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Making It Easier For Some To Get A Photo ID

Cincinnati's City Manager has issued an executive order requiring the police department and other city agencies to accept a new photo ID card designed to assist immigrants, the homeless and others who have trouble getting a valid identification card.

Harry Black issued the order Wednesday after City Council approved a resolution adopting the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati (MARCC) ID card.

Council Members Young, Mann, Seelbach, Simpson and Sittenfeld support the resolution.  Murray voted no, with Smitherman, Winburn and Flynn abstaining.

In a news release, MARCC said it has already raised the money for the start-up costs for the program.  Catholic Charities of Southwestern Ohio will process applications to produce the ID card.  A card will cost $15, but there is financial assistance for those who cannot pay.

"The MARCC ID card will improve safety and community-police relations, plus civic and economic engagement for all who work of live in Cincinnati," said Peg Fox, Executive Director of MARCC in the release.  "This general ID card is a practical, hands-on act of hope for people who need it and want to work together to improve the well-being of our regional community."

To be clear, the MARCC ID can only be used within the city of Cincinnati. It cannot be used in place of a state-issued identification card that is often required by state and federal laws. A state-issued ID card costs $8.50 in Ohio.

Fox said it can be time consuming to get such a state ID.  It also requires paperwork that can take time to obtain.

MARCC said it was asked by several social and business organizations to sponsor the general ID card.

The program's goal is to issue 2,500 ID cards in the first year.