Identification for All

2021 Virginia Legislative Session Priority

An identification offers the security and freedom to live a full life. That’s why CASA is pushing for identification for all.

In early 2020, Virginia joined the 15 other states that extend driving privileges to undocumented community members. It is a major victory for the immigrant community, granting many members access to the benefits driving offers, including having greater accessibility to employment opportunities, health services, and more. However, unlike its neighbors in Maryland and DC, Virginia did not extend a state identification option for those who aren’t drivers.

Identification for all extends the opportunity to obtain an identification privilege card to undocumented immigrants to increase their access to services, banking, and security.

This bill offers any resident of the Commonwealth or the parent/legal guardian of any resident under the age of 15 to obtain an identification card at the DMV. It promotes equity by granting greater security and benefits to community members who often lack any form of identification or face unique barriers to accessing any form of identification due to their immigration status.

An ID card offers individuals the ability to access financial and public services, including

opening a bank account

obtaining a lease

cashing a check

collecting a package or picking up a prescription

becoming a patient at a healthcare facility

Having a photo ID also allows individuals to identify themselves when interacting with law enforcement or other agencies in the community or in cases of emergencies. 

While the purpose of extending driving privileges to undocumented community members was to improve their access to opportunities and provide a greater sense of security, it was also to ensure that everyone on the road in our communities is driving safely and following traffic laws. Offering an option to obtain a form of identification that is non-driving would help us achieve that while also extending the benefits and security to a broader group of the undocumented community.