'X' is new gender choice on Minnesota driver's licenses

Updated: 6:30 p.m. | Posted: 11:01 a.m.

New driver's licenses are giving Minnesotans a third option for gender designation.

Minnesotans can now put an "F" on their ID for female, an "M" for male, or an "X" for what officials are calling non-binary gender.

The state's Department of Public Safety said it made the change as part of its adoption of the new Real ID standard, although it wasn't officially announced as part of the transition.

The agency said in a statement that the third gender option is in line with other self-reported descriptions, such as weight, height and eye color and allows it to better serve all Minnesotans. Federal regulation allows the change.

In an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon, state Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said the change was "made unilaterally by Democrats in the Dayton administration without legislative approval," and he asked whether the change would negatively affect law enforcement.

Minnesota joins California, Washington state, Washington, D.C., Maine, Oregon and New York as jurisdictions that already or will soon offer the driver's license option for residents.

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