FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thursday, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced a partnership with Catholic Charities to create new city ID cards to promote inclusion, diversity and respect for all. That announcement has left a few questions.
Some WANE 15 viewers question the need for the City Identification cards when state-issued ID and driver’s licenses are available.
“Right now, a number of citizens, for one reason or another, don’t have the form of ID that most of us carry and that’s our driver’s license,” Mayor Henry said. “We do have a number of citizens who for one reason or another don’t drive. Right now, if you take your driver’s license out of your purse, what other forms of identification do you have?”
South Bend, Goshen, Elkhart and Plymouth have similar Community ID card programs in place. The cards cannot be used in place of proof to drive a vehicle or for voter registration. Fort Wayne said hospitals and schools in those communities have accepted the identification cards.
Fort Wayne Community Schools said it’s too early to know if they will accept the cards but they might not be needed.
“I don’t know that there’s been any conversation about this, yet,” FWCS spokesperson Krista Stockman emailed, “but we have a number of ways we can enroll families, even if they don’t have a permanent address.”
South Bend said its City ID program gave otherwise undocumented residents a valid form of identification. WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee asked Catholic Charities if the Fort Wayne program would have the same goal.
“There are some people in our community that don’t have the necessary means or proper documentation that would qualify them for a state identification card or they can’t apply for a driver’s license,” said Nicole Kurt, Mission Advancement Manager for Catholic Charities. “So this program not only reaches out to those communities that can’t apply for those types of identifications but really into the entire community who wants to have their own Fort Wayne identification card.”
The cost for the Fort Wayne ID is higher than Indiana driver’s licenses and depends on age:
- Adults ages 18 to 64 – $25.
- 17 and younger – $20
- Seniors 65 and over – $20.
Indiana driver’s licenses cost between $7 and $17.50.
An Indiana state ID card is free for anyone over the age of 18.
Mayor Henry said the price for the Fort Wayne cards was decided through discussion with Catholic Charities and research from other cities who have the programs. The money from the ID cards will go back to Catholic Charities.
“The fees associated with this program would really go into day-to-day operations of creating these identification cards. The staff time, the physical materials. Catholic Charities won’t be making a profit whatsoever. In fact, we will be putting in a lot of our own money into the operations of this program,” Krut said.
Krut adds that her office has been getting calls all week and there is a lot of excitement for the program. Starting Monday, individuals can obtain a card by appointment at the office of Catholic Charities by calling (260) 422-5625.
“The City of Fort Wayne and Catholic Charities are committed to making a positive difference for individuals and families as we strive to be a welcoming community,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It’s critical that we invest in the lives of our citizens. I’m looking forward to positive outcomes from our collective efforts to be a recognized leader in providing excellent services.”
The Community Identification Card program will be implemented through a mayoral executive order, signed by Henry on Thursday. Catholic Charities will serve as the fiscal agent and issuer of the cards.