The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that it is now possible to self-select sex on Social Security records without the need to provide any legal or medical proof of a gender change.
A press release explained that a person’s self-designated gender does not have to match their legal documents, like passports or driver’s licenses, and those who would like to update their existing social security records can apply for a replacement card by showing some sort of documentation of their identity.
“The Social Security Administration’s Equity Action Plan includes 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,” said Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi in a statement.
The press release also said that the SSA does not currently have the ability to allow nonbinary sex designations but that “the agency is exploring possible future policy and systems updates” that would allow for an “X” designation when applying for a Social Security card.
SSA’s announcement comes after other federal agencies have made similar changes to be more inclusive to trans and nonbinary people.
Last June, the State Department announced that nonbinary people would be able to have an “X” on their passports and that trans people would be able to correct the gender marker on theirs without “medical certification” that they are transitioning.
And in March, the Biden administration announced a slate of policy changes to promote trans equality. Among those changes: TSA PreCheck would start including an X gender marker option and the Department of Homeland Security said it would work with airlines to promote the acceptance of X gender markers, something that has made travel difficult for some non-binary people.
The changes made by the SSA were also announced by the Biden administration in March, which said at the time they would be implemented in the fall.
With the announcement from Kijakazi, it seems they are right on time.