Maine will be the first state in New England and the third in the country to offer an option of a non-binary gender designation on driver’s licenses and identification cards.

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles announced Monday it will begin issuing a sticker for licenses or IDs that reads “Gender has been changed to X – non-binary” for people who have completed a gender designation form. The gender information on the front of the card will be displayed as “M”, “F” or “X” when newly designed licenses and IDs are issued through a new computer system beginning in July 2019.

The decision to offer the option of a non-binary gender designation is the result of a complaint filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission by Portland attorney and EqualityMaine’s board president Zack Paakkonen on behalf of his client, Ian-Meredythe Dehne Lindsey of South Portland.

Dehne Lindsey in June 2017 requested a driver’s license with a non-binary gender marker, but was denied because of current computer system limitations. After receiving a complaint from Dehne Lindsey, the human rights commission invited the parties to participate in mediation, which resulted in the agreement, according to EqualityMaine.

“Words cannot adequately express the relief I feel, and how happy I am, thta my ID will now reflect such an integral part of my identity and who I am,” Dehne Lindsey said in a statement.

The decision to offer the option of a non-binary gender designation was celebrated Monday by EqualityMaine, MaineTransNet and the ACLU of Maine.

“This change represents the next major step towards full legal recognition of the lives of transgender Mainers. Affirming and accurate IDs help to break down significant barriers to housing, employment, and education faced by many transgender people. We’re celebrating this progress, and the visibility it brings to beloved non-binary members of our community,” Quinn Gormley, executive director of MaineTransNet, said in a statement.

The bureau of motor vehicles will issue gender designation stickers through the mail to those who already have a valid license. There will be no fee to receive a sticker for an existing license or ID, according to the bureau of motor vehicles.

In, 2017 Oregon became the first state to allow a non-binary gender marker on drivers licenses. The District of Columbia and California also offer the same gender designation options on licenses.

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