Transgender Floridians who hold state driver’s licenses or identification cards may not change their genders on those documents when they renew them under a memo issued to County Tax Collectors by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles on Jan. 24. Florida law currently requires that applicants identify themselves by their sex designated at birth.
According to the memo, “A driver’s license is an identification document and serves a critical role in assisting public and private entities in correctly establishing the identity of the person presenting the license.”
Also, “permitting an individual to alter his or her license to reflect an inner sense of gender role or identity, which is neither immutable nor objectively verifiable, undermines the purpose of an identification record and can frustrate the state’s ability to enforce its laws,” the memo read.
Meanwhile, HB 1639, currently before the legislature, would codify the contents contained in the memo by requiring that “certain applications and licenses indicate the person’s sex rather than gender.”
Detractors of the proposed measure maintain that it is unfair.
“This is another gross example of how every state agency has been weaponizes (sic) to attack people,” said Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D-Orlando) in a Jan. 30 posting on the social media platform X. “Instead of addressing the property insurance crises, this is what our state is doing.”
If passed and signed into law, the legislation would go into effect on July 1.