Californians Can Now Legally Change Genders as New Law Goes Into Effect

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Two new laws allowing Californians to legally change their gender went into effect over the Labor Day weekend, simplifying the process of obtaining state-issued documents and court orders for the identity designation.

Both bills were signed into law in 2017, but didn’t go into effect until Sept. 1.

“Mindful of all the people I know who are gender-nonconforming, and the families I know with transgender children, I wanted to make sure that California continued to be a leader in gender-identity equality,” the author of the bills, state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 179 allows people who petition for a gender change, including minors, to identify as male, female or nonbinary. Under SB 179, Californians who change their gender have a more streamlined process for aligning their name with their identity or getting a matching birth certificate. Starting Jan. 1, they will also be able to apply to alter the gender listed on their driver’s license without any additional documents.

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