Michigan State IDs to Identify Individuals with Autism

Information on Diagnosis Accessible Only by Police, TSA and Courts

As of July 1, the Michigan Department of State will begin the process of signing up individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for a classified driver’s license and classified state ID. The autism classification on Michigan’s state identification will only be accessible by Police, TSA, and courts. The purpose of the ID is to allow law enforcement and other authorities to understand that they are interacting with an individual on the spectrum. Quite often people with ASD can experience sensory overload in stressful situations which can result in tantrums, especially when being approached by authorities. These new ID cards are meant to avoid potentially dangerous situations that can escalate quickly. The Xavier DeGroat Autism Foundation was the organization that spearheaded the push to get these cards. The foundation was elated when Senate Bills 278 and 279, which promoted these changes in personal identification, were signed into law.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other lawmakers will hold a ceremony later in July to celebrate and promote awareness of these new laws with Xavier and the autism community.

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