New Chicago Municipal ID To Function As Transit, Library Card

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s municipal ID card also will allow users to pay fares on public transit, and borrow books or other materials from the library when the city begins issuing the new cards by the end of the year.

The new card not only will function as legal identification for undocumented immigrants, the homeless, ex-inmates, and others; but as a Ventra fare card, and a Chicago Public Library card, according to officials at City Hall.

The City Clerk’s office will oversee the program, and the CTA will provide blank Ventra cards to make the 3-in-1 card possible.

CTA President Dorval Carter said other cities offer legal ID cards to those who don’t have one, but Chicago will be the first to offer one that doubles as a transit and library card.

“We’re pleased to be on the cutting edge with this kind of program, but even more pleased to know the difference that this will make in so many lives,” he said.

Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon said he hopes the new card prompts thousands of people to try city libraries.

“In the same way that transit brings people around the city, connects them to neighborhoods, our libraries are the transportation for the mind,” Bannon said. “The opportunity to work with transit, City Clerk and with others to consolidate how we make available the rich resources of the Chicago Public Library is a huge opportunity.”

The fee for the city’s municipal identification card has not been announced, but City Clerk Anna Valencia said children, seniors, and the homeless might be charged a reduced fee.

City officials have said personal information required to obtain a municipal ID will not be shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and that the city will only retain the name and date of birth of each applicant. A home address won’t be required to get one of the cards, and the city will not ask applicants about their immigration status.

The city hopes to begin printing cards by the end of the year.

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