ACLU Appears in Court to Challenge Alaska Policy on Correcting Sex on Driver's Licenses for Transgender People

ANCHORAGE, AK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the law firm Perkins Coie appeared in Alaska Superior Court yesterday seeking to allow transgender individuals to correct the sex marker on their driver’s licenses. Refusing to change the sex marker on a driver’s license or requiring surgery prior to a change places an undue burden on transgender individuals and presents a gross violation of an individual’s right to privacy and equality.

The ACLU is representing a transgender woman, K.L., whose passport and work documents all identify her as a female. K.L., who is openly transgender but wishes to remain anonymous for the purposes of this case, changed the sex on her driver’s license but was told that her license would be revoked unless she submitted proof of having surgery.

“This case is about protecting the privacy of all Alaskans,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska. “The Department of Motor Vehicles has a responsibility to keep our roads safe. It is not their place to dictate medical requirements to any Alaskan or to treat one group of Alaskans differently from any others.”

“We hope that this court will recognize how humiliating and harmful it is for transgender people who are forced to carry a license that wrongly identifies their sex,” said John Knight, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. “The DMV’s policy of refusing to change the sex designation on a driver’s license violates our client’s interests in keeping her transgender status private, in living her life as a woman and in being treated fairly compared to other people who are free to make corrections to their driver’s licenses.”

More information on the case is available at: http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/kl-v-state-alaska-department-administration-division-motor-vehicles

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