Netherlands to remove gender from ID cards

(Photo: Pexels/Tim Mossholder)

The Dutch government is set to remove gender from ID cards. 

The change is due to come into effect five years from now and is partly being made to reduce costs, Dutch news website Trouw reports. 

Education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven laid out the plans in a letter to parliament, in which she said that having to state gender was "unnecessary" and hurtful to members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

She claimed that having to state gender on ID cards was a barrier to "fully participating in the society."

The announcement follows lobbying by a number of pro-trans organisations in the Netherlands, who have welcomed her announcement. 

"It will be great news for people who time and again face problems because of the gender on their cards and who are asked unnecessary and indiscreet questions on trains or at the border," campaigners told Trouw.

The move only affects Dutch identity cards, not passports as gender is required on the latter under EU rules and global aviation regulations, although the Netherlands does allow individuals to register their gender as 'X'.

But van Engelshoven expressed her hope that this requirement would one day be removed from passports if there is enough support from other EU member states. 

Germany is one EU country that does not require gender on national ID cards.