Newark, New Jersey is joining a growing number of major cities with municipal ID programs. The City Council approved municipal IDs earlier this year, and the city officially rolled out the program plan yesterday. The ID cards will be generally available this summer.
Municipal ID cards have emerged as a half step for municipalities dealing with large, transient populations that have various levels of documentation. In Newark’s program, anyone age 14 and over can apply for a municipal ID card providing documentation to anyone who applies, including harder to reach populations such as homeless people, the elderly or disabled, and immigrants.
Typically the cards can also be used in law enforcement situations, which can make it easier for law enforcement to manage case loads and criminal activity.
Municipal ID cards in Newark will provide access to a range of city services and cultural institutions as well.
Earlier this year, New York City became the largest city to provide a municipal ID program. The cards provide access to a variety of city and cultural services. Surrounding towns like Bridgeport, Connecticut are also looking at similar programs. Elsewhere, Oakland and San Francisco, California also have their own large scale programs.