PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Everyone must go get a new Travel ID to get through airport security starting Oct. 1, 2020.

We’ve been reporting for months about the new mandate and just found a big problem at the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division that's forcing people to lie to fly.

Seventeen states and Washington, D.C. are now issuing nonbinary birth certificates or IDs for transgender people who do not identify as male or female.

[WATCH: Should Arizona add a third gender to it's ID cards?]

If you live anywhere else, like here in Arizona, it won't do you much good because the Arizona MVD doesn't have a third gender-neutral option for driver's licenses or the new Real ID.

Valley attorney Ruth Carter got a nonbinary birth certificate from California last summer and recently went to a Valley MVD to try and get a new Travel ID to match that identification.

Carter recorded the conversation with the clerk at the counter who said it was the first time she'd had anyone ask to make that change and apologized that she couldn't help.

"Our previous record, we have you as a female," said the clerk.

"Right. That's not correct," said Carter.

"There's no option for us to put that in the system," said the clerk.

"The abbreviation for nonbinary is 'X,' by the way," said Carter.

"The system is telling me it has to be an M or an F," said the clerk.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, more than one in three people who are trans identify as nonbinary.

Like Carter, they don't consider themselves female or male.

"I knew as young as 4, that I was different," Carter said.

A 2016 report from the Williams Institute at UCLA ranks Arizona 12th in the country for that population.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and MVD tells us only state lawmakers can add a third gender option to the system like other states.

"They are asking me to lie on a government document!" Carter said.

Democratic State Rep. Daniel Hernandez started the LGBTQ Caucus at the state Capitol two years ago.

“They’re being told you should lie about who you are in order to access your government. I think that's a big problem,” Hernandez said.

[RELATED: Get your new Arizona Travel ID now, not later]

"We have a real deadline of October 2020 where we have to conform with the Real ID standard; otherwise, people won’t be able to get on planes- won't be able to do basic government functions,” Hernandez said.

He co-sponsored previous attempts like HB 2492 to change the law.

[RELATED: Get your new Arizona driver's license now]

It's been up twice and never got a hearing.

"This is a place where we’re supposed to have important conversations and debates but we get caught up in things that actually don’t matter. This last year we had a big debate over what is the official state drink. Lemonade, by the way," Hernandez said.

"You've tied my hands. Are you telling me I don't deserve the ability to fly?" Carter said.

If you don't get a Real ID before the deadline, you can still fly with a passport.

Carter applied for a nonbinary passport after a federal court in Colorado ordered the state department to issue the first-ever, to Navy veteran Dana Zzyym.

[READ MORE: Arizonans can begin obtaining REAL ID-compliant licenses (March 31, 2016)]

The case is being appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals with the government arguing it would take two years and $11 million to change the system.

"We're asking for equality based on things that we can't change," Carter said.

When Carter's passport arrived in the mail, it said "female."

They say it's important to consider why we're asked to declare and define sex and gender so often.

"If you're going to put gender or sex on a document for me, get it right," Carter said.

Maricopa County is the fastest growing county in the country for the third straight year.

And while Sky Harbor is also the "Friendliest Airport" in the country, Hernandez says our state is less than welcoming to all residents.

"We are going to be putting a lot of people in a difficult position because we’re not addressing this issue like we should as a legislative body," he said.

Carter says identity is more than a technicality.

"Arizona needs to have this conversation," Carter said.

[POLL FOR APP USERS: Should Arizona add a third gender to Real IDs?]

“All I ask is that they listen and that they consider the possibility that there are more than two genders. I'm not going to tell them they have to believe it for themselves- but I ask that they at least consider the issue," Carter said.

Hernandez says he will re-introduce this again next session.

We asked the House Speaker and Gov. Doug Ducey about the importance of taking action before that deadline, now just 11 months out. Both said no comment.

Nicole Crites anchors 3TV's Good Evening Arizona weekdays. Nicole also digs deep into issues affecting Arizonans.  You'll see her reports on 3TV News at 9 p.m.
 
 


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