Illinois Amish to Have Fingerprint ID Option in 2015

An Illinois Public Media news blurb tells of a change in Illinois law in the new year that will benefit Amish with reservations about photo-based identification.

Representative Adam Brown (R-Champaign) says it took some work to develop a solution to please both the state’s Amish and law enforcement:

The new ID’s [sic] that serve as driver’s licenses for operators of horse-drawn buggys [sic] use a fingerprint instead. The same exemption is provided for those with firearm owner ID cards.

Brown said he and Senate sponsor Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) met with Amish church leaders from Central and Western Illinois who first proposed the measure.

I may be playing dense here, but don’t know how fingerprint-based IDs work–I assume there is a scanner of some sort required?–but it’s a nice option for those Amish who would prefer to abstain from photo IDs.

It was interesting to see the mention of leaders from Western Illinois. The small Macomb (McDonough County) community is found in that area of the state and I’d say is significantly more traditional than Amish from central Illinois, which I assume to mean the Arthur settlement.

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    1. Welcome to tyranny.....

      Why should they, or anyone, need ID at all? 100 years ago, no one had photo ID, yet we had banks, voting and automobiles. Welcome to dictatorship…. “papers please.” The NRA complains about gun registration, but no one complains about people registration. Yet, today, everyone has to have state-issued ID. We must register our persons with the state. For all the “good” reasons you will try to give me, the truth remains. State required ID strips us of our freedom.

      1. Tom Geist

        Hey Dennis,

        While I can see that sometimes the government could pull some bad stuff on us, I think you have to ask why is any of this necessary. We have lots of bad people doing bad things. Over the decades we have had to build a better mousetrap in order to catch the bad guys that are using new technology against us. I don’t think we can expect to use the technology of 25 years ago (much less 100) to get these people.

        So, I understand you not liking what is going on, please give us a better idea of how we can get the bad guys using outdated techniques.

        Tom in Lincoln, Ne

        1. The Amish have the solution

          The reason “bad guys” can use technology to commit crimes is because this technology has allowed anonymity. The Amish have shunned this. Their people work in the community, worship in the community and do business in the community. They know one another.

          1. Tom Geist

            That’s all well and good Dennis to think about, but let us focus on real world solutions. People are not going to become Amish (and even Amish people are not asking or wanting English people to) so what real ways are we going to stop the bad guys?

            The genie is out of the bottle, and it’s not going back in.

            Tom in Lincoln, Ne

        2. Leon Moyer

          missed the mark

          After reading all the posted comments below up till this time, I failed to see anyone raise the question of why a license is needed for buggy operators! Think about it, who cares whether or not a photo ID is used on the license, the right to “license” is the right to prohibit something entirely, it is all a matter of degree! So is there an age restriction on buggy operators now? Do you get points against your license for weaving, blocking traffic, failing to pick up the manure…etc.? Will they soon require buggies to be insured? Maybe buggy inspections to check for broken leather straps? Don’t any of you ever ask where the “gov’t” gets the authority to make these laws, to harass innocent people who not committing crimes? And those who do commit crimes are not punished by Caesar with the sword as recommended in Romans 12: 1-4 and First Peter 2: 12-14, etc. And remember, it isn’t a crime if there is no identifiable human victim, it is only the violating of one of man’s silly 3 million plus or minus laws!! How sad that the Amish cave in like other members of modern society have done, they should all pack up and leave for another place where there is still freedom from unnecessary gov’t intrusion into our lives! And yes, I do practice what I preach.

          1. Mark - Holmes Co.M

            Leon, I have to admit I chuckled at the idea of a buggy inspection, etc., but quickly sobered up when I realized that may yet come. So far Ohio has not required any licenses, etc., but Ind. has for years. It really does make one think…

    2. Mark - Holmes Co.

      It will be interesting to see if this ID idea spreads to other states.

