I.D. Bill Aimed at Amish Hoosiers Passes Senate Committee

Mar 17, 2015

An Indiana Senate committee approved a measure Tuesday creating a new state I.D. that doesn't require a photograph. Indiana Rep. Bob Morris authored the bill.
Credit Courtesy / Indiana House Republicans

A Senate committee Tuesday easily approved legislation creating a new state I.D. that does not require a photograph. The bill is aimed at Indiana’s Amish community.

Lloyd Lambright represents a large segment of Indiana’s Amish residents.  He says some of the most conservative members will still refuse to get any kind of state identification card.  But he says for many, the barrier to getting an I.D. is the photograph that accompanies it.

“We refrain from taking…from posing for photos because of the Second Commandment, which shows pride for ourselves, which is kind of why we stay away from it,” Lambright said.

Fort Wayne Republican Representative Bob Morris’ bill eliminates the photo requirement.  Instead, the BMV takes a digital image of the person for facial recognition software, which Morris says is more like an X-ray than a photo.  The BMV stores the image but does not include it on the card. 

Morris says the state needs to help Amish Hoosiers who need an I.D.

“If they haul scrap metal in, they need identification to state where it came from and who they are as a person,” Morris said. “[And] the pharmacy, when they get their medications.”

Morris says the cards are also vital for many financial transactions.  The state’s banking industry organizations support the bill.