HB-1224 - the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (2003)

As a result of the proliferation of the non-secure Mexican Matricula Consular ID card, Colorado passed in 2003 the Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (2003 HB 1224). You can read the entire bill on the Colorado Legislature website: Colorado Secure and Verifiable Identity Document Act (HB03-1224).

HB-1224 states that:

A public entity that is issuing an identification card, license, permit, or official document shall not authorize acceptance of an identification document, nor shall a public official acting in an official capacity accept an identification document before issuing such documents, unless such identification document is a secure and verifiable document.
Secure and verifiable document" means a document issued by a state or federal jurisdiction or recognized by the united states government and that is verifiable by federal or state law enforcement, intelligence, or homeland security agencies."

Provisions of HB-1224

  • HB-1224 seriously discourages the use of any ID card issued by any other foreign government that is not "secure and verifiable" by the United States Government, including the bogus the Mexican Matricula Consular identification card. This means that only identification authorized specifically by United States government agencies will be acceptable in Colorado.
  • In essence, government employees who accept the Matricula Consular, or another from of non-secure and unverifiable identification, are risking the loss of their governmental immunity if they accept the card for any government services and will have direct liability from civil litigation. Law enforcement has been given some narrow exceptions to the governmental immunity provisions, but have been given an additional responsibility to collect information from people presenting non-secure and unverifiable ID's. The law also gives new tools to local prosecutors to bring people who present false identification to trial -- and provides new incentives for police officers to detain such individuals.
  • HB-1224 changes Colorado statutes, clarifying that when a person knowingly presents false documentation to a police officer (including a false Matricula Consular card, false Social Security Card, or false Immigration card), the presenter may be prosecuted for presenting false identification to law enforcement. Previously, the law required that the person presenting the card intended to commit fraud. HB-1224 removes the fraud standard from the statute, allowing people who present false identification to be prosecuted.
  • A non-secure and unverifiable identification card is not acceptable to use to receive a library card, have a city business license issued, demonstrate eligibility for state or local government services (such as a marriage license or automobile registration), or to obtain public housing or other services.
  • A non-secure and unverifiable identification card is not acceptable for the granting of public services. The only exception to this is that the children born in the United States may show a hospital identification tag, or similar hospital identification, prior to receiving their U.S. birth certificate. This is according to current interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that confers U.S. citizenship upon children born in the United States.
  • When person who presents a non-secure and unverifiable identification card to state or local law enforcement, as part of a routine traffic stop, or as part of an arrest, the arresting officer may use the information on the card as part of his or her investigation into the identity of the person. However, all information from the identification card must be recorded by the officer and retained for public inspection. If feasible, the person presenting the identification card shall also be finger printed.
  • State and local police may also rely upon information recorded on a non-secure and unverifiable identification card when it is part of the identification discovered on a dead body.

For more information, see the Matricula Consular ID issues section.