Become a Member

MAP membership and certain MAP materials are restricted to the staff and board members of LGBT movement organizations and/or major funders of the movement for LGBT equality. Click below to become a member of MAP.

Join MAP

View our privacy policy.

Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

Donate

Identity Document Laws and Policies

Driver’s license policies govern the process by which a state changes a gender marker on a person’s driver’s license. Many transgender people choose to revise the gender marker on their identity documents so that it matches the gender they live every day.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • State accepts documentation from a broad range of licensed professionals in order to change gender marker. Does not require sex reassignment surgery(15 states + D.C.)
  • State requires burdensome proof of clinical treatment and/or other updated identity document in order to change gender marker. Does not require sex reassignment surgery (19 states)
  • State has unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes (4 states)
  • State requires proof of sex reassignment surgery, court order, and/or amended birth certificate in order to change gender marker (12 states)

The processes by which an individual can change the gender marker on their driver's license and/or birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity are governed by state laws and administrative polices and often include intrusive and outdated requirements, such as proof of sex reassignment surgery and court orders. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, burdensome requirements and prohibitive costs prevent the majority of transgender individuals from obtaining accurate identity documents.

For more information, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality's Identity Documents Center.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

21%

21 % of LGBT population lives in states that accept documentation from a broad range of licensed professionals in order to change gender marker. Do not require sex reassignment surgery

55%

55 % of LGBT population lives in states that require burdensome proof of clinical treatment and/or other updated identity document in order to change gender marker. Do not require sex reassignment surgery

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states that have unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes

22%

22 % of LGBT population lives in states that require proof of sex reassignment surgery, court order, and/or amended birth certificate in order to change gender marker

Birth certificate laws govern the process by which a state changes a gender marker on a person’s birth certificate. Many transgender people choose to revise the gender marker on their identity documents so that it matches the gender they live every day.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • State issues new birth certificate and does not require sex reassignment surgery nor court order in order to change gender marker(13 states + D.C.)
  • State is unclear regarding surgical/clinical requirements and/or may require a court order to change gender marker (9 states)
  • State has unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes (3 states)
  • State requires proof of sex reassignment surgery in order to change gender marker (21 states)
  • State does not allow for amending the gender marker on the birth certificate (4 states)

The processes by which an individual can change the gender marker on their driver's license and/or birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity are governed by state laws and administrative polices and often include intrusive and outdated requirements, such as proof of sex reassignment surgery and court orders. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, burdensome requirements and prohibitive costs prevent the majority of transgender individuals from obtaining accurate identity documents.

For more information, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality's Identity Documents Center.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

40%

40 % of LGBT population lives in states that issue new birth certificate and do not require sex reassignment surgery nor court order in order to change gender marker

5%

5 % of LGBT population lives in states that are unclear regarding surgical/clinical requirements and/or may require a court order to change gender marker

10%

10 % of LGBT population lives in states have unclear, unknown or unwritten policy regarding gender marker changes

39%

39 % of LGBT population lives in states require proof of sex reassignment surgery in order to change gender marker

6%

6 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not allow for amending the gender marker on the birth certificate

Many transgender people choose to change their legal name to match the name and gender they live every day. Name Change Policies control the process by which an individual can change their legal name on identity documents.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • State law permits name change without requiring public announcement of name change(14 states + D.C.)
  • Requirement of public name change announcement is unclear, circumstantial, or under individual court’s discretion (26 states)
  • State law requires public announcement of name change (10 states)
  • State law includes additional restrictions and/or requirements for individuals with a criminal record (19 states)

While state laws generally allow individuals to change their name for any non-criminal purpose, many states maintain outdated and burdensome requirements that create substantial barriers to achieving a legal name change. One of the most common and most problematic legal name change requirements throughout state laws is a requirement that a person publicize his or her name change. Many states require that applicants must publish notice at the local courthouse or in the newspaper sharing that they filed a petition requesting a legal name change. Another significant barrier exists in the many states that have additional rules and regulations when the person requesting a name change has a criminal record.

For more information, please see the National Center for Transgender Equality's Identity Documents Center.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

45%

45 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not require public announcement of name change

45%

45 % of LGBT population lives in states with unclear or circumstantial requirements for public announcement of a name change

10%

10 % of LGBT population lives in states that require public announcement of name change

58%

58 % of LGBT population lives in states with additional restrictions and/or requirements for individuals with a criminal record

Key
  • State has this law Positive Law
  • State does not have this law Negative Law
State Driver's License Birth Certificate Name Change
  Citations Citations Citations
Alabama State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Alaska State has this law State has this law
Arizona State has this law State does not have this law
Arkansas State does not have this law
California State has this law State has this law State has this law
Colorado State has this law State does not have this law
Connecticut State has this law State has this law State has this law
Delaware State has this law State has this law State does not have this law
District of Columbia State has this law State has this law State has this law
Florida State has this law State does not have this law State has this law
Georgia State does not have this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Hawaii State has this law State has this law
Idaho State has this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Illinois State has this law State does not have this law
Indiana State has this law State has this law State does not have this law
Iowa State does not have this law State does not have this law
Kansas State has this law State does not have this law
Kentucky State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Louisiana State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Maine State has this law State does not have this law
Maryland State has this law State has this law
Massachusetts State has this law State has this law
Michigan State has this law State does not have this law
Minnesota State has this law State has this law
Mississippi State has this law State has this law
Missouri State has this law State does not have this law
Montana State does not have this law State does not have this law
Nebraska State has this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Nevada State has this law State has this law
New Hampshire State has this law State has this law
New Jersey State has this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
New Mexico State has this law State does not have this law
New York State has this law State has this law
North Carolina State does not have this law State does not have this law
North Dakota State does not have this law
Ohio State has this law State does not have this law
Oklahoma State does not have this law
Oregon State has this law State has this law State has this law
Pennsylvania State has this law State has this law
Rhode Island State has this law State has this law State does not have this law
South Carolina State does not have this law State has this law
South Dakota State has this law State does not have this law
Tennessee State does not have this law State does not have this law State has this law
Texas State does not have this law State has this law
Utah State has this law State has this law
Vermont State has this law State has this law State has this law
Virginia State has this law State does not have this law State has this law
Washington State has this law State has this law State has this law
West Virginia State has this law State has this law State does not have this law
Wisconsin State has this law State does not have this law
Wyoming State does not have this law State has this law State does not have this law
Data current as of 06/20/2017
This map is powered by

Stay Informed

Be the first to know about new reports and MAP news by signing up for our newsletter