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US passports will soon include a third gender option

And moving forward, all passport holders can self-select for gender

Written by
Sarah Medina

United States passports just got a little more inclusive. 

On June 30, the US State Department announced that travelers will no longer be required to provide medical certification in order to change their gender marker on their passport. Instead, all passport applicants will have the chance to self-select for gender on the appropriate forms. But the new rules don't just apply to first-time applicants. Following the update, anyone can request a new passport with a different gender selection.

The State Department is also getting rid of limited-validity passports, which were previously issues to travelers who were in the process of transitioning. 

And that's not all, the State Department is also working on a gender marker for nonbinary, intersex, and others who don't conform to traditional gender norms. Though, they have not issued a timeline for when that option will be available. 

The department also clarified that the gender on a person's passport does not have to match the gender on other identifying documents in order to travel, however passport photos should be similar to those on other official IDs. 

While the federal government is behind some states who have offered a third gender option on IDs for years, it is a positive step in making it easier for trans and nonbinary people to travel the world. 

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