No state ID? Philadelphia plans to issue its own identification card

Philadelphia will join a growing list of cities that issue their own I.D. cards.

Pat Loeb
September 28, 2018 - 9:19 pm
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Olena Ostapenko | Dreamstime.com

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW NEWSRADIO) -- Philadelphia will join a growing list of cities that issue their own I.D. cards. They allow residents without state-issued identification to get access to some places and services that require photo identification. City Council passed enabling legislation at this week's meeting.

Government-issued identification cards have become essential possessions, required for flying in a plane or even entering many buildings. But assembling the necessary documents can be impossible for the most vulnerable -- the homeless, victims of domestic violence, ex-offenders, the elderly. 

They are the primary target for the municipal identification, but Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez says to eliminate any stigma for them -- and to make the program self-sustaining -- they'll come with benefits so any resident might want one.

"Access to cultural institutions, discounts on Philadelphia-based activities," Sanchez said.

The price for them hasn't been set yet, but the city is hoping to start making them available through a pilot project by January. They don't meet federal standards for air travel, but the city is hoping to work with local banks so that they can be used to open an account.