Senate passes Liias bill to reduce ID costs for homeless teens

Apr 05, 2017

Teens who lack home addresses because they face homelessness and related hardships could purchase identicards at cost under legislation that has passed the Senate 47-2 and is now awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives.

“The mere possession of an ID can mean survival for teens who experience homelessness and are trying to get a job or find permanent housing,” said Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, who proposed the bill.

“Any money they save on identicards is better spent on food, clothing and shelter from the nonprofits who can make the difference between these kids having to sleep on the streets.”

Senate Bill 5382 would enabled Washingtonians under the age of 18 who have no primary address to purchase identicards at cost instead of the standard $54 fee.

“Cocoon House works with youth everyday who struggle to get connected to resources because they lack an ID,” said Julio Cortes of Cocoon House, a nonprofit that serves homeless and at-risk youth in Snohomish County.

“Sen. Liias’ bill is going to have a positive, very real and direct impact on youth experiencing homelessness in our communities. With access to IDs, doors for youth will open and give them a better chance to become successful adults.”

Identicards are designed to be readily distinct from driver's licenses and expire on the sixth anniversary of the applicants’ birth dates after issuance. Applicants may renew identicards at Dept. of Licensing offices, by mail, or electronically.

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