    3. Alice Mary

      I don’t see why fingerprint (and/or retina) IDs aren’t used throughout the country. Most of us carry our fingerprints (and retinas) with us, after all. You might steal my wallet, and with it, my ID, but you’d have a somewhat more difficult time absconding with my fingerprints and (better yet) a scan of my retina (I think they should be linked).

      I’d agree with Tom Geist—it’s the “bad people” (those who don’t want play by the rules) that have caused the “state” to require IDs. We’re no longer the little “neighborhoods” we once were, where everyone knew everyone else AND their reputation. Like it or not, IDs are one way to help “hold accountable” all kinds of people from all kinds of places. Of course, there are also those who now deal in identity theft (more “bad guys” to deal with).

      To paraphrase the Good Book, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven,” and this “time” has come, like it or not.

      Alice Mary

    4. Tom Warner

      Identification of Amish

      Finger print IDs are useless unless there is a photo to identify the person along with it. An officer can scan a fingerprint at a traffic stop but that will only identify a person not neceddarily the one that has the finger print ID. He could have either stole it or reproduced it off something the person touched at a store, ice cream stand or Co op. Tje only way to identify a person in that situation is a photo and signature.

      1. This is what I was wondering, how does it actually work in practice. Maybe the Amish are considered a low-risk group for which to allow this kind of exception, if in fact fingerprint IDs without photos are not foolproof, as you say.

        1. Dirk

          Its a simple scanner that does not need internet connection.
          You place your finger on the scan window glass on one side of the machine and the officer uses the other side to scan the finger print on the license.
          Either it peeps green for a match or red for a problem. Then one better have photo ID at that point for the officer.

          If the officer requires more info on you than provided on the ID, he can connect to the internet with the scanner using either the fingerprint ID or your real finger print he just scanned.
          Its mush more accurate and efficient than the traditional photo ID’s.

          Perhaps the Amish here are being used as guinea pigs ahead of a nation wide role out.

          1. Gretchen

            It's about database ID

            Even if fingerprint scanners don’t need the internet, the entire reason DMV/the state have to have SOMETHING physical is because REAL ID requires authentication — that you are you — in the form of a biometric/physical “marker” from your body. So either it’s a high def, faced mapped photo or fingerprints. Also, you CANNOT refuse to have your info entered into the federal ID database — that’s required by the REAL ID legislation.

    5. Anita Beckman

      Pretty Stupid

      It’s pretty stupid, in my estimation, that people have to have an ID to go to an auction, but not to vote. Is this racist??? Some on the other side of where I stand should have to answer to this. What next???

    6. Ted

      Amish Fingerprint ID

      I am not to enthusiastic about the idea of fingerprints for identification but, it would be simple if those fingerprints were in a database (and that is something else that could be abused though) and when someone is stopped by a law enforcement official for good reason, their fingerprint is scanned and it should give them an instant identification.
      We use fingerprint scanners for computers, passwords etc on an everday basis, and that is probably what the law enforcement officials will use to identify an individual.

    7. Alice Mary

      Again, as I mentioned, I think a retina scan LINKED TO a fingerprint (simultaneously) would be better (not perfect–what on this earth is?) than a single fingerprint or plastic or paper ID is.

      Anita, I agree with you about ID’s & voting. I refuse to be a “voter registrar” (at work) for just that reason—I’d like even better (stricter) proof of identity in order to vote here. Apparently, a “foreign” government’s ID is fine in this country for various purposes. Go figure.

      Alice Mary

    8. Ted

      Amish fingerprint scan

      Since the fingerprint scan seems to be optional I have serious reservations that the Amish will participate in this endiver vey strongly. And I seriously doubt any Christian would voluntarily submit to a Retina scan in light of Revelations 13:16. According to Revelation 13:16 the mark of the beast would be in the forehead (eye is in the forehead) or the right hand so that leaves the possibility of a fingerprint of the left hand, but I believe even that is on shaky ground
      Revelation 13:16 (KJV)
      16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

      Revelation 13:17 (KJV)
      17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.