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New State ID Would Not Require Photograph

Jack Pasco

A Senate committee Tuesday easily approved legislation aimed at Indiana’s Amish community that would create a new state ID that does not require a photograph.

Lloyd Lambright represents a large segment of Indiana’s Amish community.  He says some of the most conservative members will still refuse to get any kind of state identification card.  But he says for many, the barrier to get an ID is the photograph that accompanies it.

“We refrain from posing for photos because of the Second Commandment which shows pride for ourselves, which is kind of why we stay away from it,” Lambright says.

The bill, authored by Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), eliminates the photo requirement.  Instead, the BMV takes a digital image of the person for facial recognition software, which Morris says is more like an x-ray than a photo.  The BMV stores the image but does not include it on the card.

Morris says the state needs to help Amish Hoosiers who need ID.

“If they haul scrap metal in, they need identification to state where it came from and who they are as a person,” Morris explains. “The pharmacy, when they get their medications.”

Morris says the IDs are also vital for many financial transactions.

The state’s banking industry organizations support the bill.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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