gender marker on their driver’s licenses with a form signed by a doctor.
The change comes in response after the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund threatened a lawsuit last year on behalf of two transgender women who were told by the DMV they would not receive a license unless they altered their appearance.
Other states have already put the new photo policy into effect including South Carolina DMV, which changed its policy in the spring following a lawsuit filed against by a transgender teenager.
Virginia DMV as implemented a policy for changing one’s gender marker with a gender request form that can be found on their website, but still has not updated its photo policy.
The LA Times spoke with one Transgender woman, Trudy Kitzmiller, 53, a West Virginia native, who was specifically targeted to remove her make up and appear as male for her DMV picture.
“That’s the most humiliation I ever got in my life was that day down there at the DMV,” said Kitzmiller.
A member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Kitzmiller said she travels frequently for work, and since she’s transitioned, she was aiming to update her driver’s license for work without incident. The name “Trudy” was put on her other belongs, credit cards and the like, but her last change was at the DMV where the fight all started.
“We’re just normal people who want to live our lives and do our thing and not have others judge what we should look like or what we should be,” she said.
While we are all different, there are parts of our identities, our shared experiences, that make us all the same.September 21, 2016
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