A groundbreaking decision became effective yesterday on March 25, and the new rules will affect everyone living in the province. A Canadian province no longer requires residents to provide or identify their gender on driver's licenses. Saskatchewan Government Insurance, the Crown company that runs the driver's licensing and car registration system in the province, announced the move in a statement earlier this week.
As of yesterday, Saskatchewan residents will not be required to identify their gender on driver's licences or other photo identification cards in the province, unlike before. Saskatchewan residents can now instead opt to select an undesignated marker "(X)" for the gender field.
If a resident does select the "X" designation, this means that they are choosing not to identify their gender on their identification card. This new option is available to everyone in the province, and anyone, regardless of age, is able to choose it.
So what prompted this change? The company hopes the move will increase inclusivity. "SGI is committed to inclusiveness," said Penny McCune, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund, in the statement from Saskatchewan Government Insurance.
"We recognize that some of our customers wish to refrain from identifying as either female or male or any gender at all on their identification. Customers now have the flexibility to designate their sex on their ID with an F or M, or choose a non-gendered option by indicating X."
If you're a Saskatchewan resident who is hoping to change the gender field on your driver's license, you are able to do so now, at no extra charge, says the Saskatchewan Government Insurance. You don't even need to bring in documentation – all you have to do is head to your local motor licence issuer and ask for a new card with the change.
"A Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench ruling in May of 2018 called for the Government of Saskatchewan to issue a birth certificate without a sex designation to two minors who requested them," reads the statement.
"As a provider of government-issued identification, SGI’s move towards offering an X designation – along with the binary designation options (F or M) – is in keeping with that ruling."
Saskatchewan is also following in the footsteps of other Canadian provinces that have already made the change. Alberta, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador currently do not require residents to provide gender on driver's licenses as well.
"Saskatchewan is following the great move of other jurisdictions, and we’re excited to see this change," said Executive Director of the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity in Regina, Jacq Brasseur, in the statement.