Remove barriers to identification to improve access to benefits

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Colorado law requires that people who apply for public benefits must have a valid government identification.  For many Coloradans this is more difficult than it seems.  They are unable to get the services they need because of problems obtaining an ID. There are several categories of people who struggle to get a valid ID:

  • Domestic violence victims who may have fled in a hurry, leaving behind their legal documents. Perpetrators have also been known to destroy or hide documents to discourage flight.
  • Older adults who may have been born without a birth certificate, or whose records have been lost over the years, especially prior to computerization.
  • People with severe disabilities, illnesses or frailties, or who are hospitalized for whom the physical demands of the trip to the motor vehicle office may be too difficult
  • People with severe developmental disabilities or dementia who may not be able to recall key facts needed in the process of obtaining identification.
  • Homeless people who may have had possessions stolen or destroyed.
  • Victims of crime or disasters who lose essential documents.
  • Other destitute people who cannot afford to buy the essential documents needed to obtain identification.

Terry Scanlon
Public Affairs Manager
303-573-5669 ext. 311