July 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans women denied photo IDs at D.C. DMV office
Ruby Corado, Casa Ruby, gay news, Washington Blade

Ruby Corado, executive director of Casa Ruby (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

In response to an inquiry from transgender advocate Ruby Corado, the director of the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles said on Monday she would take immediate steps to make sure DMV employees approve photo identification cards for transgender applicants who qualify for them.

DMV Director Lucinda Babers issued that assurance in response to an email from Corado, founder and director of D.C.’s Casa Ruby community center, in which Corado informed her that DMV employees earlier this month denied non-driver’s license photo ID cards to two transgender women who are fully qualified to receive them.

Corado said the two women were clients of Casa Ruby, which provides services to the transgender community. She said the DMV employees denied approval of the ID cards despite the fact that the women submitted the appropriate identification documents and a properly completed DMV Gender Designation Form showing a change in their gender identity.

“I apologize for the inconveniences your two clients experienced at DC DMV,” Babers told Corado in a July 21 email, which Corado released to the Blade. “Your email highlights that we have not done a sufficient job to ensure the 30+ new DMV employees recently hired have been trained on the use of our Gender Designation Form as provided on our website,” she said.

“We have a meeting this week with all managers/supervisors/leads which will allow me to provide refresher training,” Baber said in her email.

In a reply email, Corado thanked Babers for her quick response but said one of her two clients still needs assistance in obtaining the ID card. For many trans women, especially trans women of color, “obtaining a picture ID is crucial for them to obtain services and/or employment,” said Corado, who urged Babers to carefully review the DMV’s procedures for addressing transgender related issues.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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