Changing gender on official papers is ‘too easy’ amid record for driver’s licences | Politics | News

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Campaigners have warned that changing gender on official documents is too easy and “pushes people further towards irreversible treatments”.

More than 16,200 people have successfully changed the gender on their driver’s licence since 2018, the Daily Express can reveal.
A record 3,488 people changed their gender on that document last year, a rise from 2,467 in 2018.

The data was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

A spokeswoman for A Bayswater, a support group for parents with trans-identified children, said: spokeswoman said: “We have been concerned that for some years the DVLA has allowed vulnerable children and young adults to falsify their sex status on driving licences under the guise of ‘changing gender’.

“This state endorsement of their identity change pushes them further towards irreversible treatments such as drugs and surgeries, and encourages risky behaviours such as accessing areas for the opposite sex among other serious safeguarding risks.”

To change gender on a driving licence, the DVLA only requires applicants to show a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), a deed poll – a legal document proving change of name – or a statutory declaration – an official statement from a solicitor or magistrate.

Maya Forstater, executive director of Sex Matters, which campaigns for clarity on sex in law and policy, warned the ease with which official documents can be altered is “particularly concerning”.

She said:“It’s unsurprising that more people are asking DVLA to change the so-called ‘gender’ marker on their driving licences.
“Along with passports, driving licences are popular with people seeking to bolster their claim to a ‘gender identity’ different to their sex.

“Such altered paperwork may be used by trans-identifying people to put pressure on service providers – such as gyms – to allow them into facilities for the opposite sex.

“The ease with which official documents can be altered is particularly concerning in light of government plans for an overarching ‘digital identity’ system, which will rely on sources that are becoming less accurate and more unreliable by the day.

Tory MP Nick Fletcher said the majority of the people changing their gender via driver’s licence were “likely to be vulnerable young adults”.

This could include people with autism, mental health issues and difficult home backgrounds.
He said: “For the state to allow them to change the sex marker on their driver’s licence is colluding in their harm and dissociation from reality.

“It is not possible to change sex. It is not right for the state to pretend to vulnerable young people that they can. We need legislation to stop this harmful practice.”

Ministers were earlier this year considering closing a loophole that allows people to easily change their sex in official documents, including passports.

Driving licences and passports are frequently used as evidence when applying for a GRC, which legally recognises someone’s changed gender.

Caroline Ffiske, of Conservatives for Women, said: “Young people are learning at school and online that sex is a social construct or that an ‘inner gender identity’ reflects your ‘true self’.

“Most children intuitively know that it is not true. But for a vulnerable few this sets them on a journey to delusion and harm.
“Adult gender clinics can use a changed gender marker on a driving licence as evidence that a vulnerable young adult is serious about wanting a sex change.

“Thus this mechanism provided by the DVLA works as a gateway for the vulnerable to access cross-sex hormones and surgeries which result in life long medicalisation and harm. We need to kick gender ideology out of our schools and we need the DVLA to close down this route to harm.

“This social trend will increasingly cause serious damage to civil society. Let’s say a young woman at the front desk at the gym tells a man he can’t use the women’s spaces. But he pulls out his driver’s licence saying he is a woman. What does she do? What does the gym manager do?

“What does the law say? Are women bigots for wanting single sex spaces? No they are not. We need to stop this tragic social confusion.”

A DVLA spokesman said: “There are stringent requirements for drivers wishing to change the gender shown on their licence in that they must provide either a deed poll declaration, a statutory declaration or a gender recognition certificate.”

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