Officials in Detroit were working to create a city municipal ID card that would help immigrants, homeless people and others get better access to identification. The necessary documents to obtain a state ID can prove restrictive for some, limiting their access to key city services, Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“We would like [the new city ID] to be accepted as broadly as possible,” Castaneda-Lopez said Friday at a news conference, according to the Free Press. “The goal is to have a card that people can use, that’s easier to acquire and they can use it at multiple institutions.”
The application for a Detroit ID would remove hurdles some face in obtaining an identification card. As planned, the program would allow for a homeless person to use a shelter as an address if he or she stayed at the location for a still-undetermined period of time. The program also plans to not ask about immigration status.
“It’s about building a diverse, inclusive, global city, and so increasing access to city services in general is one key component. This ID card would allow immigrants, both documented and undocumented, to use city services,” Castaneda-Lopez said.
Detroit city council members says city needs to offer ID cards for those who can't get state IDs pic.twitter.com/QvlKte5wPd
— Kate Wells (@KateLouiseWells) July 31, 2015
Officials were hoping the program would be available in the next six to nine months, the Associated Press reported. The Detroit City Council revealed the details of the planned ID program Friday. Backers of the Detroit ID card hope for it to be accepted at banks, libraries, museums and other city service providers. City officials also said it could perhaps be used for voting, the Free Press reported.
Similar programs have already been adopted in places like New York City, San Francisco and Washtenaw County, which is west of Detroit in Michigan. Detroit could reportedly use a system similar to a point-based model employed by Washtenaw County for its ID. Certain documents are ascribed point values, such as a passport, which can be worth 200 points, with the applicant needing to cross a 300-point threshold and meet other criteria to get an ID.
Both the San Francisco and New York IDs offer people access to city services and provide added bonuses, such as discounts or free access to city institutions, for signing up. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week that more than 400,000 people have already signed up for an IDNYC card just six months after its inception, according to WCBS.