State lawmakers this week put the finishing touches on a bill that is meant to make it easier for transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex New Yorkers to obtain updated government-issued identification.
The bill, backed by Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, addresses the difficulty facing transgender people when it comes to obtaining a new identification that reflects their gender identity or a name change.
Under current law, a name change order must be approved by a court, and the petitioner must published the name change in a newspaper of record in the county within two months of the order. The provision has drawn concerns over violence facing transgender Americans.
The measure does away with eliminating the publication requirement entirely. And the bill would end the current requirement for health care providers attestation when updating a driver's license, a provision that can lead to steep financial costs.
And the bill would codify administrative changes that allow for transgender and non-conforming minors with parent or guardian permission to access their birth certificates.
“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 Hoylman, who is running for Manhattan borough president in a Democratic primary this month. "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."