Number of people marking ‘X’ as gender identifier on Colorado IDs has increased since option became available in 2018

Courtesy Michael Fajardo/via Flickr
The Fort Collins driver’s license office, May 2019.

The number of people identifying their gender as X on their IDs has increased since the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles began offering the option five years ago.

“These rules allow Coloradans to designate M (male), F (female), or X (persons who do not identify as male or female) as their gender. This designation is defined by the individual and their licensed treating medical or behavioral healthcare provider,” the DMV’s website states.

In 2023, close to 1,500 people changed the gender marker on their driver’s license or state ID, according to figures provided by Derek Kuhn, a spokesperson for the DMV. In 2022, the number was around 1,100, an increase from 2021, when the number was closer to 750. 

In 2020, when the pandemic may have impacted people’s use of the option, the number was about 250, almost equal to 2019, when 225 people used it. The first year the choice was available in 2018, around 50 people made use of it for the one month of the year it was available, according to Kuhn’s figures. Altogether, about 4,000 people are using the X on their state-issued ID.

“It is important Coloradans have a correct sex identifier on their driver licenses and identification cards that reflects their true lived experience. This policy is better for all of Colorado,” said Michael S. Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue in a press release when the option was first available five years ago. 

Only a handful of other states offer the option: California, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington D.C. can have the symbol on their driver’s licenses. 

Besides being available on a driver’s license, the X indicator for gender has also been available on the U.S. passport. In March 2022, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that as of April 2022, the gender marker X could be used on U.S. passports.