The Registry of Motor Vehicles has given Massachusetts drivers a third gender option to choose from, “X,” for people who don’t identify as male or female.

“The insanity continues,” said Massachusetts GOP Chairman Jim Lyons, known for derailing a bill during his time in the legislature that would have added the third gender designation to Massachusetts driver’s licenses.

As of Tuesday, residents can now choose the nonbinary gender designation on driver’s licenses and ID cards as a part of a system upgrade at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The change comes as the agency undergoes a comprehensive reform in response to the records-keeping scandal, which involved a failure to keep up with license suspensions from out of state and led to the deaths of seven people in June.

“To me it’s an indication that the serious issues that are before the legislature and the serious problems we’ve seen at the Registry,” Lyons said. “The fact that they want to make this an issue front and center just adds to the reason that people are so upset at government.”

The Registry now recognizes three gender designation options: “male,” “female,” and “nonbinary.” These options are available for new credential issuance, renewals, and amendments of licenses and IDs.

Co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus Arline Isaacson argued that the step is “very significant” and “important” for transgender and nonbinary drivers.

“It’s a public acknowledgement of the reality of how people live their lives. Up until this change, nonbinary folks essentially had to lie on their drivers license and other documents as well,” Isaacson said. “This is hugely meaningful because it allows people to tell the truth and to be respectful of that truth.”


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