By Sara Knuth

Colorado residents will be able to choose a non-binary gender identifier on their driver's licenses by the end of the month, according to an emergency rule approved Thursday by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Under the rule, approved by Department of Revenue Executive Director Michael Hartman, residents will have the choice starting Nov. 30 to use the letter "X" to identify a non-binary gender in favor of "M" for male and "F" for female. The identification, officials said, will be determined by them and their licensed treating medical or behavioral healthcare provider.

For more than a year, according to the release, the department has been working with Gov. John Hickenlooper's Joint ID Task Force to discuss adding a third gender option on the state's driver licenses and identification cards. But officials said the emergency rule pushed the effort forward to align the department with two recent Colorado court cases.


What's next?

The change will go into effect Nov. 30. A permanent rule making hearing is set for December.

On Sept. 19, according to the release, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ordered the U.S. Department of State to issue a passport with an alternate sex designation to a Colorado resident as a result of the case Zzyym v. Pompeo.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also settled a court case in which a minor sought to have the state's birth certificate policy declared unconstitutional.

"It is important Coloradans have a correct sex identifier on their driver licenses and identification cards that reflects their true lived experience. This policy is better for all of Colorado," Hartman said in the release. "Further, these rules are necessary to limit the CDOR's legal exposure and to align our policies to be consistent with actions in recent court cases."

The new rules require residents to present driver's license offices with a change of sex designation form that includes a signature from a licensed treating medical or behavioral healthcare provider to confirm the resident received clinical treatment for their correct sex. However, it does not require residents to undergo surgery, treatment or behavioral healthcare.

(c)2018 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)