The Social Security Administration (SSA) says the agency will now allow people to select a sex that aligns with their gender identity and expression on official records.
The agency says it is trying to be more inclusive for nonbinary and transgender people, among others.
It should also make it easier for transgender people to access government services that they need.
Any individual who wishes to update their gender on official records with SSA will have to apply for a new card to replace any previous one.
Kilolo Kijakazi, SSA acting commissioner, said the policy is a “commitment to decrease administrative burdens and ensure people who identify as gender diverse or transgender have options in the Social Security Number card application process.”
“This new policy allows people to self-select their sex in our records without needing to provide documentation of their sex designation,” Kijakazi said.
SSA says the agency will accept an applicant’s self-identified sex designation of male or female, “even if it is different from the sex designation shown on identity documents, such as a passport or state-issued driver’s license or identity card.”
States across the U.S. have debated whether to allow an “X” option on official documents like birth certificates.
The Biden administration has tried to make its federal forms of identification more inclusive with the “X” marker option.
SSA is still mulling over how to apply the “X” marker if possible.
By Douglas Jones, Scripps National.