NZTA changes gender identity policy for driver licences

NZTA changes gender identity policy for driver licences The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has changed a policy that will make it easier for people to amend the sex / gender details on their driver licence record.

Previously, applicants first had to correct their sex/gender on their birth certificate. This is a costly and time consuming legal process that requires a trans person to provide evidence of medical treatments they have undertaken as part of their transition. The Commission’s 2008 Transgender Inquiry recommended that this process for amending birth certificates and other official documents, such as passports and drivers’ licenses, should be simplified. This recognises that for financial, medical, cultural and other personal reasons, not all trans people will undertake medical procedures as part of their transition. Nor is it appropriate to require intersex people to undergo medical procedures in order to amend sex/gender details on official documents.

Commissioner Richard Tankersley has welcomed the move, commending the NZTA on their initiative and the proactive manner in which they sought the Commission’s advice. “It is always really satisfying to be able to work collaboratively with government agencies, particularly when it results in a policy change that will make a real difference in many trans and intersex people’s lives.”

The NZTA is currently developing a standardised statutory declaration form, which will mean that changing recorded gender will be able to be completed at any one of the Driver Licensing Agent outlets (i.e. Automobile Association, Vehicle Testing New Zealand, and Vehicle Inspection New Zealand). There will be a delay of about six weeks for this to become fully operational, and for information to be on the NZTA website. In the meantime individuals wishing to have their gender details amended can contact the NZTA contact centre directly on 0800 822 422.

The NZTA has confirmed that the statutory declaration requirements will be similar to the new policy that the Department of Internal Affairs made last year for people wishing to change sex gender details on a passport.