Arkansas to Prohibit ‘X’ Gender Option on Driver’s Licenses, Mandates Alignment with Birth Certificate Gender

Arkansas’ Governor Sarah Sanders, a member of the Republican Party, recently declared a significant policy shift concerning driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards. In a move first disclosed to The Daily Wire, Sanders has mandated that the option to select “X” as a gender marker on these documents will be eliminated. Going forward, identification must specify the individual’s gender as either male or female, aligning with the gender listed on their birth certificate.

The Governor’s office conveyed that this decision was made by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), which will reverse previous policies that permitted the use of an “X” designation. This change underscores the administration’s stance that state-issued IDs should reflect biologically verifiable information.

Governor Sanders, in her communication with The Daily Wire, articulated her viewpoint on the policy, stating, “This policy embodies sheer logic. The biological distinctions between men and women are clear and non-negotiable. Under my governance, the Arkansas state government will stand by the truth and not capitulate to unfounded assertions.”

Arkansas residents currently possessing IDs with an “X” designation will find their documents remain valid until their expiration. Upon renewal, these IDs must be updated to reflect the individual’s gender as male or female, in accordance with their original or amended birth certificate.

This policy adjustment comes after DFA Secretary Jim Hudson initiated a review of departmental policies in August 2023. The review led to the conclusion that the existing policy of allowing an “X” designation was not only unsupported by Arkansas law but also had not undergone the necessary public scrutiny or review by the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC), as mandated by the Administrative Procedures Act.

Secretary Hudson emphasized that the decision aligns with a practical approach, ensuring that state-issued licenses and IDs are founded on objective and verifiable data. He highlighted the importance of reliable identification for law enforcement, government agencies, and other sectors that rely on these documents for safety and fraud prevention.

The DFA is set to present an emergency rule to the executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council for review, reaffirming their commitment to implement this policy change thoughtfully and respectfully.

In a related move, Governor Sanders previously issued an executive order to eliminate what she termed “woke, anti-women” language from government documents. This included replacing terms like “pregnant people” with “pregnant women” or “pregnant mom,” further emphasizing her administration’s commitment to recognizing biological realities and traditional gender roles.