Prisoners eligible for free NY ID cards in Hochul budget plan

The state Department of Motor Vehicles will have the authority to provide incarcerated convicts free non-driver Identification cards under a proposal championed by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Hochul’s $216 billion budget plan gives the DMV commissioner discretion to waive the fees inmates would otherwise have to pay to obtain the non-driver ID card.

A basic non-driver ID card costs law-abiding citizens $9 valid for four years and $13 for eight years.

An enhanced non-driver ID card costs $39 for four years and $43 for eight years.

“Waiving fees for ND ID cards will ease transition for incarcerated individuals back into society, help insure they have proper photo identification and assist with re-employment efforts,” Hochul’s budget plan states.

The governor’s budget plan noted the current law already allows the DMV commissioner to waive fees for incarcerated individuals applying for driver’s licenses or driving learning permits.

In 2019, the Democratic-controlled legislature and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved a law granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Gov. Hochul’s budget plan gives the DMV commissioner discretion to waive non-driver ID card fees for inmates.
Stephen Yang

But Republican critics slammed Hochul for being more concerned with helping criminals than stopping the surge in crime.

In the last week alone, a fiend pushed a 40-year-old Asian woman in front of a subway train in Times Square and a robber shot and killed a 19-year-old Burger King cashier in East Harlem after she already handed over cash from the register.

Meanwhile, new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is under fire for pushing policies not to prosecute many crimes and to downgrade others — such as commercial robberies — from felony to lesser misdemeanor charges.

“Another day, another gift to criminals in Kathy Hochul’s New York. Her constant pandering to the far left is at the expense of everyday New Yorkers’ safety, security and wallets,” said state GOP chairman Nick Langworthy.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has been slammed for his soft-on-crime policies.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has been slammed for his soft-on-crime policies.
Craig Ruttle/AP

“There is nothing moderate about her — the only way to stop this madness is to elect a Republican governor in November.”

State Senate Republican Minority Leader Robert Ortt said, “Only in Albany, under one-party rule, would the state provide free IDs for convicts while hardworking New Yorkers are nickel-and-dimed at every turn. We should scrap this offensive proposal and focus instead on protecting victims, restoring public safety, and making New York more affordable.”

Democrat Hochul, the former lieutenant governor, is seeking to keep the executive seat after replacing Cuomo, who was forced to resign last August amid a sexual harassment scandal.

DMV said it was working with the state Department  of Corrections and Community Supervision on setting up the free ID card program for inmates.