MONROE CO., Ind. (WEHT) – An Indiana court has ruled that nonbinary Hoosiers are once again able to seek a gender-marker change on their driver’s license.

A press release says the Monroe County Circuit Court has ruled the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) must amend IDs and its constitutional obligation to recognize people’s genders.

Officials say the BMV began offering “X” as a gender option on drivers’ licenses in 2019 but stopped in July 2020 when then Attorney General Curtis Hill issued an advisory opinion saying the state agency didn’t have the authority to offer this option.

Documents say Indiana Legal Services sued the BMV and former Commissioner Peter Lacy on behalf of 13 plaintiffs in June 2021 to force the BMV to follow the law because advisory opinions do not supersede the agency’s regulations or change its existing legal obligations.

The court says the December 29 ruling states that the BMV’s decision to stop offering “X” as a gender marker violated the Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection because it treated nonbinary individuals differently. The court also found that BMV’s action violated clients’ fundamental right to informational privacy by forcing applicants to select a gender that didn’t align with their gender identity. Officials say further, the BMV didn’t follow proper administrative process when it adopted Hill’s opinion as the reason for changing procedure.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of these cases because our clients’ statutory and constitutional rights to governmental recognition of their gender was upheld by the courts. People will once again be able to have consistent, accurate government records that reflect their gender,” said Megan Stuart, director of advocacy for Indiana Legal Services.