DMV discriminates against transgender motorists again, this time in Louisiana. (You may recall we previously reported a South Carolina teen who was prohibited from wearing makeup in her driver’s license photo. South Carolina’s DMV relented after the ACLU took the case.) It’s the same story here, just a different state. 21-year-old Denham Springs resident Alexandra Glover says the clerk told her she was trying to misrepresent her gender by wearing makeup. “You don’t look like a man,” she was told. The state’s rationale is the same that South Carolina used before realizing how ludicrous it was: DMV requires that the license photo accurately reflect the motorist’s usual appearance. The obvious problem is that DMV has no way of knowing what a motorist’s “usual appearance” is. When DMV discriminates against transgender motorists, there are remedies they can pursue. If you or anyone you know has suffered such discrimination, contact the ACLU or our office immediately.
A transgender teen who was forced to remove her makeup for a driver’s license photo at the DMV in South Carolina will now be allowed to wear makeup like any other girl. The change in policy comes with an apology as part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed last year by Chase Culpepper, a 17-year-old girl who was born with male anatomy. The decisions highlights the importance of fighting discrimination at DMV–whether directed at a transgender teen or anyone else. Ms. Culpepper attempted to get her driver’s license photo taken last year, but was told she would have to remove her makeup first. DMV cited its policy, which did not mention transgender teens by name. Instead, the policy stated “at no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity.” DMV apparently made no effort to explain how the makeup–which Ms. Culpepper wore every day–altered her appearance or misrepresented her identity. New York’s Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund stepped in to try to get DMV to change its position. When DMV refused, the Fund assisted Ms. Culpepper in filing a lawsuit. The policy “lets DMV employees arbitrarily decide how men and women need to look without regard for the rights