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City Considers Offering Library Cards As ID For Some Undocumented Immigrants

IDgenericThumb.jpgCommunities around the nation are struggling with how to properly ID the estimated 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants. But the Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal that could allow undocumented immigrants within its boundaries to use library cards as identification to obtain city services.

Under the proposal, anyone able to provide proof of residency in Los Angeles would be eligible to receive a card, which can be used as a library card, identification document and debit card. The plan is modeled after a similar one offered in the city of Oakland, according to a statement by Councilman Richard Alarcon, who introduced the proposal. San Francisco and Richmond, California, also have similar programs in place.

Notaries posting on the NNA’s Facebook page expressed concerns that the proposed library ID cards would be vulnerable to potential fraud and misuse. “This would not meet the minimum requirements as a valid ID,” one person wrote.

The library ID would not be acceptable for notarizations. Under current California law, only the following forms of ID may be accepted as satisfactory proof of a signer’s identity:

  • A California driver’s license or nondriver’s ID issued by the DMV
  • A U.S. passport book or card
  • A foreign passport stamped by USCIS
  • A driver’s license or nondriver’s ID issued in another U.S. state
  • A driver’s license issued in Mexico or Canada
  • An employee ID issued by a California state, city or county agency
  • A U.S. military ID containing a photo, physical description and signature of the signer
  • An inmate ID issued by the California Department of Corrections (only to identify inmates currently in custody)
  • ID cards issued by USCIS (only for signers having USCIS forms notarized)

The ID must be current or issued within the past five years, if expired, and include the signer’s photo, physical description, signature and a serial or identifying number.

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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