What the ID program is: A locally produced ID for those who have difficulty getting IDs, including: elderly, some immigrants, the homeless, people with developmental disabilities or mental health issues, people returning from jail. The card is for Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents.
What the ID program isn't: It's not a substitute for a drivers license, work permit or government-issued ID. It isn't a political statement. It isn't accepted for voting. And it doesn't give the holder access to government services or benefits he or she isn't eligible to receive.
Who runs the program? Our program is sponsored by Hinton Ave. United Methodist Church, New Beginnings Christian Community, and Welcoming Greater Charlottesville.
ID applicants present their documents proving their identity and residence at the May 4, 2019 ID drive. Over 175 people signed up for a card at this event.
What are the benefits of having this ID? People use the ID card to get certain prescription drugs, access some social services and health services, sign up for cable and Internet, enroll kids in school, obtain water and gas service, sign a lease, get a library card, etc. The ID also builds trust with police, and helps cardholders feel more welcomed in our community.
What are the benefits to the community? Law enforcement agencies get more crime tips from those who trust police. Promoting IDs gives police a positive way to interact with certain communities, improving their perception of police and the municipality. It helps officers when dealing with someone who's unconscious or isn't responsive for other reasons.
What's been the experience in other communities? In North Carolina, over 17,500 residents have received local ID cards as of fall, 2018. Law enforcement leaders in many North Carolina communities actively support it. Communities in Indiana, S. Carolina, Florida, Ohio and elsewhere have developed ID programs as well.
What's the vetting process? At a minimum, residents must provide proof of their identity, date of birth and proof of residence (or, for the homeless, temporary residence where they can be contacted). See next page for details. The ID card shows the person's name, address, DOB, a photo, name of the sponsoring organization, and indicates that it isn't a government ID.
What's the cost? Our ID card costs $10 (cash). It is good for one year, then must be renewed.
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