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The Minneapolis City Council approved a new ordinance that establishes a framework for developing a City of Minneapolis identification card program. The City’s 2019 City budget also includes a one-time allocation of $200,000 to help start a City ID program.

Over the coming months, staff will work to figure out the partnerships and resources needed to create a City ID card program similar to ones in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and many other cities.

“It’s good to know who we are and what we stand for,” said Council Member Alondra Cano, who authored the measure. “The powerful act of being able to openly celebrate our identities and have them firmly recognized is something everyone should be able to participate in. However, we live in a city plagued by racial disparities where the ability to provide proof of identity – such as a driver’s license – is a basic necessity that many take for granted. We have so much good in this city, we need to do more to ensure every one of our neighbors can feel welcomed, included and invited to share in these benefits. This is why the City took the step today to removing barriers to ensure every resident in Minneapolis can get access to a widely accepted form of identification which will help us share in the benefits of the city we care for, fight for and call home.”

“Minneapolis ID, once launched, will serve as a connective tissue for our truly inclusive city,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Registering for a city-wide ID will be a new way to foster civic pride and tell everyone that you live in the greatest city – and doing so will have the added benefit of helping all Minneapolis residents.”

Plans call for the creation of a card that would be recognized as a valid form of identification by all City departments and law enforcement. It would be available to all Minneapolis residents 13 and older, giving them the opportunity to have a form of government-issued photo identification. A Minneapolis ID would also help create a sense of civic pride and belonging, connecting City government to its residents.

Cardholders would also have access to non-city services and may also be eligible for “perks.” Potential benefits could include using the card for transit, financial transactions and even discounts at restaurants, local museums and theaters.

Along with helping create a sense of civic pride and belonging, a City ID would help address and eliminate inequities within our communities. Many in Minneapolis can’t get driver’s licenses, State IDs or any other government-issued identification due to housing instability, gender identity, age, student status or immigration status.

Over the coming months, staff will work to develop a working City ID program. Things like operating budgets, staffing, an application process and implementation of card security technology will need to be considered. A comprehensive list of benefits and services for cardholders will also be developed.