Councilman wants ID cards for Seattle residents

by: Essex Porter Updated:

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

SEATTLE - Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell is proposing the City of Seattle create a municipal ID card. He said some immigrants and refugees have asked for such a card because, he said, getting a driver’s license or state ID card can be difficult.

Harrell said this would “simplify the process by which immigrants or people without forms of ID can get an ID,” and make it easier for immigrants and the homeless to access social services, cash checks or get a library card. However, Washington is already one of the few states where a person does not have to prove they are in the country legally to get a driver’s license or ID.

 “We've gotten a lot of feedback from the communities, that it's still somewhat problematic,” Harrell said.

 To get a driver's license or state ID in Washington, a person needs proof of their name and date of birth and proof of their address, but legal residency is not required. At the Seattle Driver's License Office, we met a student from Saudi Arabia who is in the country legally to attend Seattle University.

 “No difficulties, went perfect, went very perfect, yes,” said Faris Alkhamis.

 Tuesday the mayor's newly appointed Immigration Director Cuc Vu worried a municipal ID could come with a stigma.

 “We don't want to create another caste or a class of people with a separate ID that tags them in a disparaging way,” she said.


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