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DFA announces steps to safeguard driver’s licenses and IDs

  • Posted Date: 03/12/2024
  • Office: All DFA
  • News:

    March 12, 2024


    Scott Hardin, DFA
    501-352-9351, scott.hardin@dfa.arkansas.gov


    DFA Announces Steps to Safeguard Driver’s Licenses and IDs
    Licenses and IDs will reflect gender listed on birth certificate

    LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (March 12, 2024) – The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) today announced a revised policy intended to better safeguard the integrity of licenses and IDs issued by DFA. Effective immediately, DFA is rescinding its existing administrative practice that allows license holders to change their gender without any verifiable information, or to utilize an “X” in lieu of gender. This action restores DFA’s long-standing policy that license and ID holders must display a gender of “male” or “female,” as indicated on an original or amended birth certificate.

    “This policy is just common sense. Only women give birth, men shouldn’t play women’s sports, and there are only two genders. As long as I’m Governor, Arkansas state government will not endorse nonsense,” said Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    All previously issued licenses and IDs with the “X” designation will remain valid through the existing expiration date. Updates will take place at renewal.

    “This change announced today reflects a commonsense approach that ensures a license or ID issued by the State of Arkansas is based on objective, verifiable information,” said DFA Secretary Jim Hudson. “All of our stakeholders in law enforcement, other government agencies, caregivers, schools, and businesses depend on DFA-issued licenses and IDs to keep our communities safe and to prevent fraud. The discontinued policy is not supported by Arkansas law and was never subject to public comment and review by the Arkansas Legislative Council (ALC), as required by the Administrative Procedures Act.”

    DFA has submitted an emergency rule for review by ALC’s Executive Subcommittee. The proposed rule specifies the process DFA will follow to validate a license or ID holder’s gender. “We are committed to implementing this new policy in a manner that is respectful towards all of our customers,” said Secretary Hudson.

    There are 2,668,881 active Arkansas driver’s licenses along with 503,294 IDs. More than 600,000 of those are in the form of a REAL ID, which will be required to board a plane or enter a federal building beginning May 7, 2025.

    Find more information on the Driver Services provided by DFA at Department of Finance and Administration (arkansas.gov).