Nearly 10 years ago, the state of Ohio rejected the implementation of enhanced IDs for “civil-liberties concerns.” Since then, technology has advanced, and the state has reconsidered the utilization of enhanced IDs.
Recently passed House Bill 23 authorizes implementation of enhanced IDs in Ohio. The bill specifies what information applicants must provide to receive an enhanced ID:
- Proof of identity and citizenship
- Submit a fingerprint or other “biometric identifier”
- Acknowledge the use of a radio frequency identification chip (RFID) and biometric match
According to the Department of Homeland Security, enhanced licenses would contain an RFID chip that “will signal a secure system to pull up your biographic and biometric data for the CBP officer as you approach the border inspection booth.” These IDs are incredibly helpful in instances of crossing the border.
The cost of Ohio enhanced IDs will be $25 more than the price of regular licenses. According to an Ohio Department of Public Safety official, the enactment of Ohio enhanced IDs in the state is “dependent on federal government.” Therefore, there is no official timeline regarding the implementation as of yet. No attempt has been made to sell these IDs to the public, as well as no attempt at publicizing the enhanced identification.
Truckers in Ohio are excited about these IDs, as they should “ease the burden of crossing the border,” says Thomas Balzer, president of the Ohio Trucking Association. Many truckers carry freight from Ohio to Canada and must provide identification to cross the border. With the newly passed enhanced ID, this process will be made easier and more efficient.
Other states currently offering enhanced IDs include New York, Washington, Vermont, Minnesota, and Michigan. All of these states share a border with Canada. The process of individuals crossing the border is much improved with the usage of these enhanced IDs.