Oregon lawmakers pass measure to eliminate identity fees for homeless people


Bill’s sponsor says it’s a small step to help the homeless get back on their feet

FILE: Oregon State Identification Samples (Oregon DMV).

PORTLAND, Oregon (KOIN) – Starting next year, homeless people in Oregon will be able to get state ID at no charge.

HB 3026 was passed by the legislature with bipartisan support on Wednesday. This will prevent the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles from charging the $ 44.50 identity application fee for homeless people.

The fees will be waived, whether for the initial issuance of an ID or for a renewal. The DMV will also be prohibited from issuing charges for a maximum of two replacement cards.

Individuals will need to present to the DMV a document certifying their status with a homeless service provider to be eligible and, from there, complete a free form.

Representative Zach Hudson, D-Troutdale, who was a major sponsor of the bill, told KOIN 6 News via email that the measure is part of a broader goal of tackling homelessness.

FILE: Oregon Representative Zach Hudson (courtesy Zach Hudson).

“Providing free ID may be just a small step, but one of the things I’ve learned from working with community leaders on this issue is that there is no single solution for roaming. Every barrier we remove helps people move closer to safe and stable housing, stable employment and access to health care, ”he said.

Hudson said this current legislative session was his first time as a lawmaker and had come with a desire to help homeless people and help reduce the number of homeless people.

“Oregon has one of the highest roaming rates in the country, and it’s not just limited to big cities. I learned from serving on Troutdale City Council how widespread the problem is and how difficult it is for the homeless to get back on their feet, ”he said.

Hudson said he believes statewide investments in Housing First models with wrap-around services coordinated with counties and cities are what needs to happen in the long term to fix the problem. , but that immediate, smaller changes can help remove some of the barriers faced by homeless people.

“Homeless people often do not have official identification, which is necessary for housing, employment and many services. You need ID to cash a check, open a bank account, or get a library card, but official ID costs $ 44.50, which can be prohibitive for some homeless people. “

Hudson said that after tabling the bill, Rep. Lily Morgan (R-Grants Pass) approached him saying she had the same idea for a bill, so they decided to co-sponsor him. .

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