Arkansas Revokes Non-Binary Driver’s License Policy

The state of Arkansas will no longer issue state driver’s licenses and identification cards with a gender-neutral specification, state authorities announced on Tuesday, instead requiring residents to identify as male or female on their ID card.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) changed a previous policy Tuesday that allowed residents with a state driver’s license or ID to elect to change their gender specification on their card. The policy did not require any “verifiable information” and allowed residents to use “X” in place of their gender.

“The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) today announced a revised policy intended to better safeguard the integrity of licenses and IDs issued by DFA. Effective immediately, DFA is rescinding its existing administrative practice that allows license holders to change their gender without any verifiable information,” said the DFA.

“This action restores DFA’s long-standing policy that license and ID holders must display a gender of ‘male’ or ‘female,’ as indicated on an original or amended birth certificate,” the DFA said in a statement.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) praised the decision.

“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,” Sanders wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The ACLU of Arkansas said in a statement following the decision that this is the sort of policy change that threatens the “safety and dignity” of the state’s transgender, non-binary and intersex residents.

“The ACLU of Arkansas today stands in firm opposition to the proposed changes to identity documentation that threaten the safety and dignity of transgender, non-binary, and intersex Arkansans,” the group wrote. “We strongly oppose the Governor and the Department of Finance and Administration’s (DFA) attempt to implement this regressive and damaging policy.”

Meanwhile, DFA Secretary Jim Hudson touted the change as “a commonsense approach that ensures a license or ID issued by the State of Arkansas is based on objective, verifiable information.”

“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,” he added.

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