News (World)

Netherlands plans to remove gender from ID cards entirely

A Dutch ID card
Photo: Shutterstock

The Netherlands will stop including any gender marker at all on identification cards.

Several countries – including India, Australia, and Canada, as well as the Netherlands – already allow people to choose an “X” gender marker in the place of “M” or “F” if the latter two don’t fit them. But with this move the Netherlands will stop including any gender marker at all on ID.

Related: This state just became the 18th to offer gender neutral drivers licenses and ID cards

Minister of Education, Culture, and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven announced in a letter to the Dutch legislature that gender markers will be removed from the ID cards after research into the matter found that the cost of doing so is “limited.”

“Citizens can shape their own identity and propagate it in complete freedom and security,” she wrote. The move is part of a broader plan to limit the need for gender identification in government paperwork.

She noted that Germany’s ID cards already omit gender.

LGBTQ organizations haled the announcement. In a statement, the groups COC Nederland, NNID, and TNN called the change “great news for people who have problems with that indication of sex on their identity documents day in, day out.”

Van Engelshoven’s letter said that the only cost of the change would be training for police and other workers who check ID.

The change will be implemented in 2024 or 2025, and it will not apply to passports.

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