Last July, Oregon set an example of gender inclusivity by becoming the first state to allow residents to select a non-binary—or gender X—identity on their driver's licenses.
Starting January 1, 2018, Oregonians will also be able to easily change the gender assignment and name on their birth certificate.
According to an informational video published by the Oregon Health Division last week, Oregon-born citizens are no longer required to obtain a court order to change their birth-appointed sex.
Instead, residents will be able to print and fill out an application from the Oregon Health Authority website, get it notarized and send it to the Oregon Public Health office with a $35 fee. Once the application materials are accepted, and after paying another $25 fee, a new, certified birth certificated is appointed.
This alternative gender and name change process comes after the passage of House Bill 2673— which was championed by the Portland-based nonprofit for LGBTQ rights, Basic Rights Oregon.
According to a spokesperson from Oregon Vital Records—the agency responsible for producing the new birth certificates—a non-binary option will also be available.
Basic Right's co-executive director, Nancy Haque, says the streamlined process aims to make access to basic services easier for transgender Oregonians.
"Many transgender Oregonians fear being publicly outed by having sensitive medical and personal information disclosed through the current court process," says Haque. "They have to post their name change on a public bulletin board and sometimes must answer personal medical questions in open court. This is a real barrier. Having a driver's license, credit cards and insurance card that accurately reflect one's name and gender simply makes it easier to get a job, housing and access medical care."