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Video sparks look at La. transgender driver license policy

Video sparks look at La. transgender driver license policy
Alexandra Glover
Alexandra Glover WAFV-TV

BATON ROUGE, La. — A state official says the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is reviewing its photograph policy — but not guaranteeing any changes — after a transgender woman from Denham Springs said she was turned away from driver’s license offices for not looking male.

Twenty-one-year-old Alexandra Glover told The Advocate she was rejected at a few OMV offices. A friend video-recorded her attempt Friday at a Baton Rouge office.

Glover wore makeup and a dress and was told she could not be photographed by OMV employees.

“If you have makeup on or anything like that you’re supposed to take all that off, because you are actually a man,” a worker on the video tells Glover, who was born Dylan Glover.

OMV commissioner Stephen Campbell later cited state policy and told WAFB-TV that law enforcement officials need accurate IDs and pictures to deal with drivers stopped for infractions, or in cases where a driver is injured or killed in a crash.

Alison Gill, senior legislative counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said the rule “actually (puts) up a barrier that makes the identification document less useful, because it doesn’t actually match what she looks like.”

Louisiana’s OMV photo policy, adopted in 1986, says: “At no time will an applicant be photographed when it is obvious he/she is misrepresenting his/her gender and/or purposely alternating his/her appearance in an effort which would ‘misguide/misrepresent’ his/her identity.”

As for state policy for changing gender identity on a license, Louisiana requires a statement from a physician stating individual has successfully undergone gender transition in order for a new ID card to be issued.

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