Ontario to issue gender-neutral driver’s licences and health cards starting in 2017


[Ontario health cards will soon feature no gender designation on the front / Government of Ontario]

Ontario announced Wednesday that it will introduce gender-neutral driver’s licences and health cards beginning early next year.

In 2017, people will be able to select M (male), F (female) or X (gender-neutral) for their identification cards issued by the province.

The move follows another that began June 13 when Ontario began issuing health cards that didn’t show a person’s sex or gender on the front. Cardholders will receive a new card that doesn’t indicate a sex designation the next time their Ontario health card is renewed. A new card can be issued earlier through Service Ontario.

“The Ministry of Transportation is considering ways to reduce the risks and impacts that the holder of a gender-neutral licence may face,” the policy announcement said. “This includes working with law enforcement agencies and licence-issuing authorities across North America to raise awareness about the changes to the Ontario driver’s licence.”

Public consultations will be launched this summer to develop policies on the collection, display and use of sex and gender information on government forms and products, the announcement said.

“The government will use this feedback to help develop a policy that applies to all ministries,” the announcement said. “The new policy will be announced in the fall, and may be revised periodically in the future to reflect the evolving understanding of gender.”

Ontario will not be the first jurisdiction to make this change. Documents in Nepal, Australia and New Zealand also use M, F and X to indicate gender identity, as does the International Civil Aviation Organization.

And earlier this month in Oregon a judge ruled that a person can legally change their gender designation to non-binary.