TAKE ACTION

Many people have asked how they can get their own I.D. without gender markers (M/F).

Here is the information you need.

Wherever you are in Canada, you can demand gender-less I.D. and file a human rights complaint if it is denied.

That could mean

  • A gender-less birth certificate
  • No F or M on your drivers licence
  • A passport without a gender marker
  • A gender-less medical services card… and on and on

 

Step one:

Find the website of the I.D. you want (AB drivers licence, PEI birth certificate, Passport Canada, etc).

Just google – eg “amending birth certificate” or “amending drivers licence”.

I went to Manitoba drivers licence, and the page for changing information: https://www.mpi.mb.ca/en/DL/DL/Pages/Changing-your-information.aspx.

There is often a form to fill out for mistakes or changes in the information on the form in question. If there is, print it out and complete it. Leave the gender section blank.

In the MB drivers licence situation, there is no form to complete. There is no reference at all to changing gender on the drivers licence.

 

Step two:

Write a cover letter

Write a letter to the agency in question, requesting the document without a gender field. You don’t want a document that says:

Sex [blank]

Because that will immediately identify you as a non-complier. Whereas the missing field will not.

There is a sample letter at the end of this section.

Give them a deadline (3 weeks is standard) to reply.

 

Step three:

You now have either a refusal letter or no reply after 3 weeks.

Go to the human rights page for the jurisdiction. Google the name of your jurisdiction + human rights complaint.

Every human rights agency has an easy to complete complaint form. Fill out the complaint and send it in. Make sure you don’t miss the time limit – usually 6 months or 1 year – from the time of the complaint.

You can use the information on this website to explain why it is discriminatory to have to carry an I.D., issued by the state, with a gender marker on it. You face potential harm every time someone asks for your I.D. because your gender marker does not “match” you.

Some jurisdictions will then investigate your complaint, and the investigator can help try to mediate a solution. Other jurisdictions put you directly into the tribunal process.

They may say, “Why not just change your gender, then?”

That is not a solution.

It is often expensive and/or difficult to change documents. Not having proper ID is a huge problem for trans and intersex people: see the statistics at http://transpulseproject.ca/tag/identity-documents/.

And M/F systems will never accommodate non binary people.

 

Step four:

Let us know that you have filed a complaint. Email us at info@gfid.ca and tell us who you complained about. If you want to include a copy of your complaint feel free to do so.

 

Step five and onward:

The human rights process is different in every province. Here is a LINK to a booklet about human rights for trans people in BC, and a sheet outlining how your province or territory may vary.

Help

If you want help at any point, email us.

 

Good Luck!

 

Sample Letter

[your return address]

[date]

 

Manitoba Public Insurance [address from the contacts section of the website]
Box 6300
Room B100, 234 Donald Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A4

 

Dear Colleagues

Re: Gender Marker on Drivers’ licence

I write to request that you remove the gender marker field on my drivers licence.

Gendered identification causes discrimination and harm to transgender, genderqueer, and gender variant people, or anyone who does not (in the opinon of a viewer) “look like” the viewer’s idea of what a person of that gender should be .

There is no justification for including a gender marker: the marker is derived from the gender ascribed at birth; but a baby’s gender identity cannot be known at birth. It is an unstable data element because people’s gender markers change; and in any case you already have a photograph on the document.

Please send me a driver’s licence with no gender field by [3 weeks]. If I have not heard from you I will assume you are refusing this request.

Because drivers licences are a public service, it is a violation of human rights to include gender markers which will cause predictable harm.

If you need further information, my email address is [ }

Yours truly

Sign your name

Type or print your name

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© Gender-Free I.D. Coalition 2016