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location:  Transition  >  Sex Marker Change  >  Driver's License

In November 2003 I was, after a bit of hassle, able to change the sex marker on my drivers license. Armed with my original letter from my surgeon, my dad took me to the local DMV. I waited my turn in line and finally approached the counter with mild confidence. I told the lady I wanted to change the sex marker on my drivers license and handed her my letter. She stood there for a moment, looked at my letter, and said she would have to talk to her supervisor about it.

I watched as she went behind another counter and talked to another lady, who I could hear say, "How do we even know this is real? It might be a copy." A minute later the first lady came back and told me her supervisor was out of the office, and kindly informed me my letter was "just a copy." My dad asked when her supervisor would be back, and she said she didn't know and there was no way for them to get ahold of her. I told her my letter was actually the original and that I was told it was all I needed to change the sex marker on my license. She told me to hold on while she talked to the second lady again. Upon returning, she again insisted my letter was a copy and that we were free to wait in the waiting room until they could get ahold of their supervisor.

My dad and I took a seat in the waiting room, and about 5 mintues or so later, the same woman called my name. She said, "I talked to my supervisor, and she said you have to have a court order to change the sex on your drivers license." I briefly argued with her that I was told otherwise; the only document I needed was the letter from my surgeon. Then she said, "I've been working here for 10 years, and that's always been the way we've done it." When my dad asked, "So, you've done this in the past?" she replied again, "Oh, yes, and you have to have a court order." She said her supervisor was "on her way back" and that we were free to wait for her to return. My dad and I declined the offer and left the DMV.

It seemed odd to me that one moment she had no clue how to handle my request and the next moment she had been handling such requests for 10 years. I told my dad chances were, they didn't even know the protocol for sex marker changes, and my dad agreed to take me to a different DMV to see what happens there. We went to the larger office, which also acts as a Tax Collector, in hopes of finding someone a little more knowledgeable.

Sure enough, we waited in another line and finally approached the clerk when my number was called. My dad and I decided not to mention what happened at the other DMV, but to see what they did on their own instead. I told her I was there to change the sex designation on my drivers license and handed her my letter. She said, "OK," and began typing in her computer. No problem, no hassle. In fact, she asked me if I wanted to change it in my car registration at the same time. And when the computer was giving her a problem (it wouldn't let her edit that field), she called her supervisor over who promptly got on the phone and got it fixed. She explained that I would actually have a new drivers license number, because (at least) one number in the sequence is deterined by the sex marker: 0-4 for female and 5-9 for male. Twenty mintues later I had a new photo and a new license.

Before sex marker change, 3/17/03 After sex marker change, 11/26/03