West Virginia DMV changes photo policy after transgender women threaten lawsuit

On July 1st, the West Virginia DMV officially changed its license photo policy to be trans-inclusive, allowing trans individuals to be photographed as they regularly appear, without being required to alter their gender expression by doing things such as removing makeup and other items. This comes after five trans women, with the help of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, threatened to sue due to the treatment they experienced last year while trying to update their driver's license information.

Previously, the policy in place included discriminatory language that was often used by employees to keep trans applicants from taking license pictures consistent with their gender expression. However under the new policy, applicants “will not be asked to remove or modify makeup, clothing, hair style or hairpiece(s)” for their pictures.

Alongside this new change in policy regarding pictures, another change was put in place allowing trans West Virginians to change their gender marker on their driver's licenses with no more than a form signed by a doctor.

Several other states already have policies like this in effect such as the South Carolina DMV which this past April changed its policy in a similar manner as part of a settlement in a lawsuit filed against them on behalf of a transgender teen.