House Panel Passes Bill for Amish Exemption on Photo IDs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana House committee members have passed a bill allowing a religious exemption from photographs on state identification cards.

The Roads and Transportation Committee approved the bill Wednesday that would allow the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue a photo-less ID to applicants who have sincere religious objections to having their pictures taken. Instead a digital image using facial recognition technology would be kept on record.

Bill author Rep. Robert Morris of Fort Wayne says Indiana's large Amish population can't access outside businesses like banks and pharmacies without some kind of state identification. The bill would help remedy the issue.

Opponents feared an increase in the use of false or fake IDs, and businesses would have no way of determining the IDs' authenticity.