Non-Binary Birth Certificates and State IDs: Full Guide

As the views of Americans on gender shift, so do the laws across the country. In more than 10 states, it is now possible to request a non-binary birth certificate or amend an existing one.

The term non-binary includes any person who does not identify with a gender that falls within the traditional male/female or man/woman category. These new regulations are also inclusive for citizens born intersex .

Latest Updates on Non-Binary Birth Certificates

Many states are reviewing and updating their laws to accommodate non-binary and gender-fluid citizens. These are introduced to allow people to register their preferred gender identity on official vital records.

The most recent developments are as follows:

  • July 1, 2023: Illinois no longer requires medical proof to change the gender on a birth certificate.
  • January 9, 2023: The rest of New York State joins NYC in allowing gender-neutral options for vital records.
  • July 1, 2022: Vermont signs a bill to let parents choose the non-binary gender in the newborns' birth certificates.
  • April 27, 2022: Oklahoma passes a new law that forbids non-binary gender markers on birth certificates in the state. The law takes immediate effect.
  • July 1, 2021: Wisconsin introduces new laws allowing parents to identify simply as “parent” or “parent giving birth” on a child’s birth certificate.
  • June 21, 2021: New York City announces new gender-neutral options for birth certificates and driving licenses.

US States that Issue Non-Binary Birth Certificates

People who were born in any of the following US locations, who do not identify as male or female, can legally opt for a 3rd gender category or X marker on their US birth certificate:

LGBTQ+ rights advocates in multiple US states have been petitioning lawmakers to allow identity documents to be more easily changed to match gender identity.

These representatives defend that strict male and female categories are a form of discrimination against transgender and gender-fluid people that they are being labeled by others against their will.

The recognition of this new bills is a significant step for the movement, as it progressively provides legal recognition for non-binary genders in different states throughout the US. Laws in some states allow an "X" on birth certificates as well as state-issued identification documents such as drivers' licenses.

Gender "X" on a Birth Certificate

The gender X option on a birth certificate serves the following purposes:

  • Acts as a placeholder until the child is able to self-identify with a gender on their own
  • Relieves the pressure on parents to choose a gender during the first days after birth of a child with a sexual variation
  • Gives intersex children an inclusive term since some of them present both female and male sexual and/or hormonal traits
  • Allows people who do not identify as neither male nor female gender to express this on their legal document
  • Eliminates part of the battle that many transgender, gender non-conforming, gender non-binary, gender-fluid, genderqueer, and agender people often go through to override or justify non-conformity with their original gender designation

Additionally, trans, intersex, and non-binary people already face marginalization and discrimination even before they are required to select an option that does not fit their reality or experience.

Having an ID that accurately reflects an individual’s reality has many practical benefits, such as:

  • It can be emotionally validating for the citizen, eliminating part of the stigma and shame that surrounds having a different body
  • It makes government services and benefits available to everyone —citizens with a form of proof of identity that is not accepted by their government due to the “X” marker cannot apply for certain services or benefits
  • It provides parents the encouragement to allow their children to make their own decisions as they grow up

Choosing or Changing to Gender-Neutral on a US Birth Certificate

Citizens born in California, Maine, and Washington now have 3 gender choices; they are allowed to identify as “X” on state-issued identification documents.

In some states, individuals have to wait until they are 18 years old to file a request for a birth certificate sex marker change/identify as X. In others, parents can assist minors who wish to amend their birth certificate.

Often, despite the fact that parents are not allowed to choose X on their child’s first birth certificate at the time of birth, they can seek to make the change immediately after the document is issued.

Experts explain how this legal option can help parents raise gender-neutral children, allowing kids to establish their own gender if and when they are ready to do so.

This allows parents to update the child’s gender identity so that it is accurately reflected on the minor’s legal documents as the child grows.

Some states —such as Illinois and New Jersey— allow X as a 3rd gender option on a birth certificate. However, they do not allow this gender-neutral option on other state identification documents.

This poses a problem that calls for further legislation to allow effective solutions for individuals that fall within this bracket to obtain other forms of identification that match their gender assignment.

The health requirements also change depending on the state. Some state laws allow adults with a non-binary identity to have their birth certificate amendedto gender-neutral without requiring a note from a medical professional.

In other states, individuals that wish to change the sex marker on their birth certificate are required to provide proof of gender confirmation surgery.

Gender X Birth Certificate Laws, Requirements, and Policies by State

As explained, laws and policies are changing nationwide to allow for non-binary gender markers. The requirements to apply for or amend a gender-neutral birth certificate also vary greatly depending onthe state.

Find below a comprehensive map of US birth certificate policies by state that will help you navigate state laws. Find the place you are interested in and see if non-binary birth certificates are available and what requirements you must meet.


Non-Binary Birth Certificates vs State IDs

Some states only allow gender-neutral birth certificates, others only allow gender-neutral state IDs, while yet another group offers both gender-neutral photo IDs such as driver’s licenses as well as birth certificates.

