STATEHOUSE – In response to a local concern, State Representative Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) authored a bill that will allow people with certain religious beliefs to obtain a state issued non-photo ID. House Bill (HB) 1631 passed out of the Indiana Senate with a vote of 37-13.
“Currently, it is required for all state issued IDs to have picture identification and owning these IDs are required for certain life necessities like picking up a prescription, opening a bank account or making major purchases to list a few,” said Rep. Morris. “For those who hold certain religious beliefs against having their photograph taken, they have been unable to make use of those services because of the law. That is why I am proud to author this legislation that not only addresses this issue, but prevents against false information from being submitted as well.”
Under HB 1631, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) would be required to issue a photo exempt ID if an individual has a religious objection to having their photo taken. This legislation requires these individuals to fill out an application, provide proof that their religious belief prevents them from having their photo taken and pose for the facial recognition software, which includes a digital image with their facial measurements.
Applicants must also be U.S. citizens and provide their legal name, address, date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair color and eye color. Additionally, HB 1631 makes it a felony to use false information or to make a false statement regarding the non-photo IDs and does not allow the individual to vote or travel by airplane.
“As a state representative, my goal is to listen and address the concerns impacting residents of District 84, which is the intent behind this bill,” said Rep. Morris. “With a large Amish population in our area, who voiced their concerns to me about this, I am proud to have authored this legislation, working to address this issue.”
Rep. Morris represents portions of Allen County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee and is a member of Employment, Labor and Pensions and Roads and Transportation Committees.