Hartford to begin a municipal id program

immigrants-id-cardJoining cities like San Francisco, New York, and our own New Haven (see former Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.’s card over there?), Connecticut’s capital city is set to start their own municipal identification program in September.

Yesterday, I spoke with Mayor Pedro Segarra about this for a story for WNPR that will run later this month. The effect this will have on people who’ve been homeless and are trying to get housed is enormous. A lack of proper identification is a huge barrier for housing, and that’s been particularly obvious during Greater Hartford’s 100-day challenge to end chronic homelessness. For the country’s undocumented residents, a municipal ID card can open the path to citizenship. This is huge — huge enough that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in:

“We are thrilled to learn that the City of Hartford has approved the creation of a municipal identification card that will be available for all of its residents.  Our IDNYC program has been an incredible success, and we were happy to share our lessons with Hartford at a recent Cities United for Immigration Action Conference last month.  Cities across the country are sending a strong message that immigrant integration is critical to their success — when Washington fails, cities must act.”

(Emphasis is mine.)

Muni IDs are the coming thing for any city that wants to survive and any city that wants to see its residents thrive. Go, Hartford!


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    1. From what I understand, applicants will need to establish proof of identity and proof of residency, but the standards of proof are far lower than for, say, a Social Security card or a driver’s license.

      1. I remember when I was living under a bridge up north, the local constabulary and State police would roust us periodically just to make sure we were keeping the place clean, not harboring minors, not cooking meth etc. On more than on occasion, the uniformed would look at my State issued ID, look at me and say, “Is this your current address?”

        “Um…well….I, uh…no?”

        And on more than one occasion I was told, “You need to get this updated.”

        1. As in “Under a Bridge Up North?” Kee-rist. I’m interested in how this all plays out in Hartford. If it’s done properly — as it has been done in nearby New Haven — this could be a really good thing.

          1. Yeah…as in under a bridge. I spent almost 6 months in a squatters camp at an abandoned bridge about a mile outside of town…before my current housemates found me and moved me back to The Zoo.

            I think it can be a very good thing…especially if it helps people get housed. We know the benefits that come along with that. Like a State ID.

  1. Hooray for Hartford! This is such a good thing! Have any states done this? Could a person get a non-driver “driver’s license”?

    1. To my understanding, so far cities have done this, but no states. Any one else know better?

      1. I have a state issued photo ID obtained from the DMV.
        Anyone with a SSN can get one provided they can prove identity, residency, (gotta have a verifiable address), and “authorized US presence.”

        It’s my understanding most states have similar programs. According to this resource, Connecticut has a state ID program.

        1. Thanks for that. So I wonder why the additional municipal IDs? I mean, do they add value? In all the talk about housing people recently in Greater Hartford, no one has mentioned the state ID.

          1. If it’s easier to establish residency for a municipal ID…accepting say “general delivery” as an address…or some sort of affidavit or statement from a local shelter or advocacy program…then yes, I can see the added value for the homeless.

            Municipal IDs are also much more immigrant friendly, as I understand it, by not being so particular about “authorized US presence.” The benefits being more limited, localized, than a State ID.

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