Michigan throws a bone to Trans-6 suing for Gender ID rules change


Ruth Johnson
There’s good and bad news about this unfinished business…

  • Transgender Michigan residents no longer must be sterilized to get a drivers license with their correct gender.
  • Presently they will have to show a passport to obtain the corrected drivers License.

Fun fact. These rules were put into place by Michigans current Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to honor a campaign promise she made to win over voters in contested race for her office. Giving in to the inevitable, and allowing the states trans people to live in peace will be seen by those voters as a broken promise.

Under the old rules, applicants had to provide proof of gender confirmation surgery an expensive surgery that ultimately renders MTF trans people sterile. Although many trans people willing get the surgery it is cost prohibitive to many, and an operation some trans people just don’t want.

The ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit against Ruth Johnson, last November to change these rules.

Gender ID Rules
Click Tina’s picture to listen to a Nov 2015 interview.

Attorney Jay Kaplan with the American Civil Liberties Union told the Detroit News The recent policy change is a positive step forward that will allow more transgender people to obtain accurate ID — but it’s not enough.

“It’s still not a model policy. It’s still not a policy that other states have adopted to make sure transgender individuals can obtain ID. We are continuing with our lawsuit,” Kaplan said.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, a physician certification is required (to obtain a Passport) if the documents you submit with your application, which may include a prior passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or other documents, do not all reflect the correct gender. If all the documents you submit with your application reflect the correct gender, you do not need to submit a physician certification. See the application instructions below for more details.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


  1. This is ten steps backward followed by one step forward. When I got my (as in my) first dirver’s license in 1994 the “civil” “servant” refused my request, saying it was against policy. I asked her to show me the department policy. When she did find it in the policy manual it said essentially that the criteria for changing the sex marker is basically someone requests it. Literally. I didn’t even know beforehand that’s what it would say. Needless to say I was delighted. I was just too angry to leave without at least confronting my oppressor.

    I was in contact with trans people all over America at the time. Michigan at that time was easily the most progressive state in the union in this respect, with the possible exception of Pennsylvania which, according to a book by Joanne Altman Stringer, didn’t even bother (some time ago) to categorize its licensed drivers by sex (which is the best policy, as I see it).


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