Proper identification is required many places these days including banks, government offices, and when making purchases at many stores. Washtenaw County is taking steps to provide an I-D for the approximately 38,000 people locally who don't have a driver's license.
It's designed to help ensure seniors, homeless individuals, transgender people, and immigrants have identification needed to fully participate in society. The program is designed to mirror similar efforts in New Haven, Connecticut and San Francisco.
Chair of the County Commissioners Yousef Rabhi says safety measures are included. "The ID has many security features on it so it is not going to be easily replicated. We are investing in machinery that will, you know, print the cards. That's part of what we're voting on is to set aside some money to do that," Rabhi says.
Including these start up costs, the budget for the first year of the program is $62,000, with net costs less than $40,000 in following years. The ID card will cost $25, but Rabhi says they hope to work with area non-profits to ensure everyone in the community can afford one if necessary.
The County Clerk's office will run the I-D program.
Final approval could come later this month.