Idaho Begins Allowing Transgender People To Change Their Birth Certificate

Apr 6, 2018

On Friday, Idaho health officials began accepting applications from transgender people trying to align their birth certificates with their gender identities.

Dani Martin remembers exactly how she felt this past March when she learned the state of Idaho would recognize her as who she is.

“I got an email from my lawyer saying, ‘Hey, we won. We won the case,’ and I was like, ‘Are you serious?’" says Martin. "I was super excited."

She is a 32-year-old married woman from Boise who works in law enforcement. She’s also transgender.

Until now, people who are transgender couldn’t change the sex they were assigned on their birth certificate to line up with their gender identity if they lived in Idaho.

State officials said they didn’t have a problem making the change, but that they needed a court order to do so because of strict laws surrounding birth certificates, according to the Idaho Statesman.

After a federal court ruling last month, people can now apply to make that change, though it’s not an automatic approval.

Martin says she sent in her paperwork Friday.

“I’m not in a huge, humongous hurry to get that paper saying this is who I am. I already know who I am. The paper just verifies it to me – it validates me,” she says.

Personally, she says she’ll be glad to make the change on her birth certificate. It means she can update her official government identification, like her passport.

But even when she’s finished all of that, Martin says she’ll savor the memory of the day she learned of the judge's decision.

“This is a victory for everyone – not just me personally. It’s a victory for all trans people in Idaho.”

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