Last updated: January 05. 2014 3:19PM - 450 Views
Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

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No photo means no problem for the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles.

On Thursday, North Carolina began distribution of its no-fee voter identification card, the same card provided to non-driver applicants who still have to pay $10.

Taking advantage of a freebie voter ID give-a-way is as simple as signing a declaration that you have no other form of picture ID.

Applicants who submit the declaration receive the government issued ID card in about two weeks in the mail.

“The non-driver ID card costs $10, the same fee as in 2013 (and for several years prior). The voter ID card is a free or no-fee card, issued after customers submit the required documents and assure that they do not have any other acceptable form of photo ID,” said Marge Howell, the DMV’s communications officer.

Qualifying for the taxpayer-paid voter ID card relies on a signed declaration by the applicant who simply states that the person does not have photo identification deemed acceptable under state law.

According to the declaration document, the penalty for applying for the no-fee card through false pretenses may result in a felony charge.

However, it is unknown on the steps the state will take to ensure declarations are valid, or how the declarations will be audited.

According to Howell, the expiration of the card is the same as for driver licenses and ID cards: eight years for anyone up to age 64; for 65 years or older , they’re issued the card for five years.

According to the DMV, applicants must still prove their identity before any no-fee ID is issued.

Applicants will need to present documents that verify their age, too. Applicants also will need to provide a valid Social Security number.

NCDMV has posted the requirements and documents acceptable for the voter ID card on its website.

In accordance with a new state law passed during the 2013 legislative session, the state of North Carolina began issuing no-fee voter identification cards in an effort to help reduce voter fraud.

Applicants receiving the card are not required to vote though.

Beginning in 2016, North Carolina will require voters to have a valid photo ID to cast a ballot when voting in person.

Voter ID cards are mailed to applicants within 10 to 15 days following application.

According to a release, Commissioner Kelly Thomas of the Division of Motor Vehicles conducted five rehearsals and training sessions during the past three weeks for all examiners and information technology personnel to ensure the examiners and IT professionals are trained in the procedures to issue voter identification to all North Carolinians seeking that form of ID.

Outside the Elkin DMV, Josh Smith of Thurmond said that he took his daughter to get a non-driver ID because she needs it for a job.

“No, she paid for her ID. Nobody mentioned anything about a voter ID,” said Smith. “Why did she have to pay if she had no picture ID?”

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.

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