Bill would help the homeless obtain Massachusetts ID cards

BOSTON (AP) — Homeless individuals would be able to obtain a Massachusetts identification card more easily under a bill approved by the state Senate.

Currently, a person looking to obtain a Massachusetts identification card must provide a proof of residence. Supporters of the legislation say that’s unnecessarily burdensome for persons experiencing homelessness.

Backers say the current financial and form-filling barriers that exist to obtaining a state ID can feed a cycle of poverty and prevent many people from getting back on their feet. ID’s are key to applying for jobs or enrolling in schools.

The bill approved Thursday by the Senate creates exemptions in the process of obtaining an ID for homeless persons. It also waives fees associated with obtaining an ID for the homeless.

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The bill now heads to the Massachusetts House.

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