For Those Living Hand-to-Mouth, New Penndot ID Card Fee is Harsh Slap
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The price of a Penndot identification card doubled today.
It used to be free to comply with the Voter ID law, but now the ID is out of reach for many who use it for more than just voting.
As of April 1st, non-driver IDs from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penndot) go from $13.50 to $27.50.
Under the voter ID law, one minor benefit, in theory, was that registered voters with proper documentation could sign an affidavit and get a non-driver ID for free.
But now that the voter ID law has been overturned (see related story), everyone has to pay.
“I need an ID for employment,” says 49-year-old Floyd Carson (top photo). I need an ID so I can get in the Social Security building.”
Carson is unemployed and has no income. His Penndot ID is expired and he cannot afford a new one.
“I had colon cancer,” he said today. “I need to get medical (coverage) so I can get my colon checked.”
The money from the Penndot fee hike will go to repair roads. Ironically, Carson does not drive.
Niki Ludt works for Face to Face, a group that helps the poor obtain documents necessary for obtaining a state-issued identification card.
“From what we’ve seen, many states have no fee or charge $5 or $10. For those states who charge a little bit more, they often have exceptions,” she tells KYW Newsradio.
But Penndot provides no exceptions. Sources say there is a grassroots effort underway to pressure Penndot to create a low-income waiver for ID card fees.