Driving While Trans Now Illegal In Florida

Driving While Trans Now Illegal In Florida

Florida is not known as a home of good decisionmaking. This penchant for poor choices goes all the way to the top, to the governor whose anti-LGBTQ animus seems unrivaled. Case in point: Trans people are now banned from holding drivers’ licenses in Florida.

Why W. Kamau Bell Doesn’t Have a Driver’s License

The state has been pushing for this change for some time, with bills in the state house and senate that tie gender to “biological sex” — a concept that, no matter how you define it, doesn’t split humanity into two unimpeachable boxes (the folks that cry “It’s basic biology” clearly never took advanced biology.) But, since the legislative process is just so slow and inconvenient, Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles decided to simply bypass it — issuing an edict that immediately halts all opportunities to change a gender marker on a Florida license, treating licenses that don’t use “biological sex” as fraud.

The specific statute referenced when declaring licenses bearing proper gender markers to be “fraud,” s. 322,212, F.S., is the Florida law around fake IDs. It states, among other sections (emphasis added):

322.212 Unauthorized possession of, and other unlawful acts in relation to, driver license or identification card.—

(1) It is unlawful for any person to:

(a) Knowingly have in his or her possession or to display any blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit, or unlawfully issued driver license or identification card or any instrument in the similitude of a driver license or identification card unless possession by such person has been duly authorized by the department;

See also  California invested in EVs for the road, now needs a plan for their retirement

(5)(a) It is unlawful for any person to use a false or fictitious name in any application for a driver license or identification card or knowingly to make a false statement, knowingly conceal a material fact, or otherwise commit a fraud in any such application.

(6) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, any person who violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Given the letter’s broad reference, it’s not clear exactly what results it will have under this statute. It’s likely primarily focused on section (5)(a), committing “fraud” in the license application process, but it seems possible the state means to consider any license bearing a gender marker that doesn’t match “biological sex” to be “fictitious” under section (1)(a) — meaning Florida could attempt to nullify the license of any trans person that reflects their gender when they drive in the state.

Florida is largely considered the worst state in the union for trans people, and it’s spearheading a greater legislative effort towards the stated “endgame” of banning gender-affirming care for all people nationwide. It’s worth noting to those lawmakers that you can’t simply legislate trans people out of existence — they predate you, and they’ll outlive you.