Below you will find a comprehensive table with all the updates regarding gender non-binary policies.

Non-Binary Gender Markers by State
State Non-Binary Birth Certificates Non-Binary Driver's License / State ID
Alabama Not Available Not Available
Alaska Not Available Not Available
Arizona Not Available Non-binary ID and Death Certificate in the Arizona legislature
Arkansas Not Available Available
California Available Available
Colorado Available Available
Connecticut Available Available
Delaware Not Available Not Available
D.C. Available Available
Florida Not Available Not Available
Georgia Not Available Not Available
Hawaii Not Available Available
Idaho Not Available Not Available
Illinois Available Available
Indiana Not Available Available
Iowa Not Available Not Available
Kansas Available Not Available
Kentucky Not Available Not Available
Louisiana Not Available Not Available
Maine Available Available
Maryland Not Available Available
Massachusetts Available Available
Michigan Available Not Available
Minnesota Not Available Available
Mississippi Not Available Not Available
Missouri Not Available Not Available
Montana Not Available Not Available
Nebraska Not Available Not Available
Nevada Available Available
New Hampshire Not Available Available
New Jersey Available Available
New Mexico Available Available
New York Available Available
North Carolina Not Available Not Available
North Dakota Not Available Not Available
Ohio Not Available Available
Oklahoma Not Available Not Available
Oregon Available Available
Pennsylvania Not Available Available
Rhode Island Available Available
South Carolina Not Available Not Available
South Dakota Not Available Not Available
Tennessee Not Available Not Available
Texas Not Available Not Available
Utah Available Available
Vermont Not Available Available
Virginia Not Available Available
Washington Available vailable
West Virginia Not Available Not Available
Wisconsin Available for parents named on the form from July 2021 Not Available
Wyoming Not Available Not Available

Non-binary birth certificates in California

The state of California no longer defines gender as either male or female, since it incorporated a 3rd option in 2019.

This extends beyond just birth certificates in California and includes other official documents such as driver’s licenses and State ID, which all recognize non-binary as a 3rd gender.

The Gender Recognition Act, not only allows for a third gender choice on birth certificates and driver’s licenses but also facilitates the process for the transgender community to modify their gender on documents.

It puts an end to the requirements of sworn written documents provided by their doctors and is replaced by an affidavit by the individual in which they declare that the change aligns with their gender identity.

With this measure, California follows Oregon and Washington, who already recognize non-binary individuals on driver’s licenses and State IDs. However, it was the first state to extend it to birth certificates.

Non-binary birth certificates in New York

New York City passed a law that allows non-binary and gender-nonconforming people to obtain birth certificates and driver’s licenses that align with their gender identity.

Since June 2021 and the signing of the Gender Recognition Act, residents across the state have been able to obtain driver’s licenses and birth certificates that reflect non-binary status.

Citizens may now opt for the options of either “male”, “female”, or “x” when self-identifying on these official documents.

In January 2023, the New York State Health Department announced all residents of New York State can now receive their vital records with the same non-binary status.

Also, similar to California, no document from a doctor is required to change the sex listed on their birth certificate, making it easier for both transgender people and those defining as non-binary or gender-fluid. New Yorkers need only petition a court for their chosen gender designation.

Neutral birth certificates in New Jersey

In July 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a comprehensive birth certificate law which allows people to choose “male,” “female,” or “undesignated/non-binary,” in the sex field, which became effective on 1 February, 2019.

Upon signing the legislation, Governor Murphy said, "Today is an important day for New Jersey as we continue to strive toward equality for all of our residents, regardless of sex or gender expression."

Having a third option in the sex category will allow babies that are born intersex to be given time to determine how they identify themselves, and families who want to raise their children outside the typical binary system to have that option.

The states mentioned join Washington, DC which allows for the “X” gender on both birth certificates and personal IDs.

Please bookmark this page as it will be regularly updated as soon as new states change their legislation to be more inclusive allowing third gender options in their documentation.

Gender Neutral Birth Certificates in Wisconsin

From July 2021, parents in Wisconsin have been given the option to identify as gender-neutral on state-issued birth certificates.

Instead of simply listing “mother” or “father” on the form, parents may now also identify as a “parent” or a “parent giving birth” at their discretion. This is available in English, Spanish or Hmong.

This was announced in late June 2021 by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and officially became the law shortly after.

“This change reflects my and my administration’s commitment to gender-neutral terminology and to recognizing Wisconsin families are diverse and should be valued and respected”, Evers also commented in a statement.

Illinois Gender Neutral to be Added on Birth Certificates

In August 2018, the gender-neutral X marker was added to all state forms in Illinois.

Starting on 1 July 2023, residents on Illinois will be able to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without needing to show medical proof that they have undergone gender reassignment surgery or treatment.

Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, a lead sponsor on the bill, said in a statement: “Access to your birth certificate will become a less onerous process for many Illinoisans, removing barriers for people who already face so many.”