Mike Adams

Last week, I spent an afternoon in the local DMV office getting my driver license renewed. I had to sit and wait for about ninety minutes in a room full of people who reminded me how much I dread the prospect of universal health care. Then, I was finally assisted by a government agent who reminded me how much I dread the prospect of universal health care.

Most of the people at the North Carolina DMV aren’t very pleasant. That’s why I’ve decided to move to Washington State where the people who update your driver license are much more accommodating and friendly.

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In Washington, they allow you to change the address on your driver license for just $10. And they give you ten days to do it. That’s a real bargain for college students who are constantly moving from one place to the next.

Washington also allows you to change the name on your driver license for just $10. That’s great for those women who are getting married or guys like me who are having a midlife crisis and considering reforming the bands we used to play with in college. When I do that I’m going to change my name to “The artist formerly known as Mike.”

But, of all the great things they do for the Washington driver, none compares to the new “change your gender designation” option. And you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to do it. You can sit back with a Starbuck’s latte and mail a written request to:

Assistant Director for Driver Policy and Programs
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9030
Olympia, WA 98507-9030

The request must include the usual information such as the name, address, and gender designation shown on one’s current driver license. It must also include the name, address, and gender designation to be shown on one’s new driver license.

Aside from those basics, all one really needs is a letter on official letterhead from a licensed medical, osteopathic physician or psychologist stating that the appropriate medical treatment has been initiated. By that, Washington State means the surgery needed to change one’s sex rather than the psychiatric treatment needed to “cure” one’s compulsion to engage in medically supervised genital mutilation.

I think these are really good and progressive changes of which the State of Washington can be proud. But more should be done.


Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.