Faith Action ID Program

An ID is just a piece of plastic until a human being gives it a name, a face, and a story, and a community gives it value and integrity.

What is the purpose of the FaithAction ID card program?
To build greater understanding, trust and cooperation between local law enforcement and other local sectors and our diverse community. Our goal is to create safer, more inclusive and united communities for all.

What does a FaithAction ID do?
The FaithAction ID card provides card holders with a reliable form of identification that can be used as a tool by law enforcement, city departments, health centers, schools, businesses, and cultural arts organizations to better identify, serve, and protect us.

Why is the FaithAction ID program needed?
Many community residents, including many citizens, do not have the necessary requirements to receive a state issued ID card or driver’s license. They are often required to prove their identity for numerous reasons each day, and without a reliable ID may not be able to identify themselves with law enforcement, receive urgent services with schools, health centers, city departments, and social service agencies, or participate in the cultural and business life of their community.

Who has a FaithAction ID card?
The FaithAction ID card is available to any resident who may have limited access to government issued ID card, as well as those who support safer, more inclusive and united communities. Participants who have especially benefited from the program include new immigrants and refugees, homeless and elderly individuals, people recently returning from jail, as well as faith and city leaders, teachers, health and social service workers, and many others. Over 15,000 residents have a FaithAction (or network partner) ID card throughout North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio.

What are the limitations of the FaithAction ID card?
The FaithAction ID card is not a state issued form of identification (and clearly notes this fact on the back of the card), or a driver’s license. It cannot be used to vote, and does not entitle card holders to any social welfare benefits. It does not stop persecution if someone is engaged in an illegal activity, and does not have any impact on an individual’s immigration status.

What are the requirements to receive an ID card?
All participants must attend an ID drive, in which they are required to go through an orientation on the benefits and limitations of the card, and sign a simple MOU to this effect. They then go through a thorough vetting process in which they must provide proof of identity (embassy ID, national ID card, passport, or driver’s license) and proof of address (utility bill, medical record, bank statement, or lease agreement). The required list of approved documents must be agreed upon by local law enforcement partners, and all those at the document check station must be trained and reliable. An immigration attorney or paralegal is present at each document check table as questions of authenticity arise. As one of the hallmarks of the program, participants also engage in dialogue with law enforcement and other community partners present throughout the waiting process on a variety of topics, including: how to report a crime, traffic and domestic violence laws, and navigating city, health, and social service systems.

How does the ID program build trust with local law enforcement, and other local sectors?
Several law enforcement officers are present for each ID drive, and engage in remarkably positive dialogue with ID participants. Officers listen to the needs and concerns of the community, while also educating the community on laws, and ways to report and help resolve crimes. It is not uncommon for crimes to be privately reported to trusted officers at ID drives.

Click here to donate to the FaithAction ID Program