What the city I.D.s could look like.
Thanks to the work of a group called Working Together in the Community
, initially created by City Director Joan Adcock
to address the needs of the city's Hispanic community, Little Rock has decided to issue municipal I.D. cards. They'll be available July 7.
City Director Bruce Moore
said the cards — which will be for anyone who needs a form of I.D., not just Hispanics, including the homeless, people who don't drive, etc. — will be useful for such things as setting up bank accounts and acquiring utility services. The city has had "multiple meetings with the banking community" to get them on board, Moore said, "and, in fact, we've adjusted some things on the card and applications as a result of our conversations.
At Working Together in the Community meetings, Moore said, "one of the things we constantly heard was the fact that [residents] didn't have identification [and that] was a barrier to setting up banking accounts and things of that nature. So we started doing some research on the concept of a municipal I.D. and looked at various programs around the country." New Haven, Conn., initiated the idea, and San Francisco; Asbury Park, N.J.; and Washington, D.C., also followed suit.
Besides the name, cards will feature a photo and information such as date of birth, height, address, eye color and date of issue. Moore said the group working on the I.D. cards rejected using hair color,
since that is changeable. There will also be security features so the cards can't be counterfeited.
Moore said it was important to note that the cards will not be valid for registering to vote or to buy alcohol.
The city is still drafting a list of restrictions on the card and what documents will be required to obtain one. For those who do not have documents, "we're going to work with each individual," Moore said, to help them get a card. The homeless, for example, may use as their address the address of shelters, such as the city's the day shelter Jericho Way.
Bids by equipment manufacturers closed last week; the city will purchase equipment to produce the cards here. The look of the card has not yet been signed off on, but Moore said he wanted to make sure it did not resemble city employee I.D.s