Trans teenager wins the right to wear makeup in driver’s license photo

Chase Culpepper, a transgender girl in South Carolina, can wear whatever she wants when she takes her driver’s license photo.

But that wasn’t the case last year, when Chase identified as male, but preferred to wear makeup and present in a normatively feminine way. At the time, the DMV wouldn’t let Chase wear makeup in the license photo. But with help from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the DMV will change its policy regarding trans and gender nonconforming people taking photos. Court records show that under terms of the settlement, the DMV will revise its policy on photo credentials and train its staff on the proper treatment of “transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.”

New York Times reports the new policy takes effect in May, and will clarify that “when the applicant’s makeup, clothing or accessories do not match traditional expectations,” they are not misrepresenting their identity.

According to one of Chase’s representatives, the DMV will also apologize to Chase and her mother as part of her settlement. No money changed hands and TLDEF represented Chase pro-bono.

As it should be. Drive on, girl.

Lagy Andreea


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