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Report: Over 476,000 trans adults don’t have an ID that matches their gender identity

Rachel Badham June 17, 2021

A new report released by the Williams Institute at the University of California found nearly half a million trans adults in the US do not have an ID that affirms their gender identity as they face barriers to obtaining these documents. This figure was estimated using data from the 2015 US Transgender Survey, and if correct, it means approximately 34% of trans people do not have gender-affirming ID documents.

In states with the fewest policy barriers, 46.5% of trans people said they had been able to correct the gender markers on their driver’s licenses, compared to 25.8% of those living in states with the most policy barriers. 15.7% have corrected the gender markers on their birth certificates in states with the least policy barriers, compared to 8.4% of those born in states with the most policy barriers. Michigan had the highest percentage (77%) of trans adults without any form of ID that corresponds with their lived identity. 

The report stated that having “inaccurate” IDs “can subject individuals to harassment, discrimination, and can negatively impact mental health.” It concluded: “State and federal policymakers should review statutes and regulations that govern changes to official IDs and enact necessary changes to make these processes easy and accessible for transgender people.”

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