Arkansas Walks Back Non-Binary ID Policy

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Arkansas walked back its policy allowing residents to register as nonbinary on their driver’s licenses Tuesday.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) announced that drivers will no longer be able to register their gender as “X” on driver’s licenses to “safeguard” state IDs.

The revised policy requires Arkansas license and ID holders to register their gender as either “male” or “female” according to what is stated on their birth certificate, the announcement stated. Republican Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders rejoiced following the restoration of the DFA’s previous standards.

“This policy is just common sense. Only women give birth, men shouldn’t play women’s sports, and there are only two genders. As long as I’m Governor, Arkansas state government will not endorse nonsense,” the governor said.

Licenses and IDs with gender marked as “X” are valid until their expiration dates, according to the DFA. These forms of identification will be updated in accordance with the state’s new policy upon renewal. (RELATED: Homeschool Mom Defeats Incumbent State Superintendent In GOP Primary)

“This change announced today reflects a commonsense approach that ensures a license or ID issued by the State of Arkansas is based on objective, verifiable information,” DFA Secretary Jim Hudson said. “All of our stakeholders in law enforcement, other government agencies, caregivers, schools, and businesses depend on DFA-issued licenses and IDs to keep our communities safe and to prevent fraud. The discontinued policy is not supported by Arkansas law and was never subject to public comment and review by the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC), as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.”

“We are committed to implementing this new policy in a manner that is respectful towards all of our customers,” Hudson continued.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issued a memo in late January changing a previous rule that permitted Floridians to change the gender listed on their driver license to match their gender identity.