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Minnesota driver's licenses now have a non-binary gender option

Your gender can be designated as M, F or X.

While the launch of the new Real ID-compliant driver's licenses stole the headlines, another new license feature was quietly rolled out by Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services on Monday.

For the first time, Minnesota's driver's licenses now have a "non-binary" option under the gender section on license applications.

Someone who identifies as non-binary will get an "X" on their license next to "Sex," rather than the traditional "M" or "F."

Transequality notes that non-binary describes people who don't feel they fit into the categories of "male" or "female," and don't identify as either. 

The new license option came along with the rollout of the new Real ID driver's licensing system, with the DVS saying it made a "business decision to offer a third option to better serve all Minnesotans."

"In addition, other states recognize this designation and the federal government allows it under REAL ID," a DVS spokeswoman added.

In offering a non-binary option, Minnesota follows in the footsteps of California, Oregon, Washington D.C. and Maine, the latter of which announced the change in June, albeit it won't come into effect till July 19.

The first person to take advantage of the new option on Monday was Minnesota J. Zappa, a 27-year-old volunteer firefighter from Medicine Lake who told FOX 9 they have previously identified as a man and a woman, but now feels "more in-between."

Zappa, who grew up male, said they would get frustrated because their license had an "F" on it but people would argue it wasn't their license because "you have a deep voice" or "you are dressed like a man."

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While the non-binary option is new, Minnesota already allows transgender people to change their designation on their license.

They do have to provide proof in the form of either a court order that changes your gender, a court order that changes your gender and name, or a medical certification of treatment for gender transition, including an original letter from a licensed doctor.

This page from Transequality has information on how to be respectful and supportive to someone who identifies as non-binary.

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