Cuomo signs Gender Recognition Act, NY adds 'X' gender mark on government IDs

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law Thursday that will allow New Yorkers to use "X" as their sex designation on driver's licenses in New York.

The Gender Recognition Act will also ensure that New Yorkers can have their gender identity on official documents and provides protections to reduce discrimination against nonbinary and transgender New Yorkers by permitting name change and sex designation changes to be sealed more easily.

The legislation will also allow New Yorkers the ability to amend their birth certificates to use a designation of mother, father or parent for the first time.

Prior to the law being passed, for a person to change their name they were required to publish their new and previous names, address, place of birth and date of birth in a designated newspaper, potentially exposing people to harassment and abuse.

"Every New Yorker deserves to be free from discrimination and have state-issued identification and processes that respect them for who they are, recognize their gender identity and protect their safety," Governor Cuomo said. "New York continues to lead the way in ensuring LGBTQ people are treated equally in every part of the law and society, and this bill is another landmark that ensures New Yorkers can express ourselves for who we are." 

"Getting the Gender Recognition Act over the finish line and signed into law is a wonderful way to celebrate Pride month in New York. Each and every New Yorker should be recognized for who they are by their government. But today, it remains incredibly hard for many New Yorkers to get the identification documents they require for travel, to get a job, and even to go to school," said Senator Brad Hoylman. "This bill will change that, making it easier for gender non-conforming, transgender, non-binary, and intersex New Yorkers - including minors - to get IDs that accurately reflect their identity. I am thankful for the advocates in those communities for their input on this critical bill. I'm thankful for Assemblymember Danny O'Donnell for championing this bill with me. And I'm proud to live in and represent a state that respects and values the needs of these communities - particularly as queer, and especially transgender people, have come under attack in recent months across our country."

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