North Dakota Issues Non-Driver Photo IDs to Native Americans
The North Dakota Department of Transportation is hosting photo identification events at tribal reservations this week in an effort to help Native Americans vote in the 2020 election. Non-driver photo ID cards will be given by NDDOT to those who qualify.
On Monday and Tuesday, NDDOT visited the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, respectively. The photo ID events this week mark the second round of tribal visits made by the department this year to these tribes and others throughout the state.
At the photo ID events, staff from NDDOT review qualifying documents on-site and take photos of those receiving a non-driver photo ID card. Qualifying documents that need to be presented to NDDOT staff include a certified birth certificate, a social security card, and a document showing proof of North Dakota residency.
Photo ID cards are only issued to those who do not have a driver’s license or a tribal identification card. After their paperwork is processed overnight, those receiving a photo ID can expect their card to be mailed within five days of the event.
Those aged 18 and older are not charged for the photo ID services.
According to David Finley, the External Communications Manager for NDDOT, the department processed nearly 100 of the non-driver photo ID cards for North Dakota tribes during the department’s first round of events in the spring.
In addition to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the MHA Nation, tribes that took part in the department’s first round of events include the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, the Spirit Lake Nation, and the Sisseton/Wahpeton Oyate Nation.
Finley told The Well News that the department has made progress in processing more photo IDs for the month of September.
“This month we have processed 59 [photo ID cards] at Standing Rock and Spirit Lake,” said Finley.
The photo ID events for tribal reservations follow a principle agreement reached back in February between North Dakota and the Spirit Lake Nation as well as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The agreement eases the burden on tribes of having to prove street addresses and having to provide tribal IDs for their citizens.
According to a February press release from North Dakota’s Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, “The Consent Decree will ensure all Native Americans who are qualified electors can vote, relieve certain burdens on the Tribes related to determining residential street addresses for their tribal members and issuing tribal IDs, and ensure ongoing cooperation through mutual collaboration between the state and the tribes to address concerns or issues that may arise in the future.”
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