This site is the most comprehensive on the web devoted to trans history and biography. Well over 1400 persons worthy of note, both famous and obscure, are discussed in detail, and many more are mentioned in passing.

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02 July 2016

Ontario drivers' licences and gender neutrality

It was announced this last week that Ontarians will have a choice of gender neutrality on a driving licence; that X may be chosen instead of F or M for sex.

Here is a sample report.

The problem is that gender is present on Ontario driving licences in two places, and no report that I have seen even mentions the other one.

We need an image at this point:

You may not realize it immediately but John Doe's birth date is on this licence.   He was born 05 September 1966.

Can you spot it?   

It is the last 6 digits of the licence number.

As a retired IT consultant, I am appalled at the inclusion of other data in the id number.   That is not good practice.

However it gets worse.

If Doe were female, the Ontario Ministry of Transport would add 5000 to the six digits, and the licence number would end with 665905.    Hence, if the fourth digit from the end is a 5 or a 6, we know that the person is female, even if Sex=X.

There is no statement of this hidden sex code in either the news articles or from the Ministry.

What are they going to do with Sex=X;

  1. include the true birthday, and therefore imply that the person is male
  2. add not 5000, but a different value, eg 3000
  3. stop adding 5000 to female birthdates, and reissue all female licences.
It has not been stated.

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