- Resolution 2010-1 - Regarding Maryland Identification Cards

         WHEREAS, in today’s complex world where security concerns abound, it is mandatory for each individual to have a standard recognizable form of personal identification; and

         WHEREAS, a driver's license is the most common form of personal identification for most Americans; and

         WHEREAS, to accommodate individuals who cannot or do not drive motor vehicles, the State of Maryland issues photo identification cards; and

         WHEREAS, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has responsibility for both issuing these identification cards and for determining the procedures and requirements that individuals must follow to obtain this form of identification; and

         WHEREAS, MVA requires every individual to sign his or her identification card when that card is issued, a task that the vast majority of blind persons are able to execute successfully; and

         WHEREAS, executing a signature on an electronic pad, as required by MVA, may be cumbersome for blind persons, however such signatures may be executed with some personal guidance; and

         WHEREAS, MVA personnel frequently either assume that the blind applicant is unable to execute a signature and automatically affix the notation "unable to sign" on the applicant's ID card, or affix the same notation even when the signature has been executed but the card issuers believe that the signature is illegible; and

         WHEREAS, MVA personnel should never affix this notation without first properly determining that the applicant is truly unable to execute a signature, and then informing the applicant that this notation will be affixed on the ID card; and

         WHEREAS, the notation, "unable to sign", is demeaning to the card holder who is able to execute a signature, and implies a sense of incompetence in the minds of officials who must examine these cards to establish proof of identification: Now, therefore,

         BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland in Convention assembled this twenty fourth day of October, 2010, in the city of Annapolis, Maryland, that this organization condemn and deplore MVA's practice of affixing ID cards with the "unable to sign" designator; and

         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization strongly recommend that MVA immediately cease the practice of automatically designating ID cards as "unable to sign"; and

         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urges MVA to work with the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland to develop procedures to enable its personnel to properly assist blind persons to execute their signatures if such assistance is required.