Rep. Quam files bill to curve possible issues for Municipal IDs

(ABC 6 NEWS) – Recently the Rochester City Council discussed adding municipal IDs as an option for those who struggle to get a state ID. One lawmaker said he is not against the IDs but hopes there can be more guidelines set to avoid issues.

Republican Representative Duane Quam introduced a bill in the Minnesota House that would limit how a Municipal ID could be used in the state.

These IDs were first introduced in Minnesota back in 2017 when Northfield rolled out the program.

Rochester is looking to add these city IDs and they can be used to cash a check, get a prescription, or pick up your child from school.

These are not legal IDs, so you would not be able to buy alcohol, cigarettes, or firearms.

"When you don’t have any identification and you don’t have any means there is very little you can do there is very little you can do. So this is low barrier low bar we want to have no cost to people so we can give them an ID also people who want their preferred name on their id this would give them that opportunity," Rochester Public Library Circulation Services Manager, Andrew Stehr said when discussing the IDs with ABC 6 News earlier this month.

Rep. Quam said there is always the chance for fraud, such as someone getting multiple IDs.

"Most people are good, especially in Minnesota the wintertime you are stuck people stop and help you, but there are some people that do nefarious things. And it is part of our duty in the legislature to make sure that we prevent that. It is much better preventing than dealing with the after-effects," Republican Representative Duane Quam said.

Quam said this bill would avoid these IDs being used for federal or state programs such as SNAP.

The city IDs have only been discussed in a city council study session, they are expected to be on the agenda for a regular meeting in May.