Woodstock became the latest community to pass a municipal ID law, allowing undocumented residents and those without a permanent address to receive some local services, open bank accounts and use in case of emergencies.
The Town Board passed the law unanimously on December 10, allowing the Town Clerk’s office to begin working on plans for printing and distribution of the ID cards, which will sell for $10, or $5 for seniors. Anyone can pay additional card fees as a pay-it-forward for those who can’t afford one. Town Clerk Jackie Earley said her office will work with the Human Rights Commission on logo design and will soon make the cards available.
Undocumented residents encounter difficulty obtaining a state-issued non-driver identification card, making it difficult to conduct routine government business, open a bank account or even pick up children at school.
A municipal ID will show officials, schools and businesses that a person has provided proof they are a resident of the town of Woodstock. The town will merely keep a record that the applicant met the requirements, but will not hold onto any documents examined as part of the application, alleviating a concern that Immigration and Customs Enforcement or other federal agencies may attempt to examine documents.
As Human Rights Commission Chair Anula Courtis has said, “None of our residents should ever be a Jane or John Doe in any area hospital.”
Homeless people can obtain an ID by having a police officer or other official confirm they are currently living in Woodstock. Any Woodstock resident can apply for the card and businesses are encouraged to provide discounts for cardholders.
Woodstock joins Kingston, Newburgh, Middletown and Beacon among area communities to provide municipal ID cards.
The Town Board thanked the commission for its hard work in researching and making sure the municipal ID became law.