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BMV doesn't have to provide nonbinary gender marker on IDs under Court of Appeals ruling

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles logo on a wall in a BMV license branch.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
The BMV adopted a policy of providing nonbinary gender markers on IDs in 2019 before revoking it shortly thereafter.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles will not have to provide a nonbinary gender marker — X — on state IDs and driver’s licenses under an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling.

The BMV adopted a nonbinary gender marker policy in 2019. But it quickly halted it after then-Attorney General Curtis Hill said such a policy would need legislative approval.

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A group of anonymous Hoosiers sued. And in December 2022, a Monroe County judge ruled in their favor, saying that the BMV’s denial of a nonbinary gender marker violated the U.S. Constitution.

The Indiana Court of Appeals disagrees. It said the BMV cannot create a nonbinary gender marker without changes to state law by the General Assembly. And it ruled that denying the nonbinary markers does not equal unconstitutional discrimination.

The case can be appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.