Photo IDs can help residents who may have difficulty getting a driver's license buy prescription medicine, pick up their children from school and enjoy city amenities exclusive to residents.
(TNS) — Newburgh, N.Y., is the fifth Hudson Valley city to create a municipal identification card program.
Creation of the program passed with a unanimous vote by the City Council after a public hearing at the Activity Center on Monday night.
Cheers erupted from supporters of the program that packed the Activity Center before the council could finish voting.
Most program advocates emphasize the benefits city IDs can offer undocumented immigrants, who often live in fear of being unable to produce a photo ID, such as a driver's license, when confronted.
But the program could also help other residents who may have difficulty getting a driver's license, such as the homeless, elderly and children. Photo IDs can help them buy prescription medicine, pick up their children from school, and enjoy city amenities exclusive to residents.
Newburgh's program was modeled after programs in Middletown and Beacon, which were influenced by New York City's municipal ID program, the city's attorney has said. The cities of Kingston and Poughkeepsie have also recently enacted municipal ID programs.
Newburgh officials are still ironing out details for the implementation and rollout of the program.
Interim City Manager Joe Donat said they city's information technology department is addressing technological needs for the program, including how to keep applicant information secure.
He said the city clerk's office is working on details for the program's rollout and how to address capacity concerns.
The program's expected launch date is Sept. 4, according to City Council documents.
The city will have a four-point system for establishing proof of identity for anyone applying for an ID; there is a one-point system for applicants to prove residency in the City of Newburgh.
For more information about the city's ID program, go to https://bit.ly/2UM5tyR
©2019 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.