Florida Democrats are accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Republicans of waging an attack on transgender people after Florida’s DMV issued a policy change stating that genders on driver’s licenses can no longer be altered.
The new directive from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles surfaced late last week in a memo sent to county tax collectors saying that it has rescinded guidance that previously “directed personnel to issue a new license in the event that a licensee wished to alter the gender marker on his or her license.”
“Under s. 322.17 F.S., the Department can issue a replacement license only when a license or permit is lost or stolen, or when there is a subsequent change in the licensee’s name, address, or restrictions,” Florida HSMV Deputy Executive Director Robert Kynoch wrote. “Furthermore, the term ‘gender’ in s. 322.08, F.S., does not refer to a person’s internal sense of his or her gender role or identification, but has historically and commonly been understood as a synonym for ‘sex,’ which is determined by innate and immutable biological and genetic characteristics.
“Additionally, a driver license is an identification document and, as such, serves a critical role in assisting public and private entities in correctly establishing the identity of a person presenting the license,” he added. “Permitting an individual to alter his or her license to reflect an internal sense of gender role or identity, which is neither immutable nor objectively verifiable, undermines the purpose of an identification record and can frustrate the state’s ability to enforce its laws.”
FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL FINED, PUT ON PROBATION OVER TRANS PARTICIPATION ON GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Kynoch concluded the memo by writing that “misrepresenting one’s gender, understood as sex, on a driver license constitutes fraud under s. 322,212, F.S., and subjects an offender to criminal and civil penalties, including cancellation, suspension, or revocation of his or her driver license.”
Florida state Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani ripped the policy change as “another gross example of how every state agency has been weaponized to attack trans people.
“Florida Republicans’ obsession with trans people has to stop,” added Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried. Instead of addressing our raging property insurance crisis or out-of-control rent hikes, the GOP continues to pursue blatantly transphobic policies to serve their made-up culture wars. Erasing and criminalizing trans people is absolutely disgusting and can’t be allowed to stand.
FEDERAL JUDGE SIDES WITH DESANTIS ON TRANSGENDER ATHLETES, UPHOLDS BAN ON BIOLOGICAL MALES ON FEMALE TEAMS
“We’ve seen state agencies continually weaponized under Ron DeSantis, and this rule change at DHSMV serves the same purpose as the rest – allowing right-wing extremists to get the wildly unpopular policies they want without having to go on the record as voting for them,” she added.
DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern, when asked for a response to the outcry, told Fox News Digital, “We believe the memo speaks for itself.”
Florida HSMV spokesperson Molly Best also told Fox News Digital, “Upon appointment as executive director by Gov. DeSantis in January of last year, Director [Dave] Kerner tasked senior Department leadership with ensuring our policies, procedures and technical guidance/advisories were consistent with both statutory law and the Department’s inherent authority.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“Expanding the Department’s authority to issue replacement licenses dependent on one’s internal sense of gender or sex identification is violative of the law and does not serve to enhance the security and reliability of Florida issued licenses and identification cards,” she also said. The security, reliability and accuracy of government-issued credentials is paramount.”